Category Archives: History

Paisley Station

Some quick notes on this unused – but still there – station.


Just beside the Millers Road overpass on the Geelong (& main Werribee??) train line. East of the overpass, that is, towards Williamstown.

Screenshot - 28_04_2014 , 5_05_50 PM_ver001


“Paisley was built as a wayside station on the Geelong line some time in the 1920′s. It was just a platform with no building or fence for many years. When the line to Werribee was electrified about 1983, Paisley had an island platform and station building, but there was very little traffic using it., In 1985 the Werribee trains were diverted through Altona and Westona to Laverton and the station (as well as Galvin at Maidstone St) were closed to traffic.”  Source: 

My 2014 Photos

I took these rushed shots, in the rain with (I found out later) a faulty lens on the Sony Nex-6 camera. Ah well, treat them as snapshots:


Above: From the Millers Rd overpass, looking East towards Williamstown


Above: from Ross Road, looking ~South. The fence isn’t that big here. But it would be dangerous to jump it.

Next Steps

To try and find some old photos of it when it was active.

Williamstown Sea Baths (notes)

At the moment these are just notes. Hopefully I’ll come back later and make them into a proper article.

I went for a walk along Williamstown Beach and right at the end of the stroll, I spotted this in the water opposite Sirens (the West end of Sirens, to be precise):


The round one looked like rock or metal and was cleanly cut with a hole in it, right in the middle. Could it be something to do with the (long-vanished) old Sea Baths?

Here’s a great photo of the Sea Baths. Note they are off-shore:



According to [1] “Bunbury’s and Lillington’s Baths were replaced by the Williamstown Baths, which were the largest in Port Phillip Bay in 1888. The baths were located half way between Forster and Gardens Streets, with a promenade leading to a bathing structure that had two enclosures in 1892”  (emphasis mine)

It then adds “A bandstand was added sometime after 1904” and “Dressing sheds were added in the 1930′s and are now used as Sirens Restaurant … The baths were destroyed in a ferocious storm in 1934, and bathing patterns changed to reflect a more open acceptance of mixed sea bathing … A dressing pavilion, saltwater swimming pool and Lifesaving clubrooms were added around 1935”

Here’s a view using Google Earth as it looks today (with their new 3D buildings showing, nice!)


The (picture) left street -coming at us – is Foster and the right one is Gardens. My attention was drawn to the curved (rock rubble?) structure off shore and near the end of Gardens St. Could it be the foundations of the original baths?   Some thoughts:

1) The “curved rock rubble” is not “halfway” between the two streets at all. In fact the sea bed is relatively clear halfway, so I’m wondering if that was a very approximate location given in [1]

2) The round object in my photo is roughly in the middle of the above rock rubble, but right near the shore.

Time for some more research and questions of FB.



Williamstown Racecourse–ruins speculation

I went for a walk out there today and paid more attention to the ruins. Not just the obvious things, like the rubble with the steps and the single tree, but the less obvious items. I came home and looked at both the Google Earth view and the excellent 1930s aerial photograph. Here’s my first cut and what might be what in the ruins, starting with the photograph with some markers added by me:


And here’s my Google Earth snapshot, with the same markers:

David Sidwell - Williamstown Racetrack GE suggestions

The main rubble pile (with steps) is marked as A.  I used this as my starting point as I think this was the main grandstand.  E seems to be a building at a right angle to the creek, with D parallel to it. My white line over the creek is my guess as to the location of the bridge (partially) shown in the picture. It seems this was the end that was the main entrance. 

The tree position is pure speculation (in or near what looks like a ‘birdcage’ type parade area?), but my bridge (in Google) seems to “point” roughly at the tree. In the photo the bridge seems to be an extension of a road. No surprise there. But which road?

Next steps: find proper maps, plans or descriptions of the exact layout of the Track and it’s entrances. I’ll probably use Trove (online) and contact Racing Victoria. But any other information warmly welcomed.

Trove – searching for old newspaper articles

The National Library has an excellent on-line site called Trove.  Their own description is best – it enables you to “Find and get over [249 million] Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more”

Yesterday the helpful people at my local library showed me how to search the historic newspapers section. In fact a local paper, the Williamstown Chronicle (1856 – 1954), has had a large number of issues scanned, indexed and put up on Trove.

An important note is that Trove not only has the scanned articles (as ‘images’) but the computer has tried to ‘read’ the newspaper text and convert it to plain text! It does a great job, but doesn’t always get it right. You can volunteer to manually correct the text.

Here’s some quick steps on searching for articles that mention 25 Albert (street) in the Williamstown Chronicle :

  • Access Trove. From the main screen select Digitised Newspapers and More image


  • On the Find an Article screen. Select Advanced Search (under the green “Search articles” button)image


  • This is the key screen: Advanced Search – Digitised Newspapers and more.
    • In The phrase input area type in 25 Albert
    • Lower down on the page, there is the Newspaper Title & Location section. In this, scroll through the long list to find the Victoria section heading and keep going until you find Williamstown Chronicle. Select it  via the tick box beside it.



  • Click Search


The system will perform the search and (hopefully) show the results:


  • Click on any of the blue article titles (eg “Agent Sent for Trial”) to view the article; scanned original and ‘text’. I have selected another one; what appeared to be a party invitation from 1926:


Scroll down to find it: image


  • The RHS is the original scanned image, the LHS is the “Electronically Translated Text” (including an option, as mentioned, to Fix this Text)
  • If you scroll down the scanned image, your (found) search text has a feint yellow/orange line under it, highlighting it.
  • There are options – top LHS – to Print the scanned document..or save as PDF, JPG image etc. Or buy it. You should read up on how you can legally use these scanned articles.
  • If you look carefully you’ll see the search for 25 Albert returned a reference to “..£25 Albert Edward …”.  It literally did as it was asked. I didn’t put street or st in the search as that seems to limit it.