[Close] to Geelong several townships were created: some survived, others did not and are not even remembered as names. In September 1852 80 allotments in the town of St. Albans were offered and in the following March, when a further sale was advertised, the vendor indicated that there had already been a number of buyers:
The importance St. Albans has already attained, the numerous handsome cottages, dairy farms, and homesteads that have already arisen in and around it, speak volumes, considering that only last September the township was formed. (p. 24)
[ ... ] it had 29 occupiers listed by 1881. William Frazer was refused a licence for a hotel there in 1854, and no hotel appeared in subsequent years - no doubt, the Black Swan or the Breakwater hotels served the needs of the hamlet's drinkers. The establishment of meat works on the old Boronggoop run of Drysdale and Newcomb must have given employment to settlers in the area in the short time they existed. By the 1860s the area had become the property of John Lowe, MLC. After his death in 1867 his son Edwin built a boiling down works on the property which had soon produced 270 casks of tallow from 15,000 sheep. (p. 89)
In 1871 the Geelong Meat Preserving Company was established on 200 acres bought from Lowe. (p. 89)
In association with the Meat Preserving Company, its manager, Gosling and Reeves, were granted permission to establish a bone mill in 1872. [ ... ] When the Company ceased operations, the mill lost its source of raw material and was offered for sale in 1877 to "Bonecrushers, Farmers, Pig Dealers and others". Along with the mill went 32 acres of magnificent land with a half mile frontage to the Barwon - land which had never been flooded, was close to the railway and had a great stock carrying capacity; and 60 head of cattle, brood mares, horses, lorries, trollies, spring drays, 150 tons of bone dust, and 100 well bred pigs. (p. 89)
The Geelong Meat Preserving Company property was offered for sale in August 1876 by the mortgagee, the Bank of Australasia. The buyer was James Wilson, the horse trainer, who bought the 210 acres with the intention of enlarging his training grounds. He first offered for sale the plant, buildings and cottages, and then called tenders for the removal of what remained unsold. Wilson was established at "the retired little village of St. Albans" at least as early as 1871 and so successful was he that it was feared that he would have to move to another part of the district in order to accommodate all the thoroughbreds owners wished to place in his care. But he was able to purchase for £1200 200 acres of the Boronggoop Estate on which he intended to build a training establishment "on a scale to vie with any other in Victoria". [ ... ] At the same time he replaced the "ancient" house with a large brick villa residence designed by James T. Conlon which was added to in 1875 and 1878. (p. 89)
In 1871 St. Albans' population was 312 of whom no less than 131, nearly 42%, were Wesleyans. This would help explain both the lack of a hotel and the forwardness of this denomination in establishing a school and a church. (p. 92)
The proximity of East Geelong and St. Albans to Geelong had its advantages, particularly when it came to a supply of water. Geelong had a reticulated supply from 1873, the advantages of which must have quickly become apparent to those living on the outskirts. Agitation to have the supply extended began in 1881 and two years later the residents of the "snug little hamlet of St Albans" saw the extension of the main to their district. (p. 92)
The name Whittington [...] was applied to what had been St. Albans, although it was many years before the one completely replaced the other. The name seems to have first been used in 1921. (p. 153-154)
In the 1920s the decision by Ford [Motor Company] to establish itself at North Geelong led to a rash of subdivisions, particularly in the areas north of the city. Some of this subdivisional madness was experienced in the Bellarine Shire, mainly in areas near Geelong but also in some of the seaside resorts. Whittington subdivided land at St. Albans; [ ... ] (p. 145)
At Whittington the progress association which had existed in the 1920 had lapsed and a new one was not formed until 1950 with Bert Morris as president. It, too, was concerned with the name of the district and requested Council to give the name Whittington to the area bounded by the Queenscliff Road, Boundary Road, the Barwon River and the lakes. In 1971 the engineer suggested the Queenscliff Railway line should be the boundary between Newcomb and Whittington; Council agreed to this but the Whittington Progress Association still wanted Queenscliff Road, with Earls Road as the Earls Road as the eastern boundary. (p. 161)
(See pp. 179-180 of Balla-wein for source references.)
[Reproduced with the kind permission of Ian Wynd, Geelong]
Wynd, Ian. Balla-wein : A history of the Shire of Bellarine, Shire of Bellarine, Drysdale, 1988 - available from the Bellarine Historical Society and the Geelong Historical Records Centre.
Record Sources for Whittington / St Albans
- Photographs : Bellarine Historical Society; Geelong Historical Records Centre; various private collections.
- Maps & Plans : Bellarine Historical Society; Geelong Historical Records Centre.
- Newspapers : Geelong Advertiser Indexes - Bellarine Historical Society & Geelong Historical Records Centre; Geelong Advertiser on microfilm - Geelong Historical Records Centre; various local newspapers - Bellarine Historical Society.
- Miscellaneous Documents & Advertisements : Bellarine Historical Society; Geelong Historical Records Centre; various private collections.
- Bellarine Shire Council Records : Geelong Historical Records Centre.
- More recent Council Records : City of Greater Geelong.
- Cemetery Records : Bellarine Historical Society; Geelong Historical Records Centre.
- Land Records : Registrar of Titles, Melbourne; Bellarine Historical Society; Geelong Historical Records Centre.
Brownhill, Geo. H. Illustrated Guide to Geelong And District, Facsimile edn., Deakin University Press, Geelong, 1990.
Campbell, A. J. Tourist Guide to Geelong and Southern Watering Places, Henry Thacker, Geelong, 1893.
Wynd, Ian. Balla-wein : A history of the Shire of Bellarine, Shire of Bellarine, Drysdale, 1988.
Wynd, Ian. Geelong The Pivot : A Short History of Geelong and District, Cypress Books, Mont Albert North, 1971.