Making steady progress with its Portals of Rutherglen Project, Arts Rutherglen unveils its fourth artwork “Kit and Kaboodle”; a contemporary mural to accompany the art installation at the Information Centre, the Red Boot sculpture and the stain glass panel at the old chemists’ shop.
Arts Rutherglen continues to delve into the history of our town and its varied shops on Main St, at the same time aiming to brighten the streetscape with lively art in various mediums.
With a younger generation taking over the baking business at Valentines Bakehouse at 124-126 Main St, the Perrys are not only baking artisan bread but have remodelled the building in a contemporary way promoting modern art and attracting visitors to our town.
It was no easy task to trace the history of businesses in one shop over the long period from when gold was discovered in 1860 to the present, when no formal records have been documented, establishments have changed from tents to permanent buildings, businesses have opened and closed and oral histories are not always a reliable source.
Drawing a timeline from the 1880’s to now, has shown a major shift in retail patterns from the early watering holes like the Shamrock Hotel, to the many years of haberdashery outlets, through to the advent of TV shops, sports stores in the 1970’s and of course now, café and eateries.
Much of our information has been gleaned from advertisements in the old Rutherglen ‘ Sun’ newspaper courtesy of ever reliable Judy Harrison from the Historical Society, and appeals for help through facebook!
Some interesting snippets of history stand out; Mr Stan Bray was in the haberdashery business for nearly 60 years – an astonishing length of time and after a visit to America, he became associated with a company, established by his son, to erect the first motels in Australia leading to the present vast-growing industry.
Paddy Malone, helped by his schoolboy son, Des, from Malone’s Drapery and carpet laying business used to supply ‘made to order carpet’ by sewing one- yard strips by hand, making sure the pattern was correctly aligned. In later years carpet was joined by adhesive tape.
Unfortunately, as in a lot of older buildings, fire ripped through in the 1970’s when there was a laundramat(sic) on the premises.
In the 1980’s, fine dining came to Rutherglen in the form of the Shamrock Restaurant that pioneered exotic dishes like souffles, prawn cocktails and escargots! Bus loads from out of town would come to sample the new cuisine.
Continuing the modern emphasis on takeaway food, sweet treats and good coffee, the last three proprietors have specialized in delicious bakery items.
We tried to make the timeline as accurate as possible bearing in mind we have relied largely on oral histories, we have only listed the most prominent businesses and gaps in dates can be accounted for by the building being unoccupied.
Once again, we wish to acknowledge the outstanding talents of muralist, Kirrily Anderson completing a commission for Arts Rutherglen for the second time and to both generations of the Perry family for their generous sponsorship of the arts in Rutherglen.
About the Artist: Kirrily Anderson
Kirrily Anderson is drawn to the beauty of the natural environment and the human form. Inspired by sentiment, beauty, childhood and the natural environment, her work is an exploration of human emotion in its most subtle form.
Her creative practice is an eclectic meld of visual art, illustration, street art & graphic design. Having recently moved from the busy midst of Melbourne’s creative scene in Collingwood to the still beauty of Chiltern in Victoria’s North East, the tone of her artwork has come full circle to reveal the quiet and reflective nature of her upbringing in rural NSW.
Immersing herself in the street art scene in Melbourne between 2010 – 2013 saw her curate and co-curate a number of exhibitions and street art based events, including Art de la Roo, (Toronto, Canada, 2012) and Street Advent (2011 & 2012).
Kirrily has exhibited and curated both in Australia and overseas. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Marie Ellis OAM prize for drawing and awarded the Abbostford Convent’s Spiritous Award. She has facilitated street art workshops in Melbourne and rural Victoria.
Kirrily opened Paper Trail Studio in Chiltern in March 2017. The studio showcases selected works and functions as a space for creative workshops.