History of 63 McKimmie Street
We have received plenty of encouragement and support from the local 'Pally' residents during the renovations to our heritage building. Thank you to all the people have stopped to chat and share your stories about it's history.
After years of being boarded up we are pleased to let in the light once again.
Residents of Palmyra - Testimonials
"I lived opposite your premises for the first 23 years of my life. My parents, elder sister Maureen and I lived in a humble cottage diagonally to your premises where the units are now. Our house was trucked to the country some years after we left in 1959. My parents were married in 1930, their new Bunnings £360 ($720) one bedroom house was built in 1931, my sister born in 1932 and I came along in 1936. My father bought 2 adjoining 1/4 acre blocks for £75 ($150). My sister and I slept on the front veranda until an extension in 1946 was built across the back creating 2 bedrooms. The family left in August 1959 and we (my wife who also grew up in Palmyra) returned in August 2009".
"The shop you have was a “corner store” (named whether built on a corner or not) but most were on corners such as the corner of Aurelian/Carrington Street owned by Blythes. There was others on Carrington Street on the corner of Marmion where the Shell service stations located, on the corner of Tamar Street now 58 Café and on the corner of Hammad Street the bicycle shop. There was another on Aurelian Street near Baal Street and another in Zenobia Street between McKimmie and Adrian Streets. These 2 were never operating in my lifetime. They sold a range of groceries, vegetable/fruits, dairy/cheese, cold meats and cool drinks. The big advantage is that they operated in an era of fixed retail pricing so the small stores could compete with the larger ones. These small shops converted to what we know as delicatessens (delis) when fixed pricing was declared illegal by the courts in the early 50s"...."The biggest shop in the district by far was WJ Stammers and Sons where the Stammers shopping centre is located. Both my parents worked at Stammers with my father there for 50 years. My mother worked pre-marriage (she met my father there) and again in 1942-43 when married women were expected to return to work to take the men’s position due to them going to war. The situation for married women needed for work eased and she worked in “your” shop in 1944-46. Unless in the very early years or after 1959 the shop existed as a shop, later a deli and not as a post office. It did have a letter box and later a phone box outside".
"..the shop was owned by Marj and Mat Studholme until about 1949"
"It was then owned by an Anglo-Indian family (name long forgotten) who like many others, left India when it gained Independence".
"Eric Whelan bought the store when he left Metro Tours, a touring part of Metro Buses The buses were based in Point Walter Road where Leighton Panel is situated opposite the Leopold hotel. Mrs Whelan ran the shop as Eric had a large transport truck".
"Tony who had it sometime and it was called appropriately Tony’s Store. It occurred after August 1959"
Thank you local resident Barry Prosser for taking the time to share this info. Barry was on the Palmyra School centenary committee and did virtually all the interviews and write ups of past students for the book. Following are some comments relating to the shop taken from the ‘Our Pally’ Centenary Book blog.
"We lived at the Stock Rd end of Tamar St, so used to ride our bikes or walk to school. Every lunch time we went home apart from Friday, which was very exciting as it was tuck shop day. There was the shop on the corner near the school, or the other one that we called the “Top Shop”. The boys all came in bare feet – winter or summer. We had that nasty shiny paper in the toilets!"
"The corner store was run by George and Madge Harrison. Lunch orders would be taken at the shop before school, and Mr Harrison would deliver lunches into the school ground in his van. Living opposite the school it was very rare for me to buy lunch, and a real treat. A typical lunch consisting of a pie with sauce, a cream bun (or meringue) and a drink would set you back 2/- (decimal equivalent 20c)"
"Across the road, on the corner of Aurelian and McKimmie street was a general store. They sold a wide range of groceries and necessities, and had to put up with the school kids shenanigans – I dare say it all worked out well enough for them, quite a large captive customer base. I remember when the first icy poles were sold by Peters ( they were lime flavour, and called “Bombs”) – I loved them and remember them to this day".
"On the rare occasions when we were able to buy our lunch, we went to a deli/general store on the corner of Aurelian and McKimmie. We were allowed unlimited access to that store during our lunch break. Maybe around 1958 the P&C or their forerunner began to supply lunch one or two days a week for a minimal cost."
August 1947 - FATAL COLLAPSE IN STREET Bruce Hopkins (about 54), of 277 Orrong-road, Carlisle, collapsed at the corner of McKimmie and Aurelian streets, Palmyra, about 5.10 p.m. yesterday. He was taken in a St. John ambulance to the Fremantle Hospital, but was dead on arrival. A post-mortem examination will be held this morning. Hopkins, who was a builder employed by Don Graham, of Edith street, Mosman Park, was working on a building in the Palmyra district yesterday.
Other uses of the building mentioned by local residents :
Pet store - Rabbit hutches made in the back yard. Aquariums inside. Following a suggestion that it was previously Vebas Aquariums, Pacco from Vebas was kind enough to share this:
"Vebas was in a house in Justinian St in Palmyra. I've spoken to a friend who's lived on Aurelian St for over 40 years and when they moved there it was a grocer called Detoni's (or something to that effect)"... "My friend's friend worked at Detoni's in 1961 as an 18 year old. She used to take orders from the school for lunches and orders from the general area for delivering groceries. Owners were Tony and Maria Detoni from Tuart Hill (possibly market gardeners) originally from Italy.".."Was running for a long time before the Detonis (still as a grocer) and previous owners were Madge and George Harrison. They used to have a kerosene bowser to refill peoples kerosene".
Martial Arts Dojo - This may explain why the exterior was once painted with black gloss?
Music Studio - For approximately 17 years before the auction it had been boarded up on the outside and rented to an amateur musician.
More on the History of Palmyra