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The Northcote Brickworks grew from small beginnings to become one of the largest brickworks in Melbourne and one of the main reasons Northcote had grown to become 'a workingman's suburb' by 1889.
The fortunes of the brickworks followed the fortunes of the colony, most notably during the 1880s property boom. By February 1888 the brickworks had expanded to four kilns, but even this was not enough to supply the fortnight's orders for two and a half million bricks (up by one million bricks from a fortnight's orders in August 1887).
It was in the context of this boom that "the excited directors ordered a fifth kiln and new machinery. They bought land to run a railway siding along the north side of Langwill's Parade across High Street, curving south-west to meet the main line, and had the siding ready before the main line opened [October 1889?(ed)]" (Lemon, Andrew (1983), The Northcote Side of the River, p.106).
It is my understanding that horses rather than steam pulled the wagons between the main line and the brickworks.
Here is a link to the google satellite image of the line you can use to locate the photos:
Descriptions are below the photographs.
This structure at the corner of Herbert and Bent Streets Northcote is set on a diagonal to the sides of the block so the railway can cut the corner behind it. Looking east from Herbert St.
Looking north east from Herbert St showing the railway path behind the structure sitting diagonally on the corner of Bent St.
Looking north-east from Bent St. The retaining wall marks the path of the railway line.
Looking south-west along trackbed (towards Northcote station) in laneway between Bent St and Beavers Rd.
Looking north-east down the line in laneway between Bent St and Beavers Rd.
Looking west from High Street up the line which curves behind the structure on Beavers Road.
Looking WSW close up of the old railway alignment running behind the structure at 9 Beavers Road.
Looking West (up) along Langwells Pde from the MacFarlane St corner. This angle carpark on the north side of Langwells Pde is on the old railway line as it followed the side of the road between High Street and the Brickworks (orange paintwork of 9 Beavers Rd on the other side of High Street can be seen in the middle-left of the picture).
Looking West (up) from Hunter St. The line came through here beside Langwells Pde. Not sure of the history of this car park. It is much bigger than the angle parking further up Langwells Pde. Most likely the brickworks owned the same amount of land as along the rest of Langwells Pde, and the land on the other side of the railway away from Langwells Pde (along the fence in the right of the picture) would have been a laneway for access to the rear of Hunter St and MacFarlane St.
Looking East from Hunter Street. This follows the direction of the line into the Brickworks complex. The line would have been just to the right of this lane and the lane used for sewage collection and access to the rear of Hunter Street.
End of line reminders.
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