Thursday, May 10, 2007

Friday's History Lesson: South Melbourne Market.

South Melbourne Market 1870.




Pictured in 1900.




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!!!

20 comments:

rosemary said...

Great lesson...I want to come and visit...seriously. You have some great sites to visit....what is the dollar doing over there...I am a dummy about $$$

Bibi said...

... and when I'm in Melbourne ;-)

I keep meaning to say, I love the comment you have on your entry page: "Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world"

Andrew said...

And after two prosecutions for health regulation breaches, I still think their dim sims are the best.

Keshi said...

Been there Caz and I loved the place! :)

Keshi.

The Stormin Mormon said...

Dim Sum is a meal similar to the English Tea, but served from morning to mid afternoon. Tea and multiple courses of small snacks are served.

The dumplings your enjoyed are most likely shaomai (pork filling) or har gau (shrimp filling).

Steve said...

I bin there

captain corky said...

I like the pic of the South Melbourne Market. There's someting really romantic about old pictures like that. Thanks for the history lesson.

MrsCoach2U said...

I was going to ask what a dim sim was Stormin Mormom took care of that. It sounds great!

Can't wait till next week to see where we are "going".

LanternLight said...

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.

Yes, my better half would definitiely agree :-)

LanternLight said...

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.

Yes, my better half would definitiely agree :-)

Jay said...

One of these days they're gonna have a "Melbourne" category on Jeopardy and I'm gonna run it cause of your blog!

paddy said...

Coventry, Cecil and York Streets- these all sound very english to me but then I have to remember the English Monarchy, which I tend to forget.... steamed dim sims, yes, I'll have a few of them they sound delicious.... cakes ( without the plates ha!!!)
Really nice memories filling the bottles; helping out. I had a stall once in the Dandaloin Market( now called: Stephen's Green Shopping Complex) in Dublin Grafton ST: long gone; you put me in mind of that and the good times. I did great business there espically at Christmas selling candles. You also put in mind of the cafe's my mother and I would go to after a day's shopping around the city: the cakes were displayed on three tier plates; you eat your fill and the waitress came and you told her how cakes you had stuffed your gob with and she wrote the bill accordingly. We never thought of cheating, well we did but we didn't. Thanks for the insite and the memories. Y;-) Paddy

LPC said...

These sites look really nice... Nice photos !

Andrew said...

Just remembered Cazzie. We used to sometimes get detergent refills at South Melbourne Market in the eighties. Was the stall on the outside, Coventry Street?

M said...

I was just there on Sunday. There was the longest line to the dim sim place. They must have good ones!

Cazzie!!! said...

Rosemary, Units of foreign currency per A$ 0.8301, as per Reserve Bank Australia, 11th May 2007. Don;t ak me...it is like swearing to me , LOL.

Bibi, I like that you like my opening comment , :)

Andrew, I second the motion :)

Keshi, glad you do , come again and I will meet you there.

Stormin Mormon, sounds similar yes, a kind of pastry, not buttery, with pork mince and cabbage and onions and spices. Nice when steamed and served wih soya sauce :)

Steve, done dat :)

Captain, cannot help but agree with you mate.

MrsCoach2You, I got a few lessons up my sleeve, it is a matter of which one I pick :)

Lanternlight, your better half has great taste then :)

Jay, that is great, let me know if you win and what questions were asked :)

Paddy, hanks for sharing such great memories mate, I love hearing these happenings :)

LPC, thanks, I enjoyed writing it.

Andrew, tha is the very one :)

Cazzie!!! said...

M, unreal, I have to go next weekend I think, if I do not work that is.

G-Man said...

A great History lesson as usual, but even better with your family memories..We have a City Market in our Town, but yours sounds awesome!
Thanks Cazzie, I really enjoyed this...xoxox

poody said...

thanks Cazzie I love fridays with you!

Katie Sweeney said...

Hi Cazzie, thanks for the memory. I grew up near the market in the 60's. I can remember Mr Ken the Dim Sim man from when I was about 4. The donut stall was next door and you'd line up and take turns standing in line. I went to school across the road at Dorcas Street Primary and sometimes sneak over to the market at lunch time. In those days the biscuits were sold out of Brokhoff's metal tins, weighed and sold in brown paper bags, salami hung from the deli's and it was coloured plastic fly streamers that separated the meat section. I also remember solid choc umbrella lollies sold on plastic sticks....yuuuuum.

When ever I visit Melb from Cairns the market is one of the first stops.

Thanks Cazzie :)