Images of the South Melbourne Market....not sure who to credit these fine images to, were obtained from the Port Philip Online site.
The South Melbourne Market commenced operation in 1867 on land made available under a Crown Grant to the former City of South Melbourne. The original market covered the area bounded by Coventry, Cecil and York Streets and the St Kilda railway line in South Melbourne
A roof top car-park was added in the 1970's.
The original A and B Sheds in Coventry Street were destroyed by fire in the 1980s and rebuilt. The land in York Street adjacent to the current buildings was used as the City of South Melbourne's Works Depot for many years and cleared to build the present asphalted car park in the early 1990's.
The Food Hall in Coventry Street was added in the mid 1990s, replacing part of the original market structure. Ownership of the market was transferred to the Port Phillip Council as part of a Victorian government program in 1994.
A stall was set up by a man named Mr Kuen (Ken) Cheng in the 1950s after the public established a taste for his product by having first sold them at the Caulfield Racecourse. He also sold them at various pubs and, over time, they became a firm favourite with many Melbournians. Mr Cheng died in September 2006 but the stall using his secret recipe for this delectible delight is continued by his family.
As far as dim sims go, they are large, meaty and spicey. When I was pregnant, I would buy two of them, two was enough for a whole meal for me. Just to go to the market and see the lines out front of the stall even now is proof enough that the product is worth the wait.
In the early 1900's my grandad lived right near the market. He would be sent down to the market with an old pram and some change to buy as many potatoes and anything else he could get his hand on for the family at home. He remembered fondly a cake stall. The cakes were all displayed on these lovely plates. His mum asked for a plate of cakes. The lady serving her came back with the cake in a paper bag. My pop, for as long as he can remember, had thought, "But what about the plate? Where is the plate?" He was only about 4 years old at the time. So, he thought the plate would come with the cake! He told me this story two weeks ago when we met up for lunch in Kyneton.
My dad had a stall there in the 1980's. I used to help him out sometimes on a Saturday. He would sell window cleaner and disinfectant that was manufactured in a warehouse he was employed as a fitter and turner at the time . I guess with four kids and high interest rates at the time, it was a great way to make some extra cash.
People would come with their empty plastic bottles and I would fill them up with the product they requested. It was a good recycling idea, re using the bottles. The products were great too, nicely scented. With my days earnings, I would buy myself some steamed dim sims and put the rest away for some nice clothes.
South Melbourne Market, it is a place to go to if you want a leisurely day looking at clothes, buy a gift for someone, or just to sample some fine foods from the food hall. The coffee aroma alone is devine!!!