Preston is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia, 9 km north from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its
local government area is the City of Darebin. At the 2011 Census,
Preston had a population of 29,925.
area where Preston now resides was first surveyed by Robert Hoddle in
1837 for sub-division. Parcels of land between 300 acres (in the
southern area) and over 1000 acres (in the north) were all sold during
the Melbourne 'land boom' sales of the late 1830s.
The first permanent white resident was Samuel Jeffrey in 1841 and from him the area's early name was Irishtown.
1850, Edward Wood, a settler from Sussex, England, opened a store at
the corner of High Street and Wood Street which was also the district's
first post office. Meeting at the Wood store, members of the Ebenezer
Church, Particular Baptist from Brighton, England met to change the
name. They wanted to name the town after their former home in Sussex,
but Brighton was already taken. Instead they named it after Preston, a
small village also in Sussex, where the church members had happy annual
The first church was accompanied by a growing number of
hotels and other stores, which had emerged some 2 kilometres south of
Wood's store at the junction of Plenty Road and High Street, the latter
of which served as a route to Sydney. Throughout the 1880s the area
between Wood's Store and the junction would be known as "Gowerville".
April 1939, Mr. Vara Tidd, aged 91 years, who had lived in Preston
since arriving with his family as a seven year old, recalled the early
"He retains a wonderfully clear memory of the
early days of Preston when the settlement was known as Irishtown. He can
recall the camp of aborigines on the banks of the Darebin Creek and the
old toll gate at Wood street Preston as well as the flour mill in the
same street with Emery's pottery behind the mill. Transport in those
days was primitive and limited. The waggonette left the old Royal Mall
Hotel In Bourke street."
the establishment of the area's first primary schools, an Anglican and a
Wesleyan school. The first state school opened in 1866 to the east of
the junction settlement, but was later joined by another, the Tyler
Street School which had opened in 1875, north-east of Wood's store. The
two denominational schools closed shortly before the Tyler Street School
During its formative years, Preston was heavily
reliant on an abundance of fertile land for farming, dairying and market
gardens. Areas that were not productive however, yielded clay for
pottery and bricks. The 1860s saw the development of Preston's
industrial capacity, with a bacon-curing factory opening in 1862,
followed by a tannery in 1865. These original establishments would be
followed by several larger factories, including Huttons Hams and Bacons
and Zwar's Parkside Tannery.
By the 1860s, the area had a
population of around 200, and five hotels, three of which survive: The
Preston Hotel (1856), The Junction (1861), and nearby Reservoir's Rose
1889 saw the opening of the first rail line
between Collingwood and Whittlesea, passing through Preston. The new
line provided stations at Bell Street, Regent Street, Reservoir and
centrally in Preston.
Throughout the 1880s, Preston with its
abundance of land and newly built rail stations was marketed as a
residential area, capable of supporting 20,000 inhabitants. Between 1887
and 1891 Preston's population nearly doubled from 2,000 to 3,600. The
majority of residential development took place within the corridor
contained by Plenty Road and High Street, however there was also limited
development in the west of the town, along Gilbert Road. These areas
would remain areas of growth well into the 20th Century.
growth accelerated in Preston during the 1920s, thanks largely to the
establishment of a direct rail link between Collingwood and Flinders
Street in 1904 (later electrified in 1926), and a building of a tram
line linking Melbourne and the city in 1920. The now famous Preston Tram
Sheds would later be built in 1925. The reticulation of electricity
took place in 1914, with the building of Preston's sewers taking place
between 1909 and 1915. 1915 also saw the establishment of the West
Preston Primary School, which by 1927 had grown to accommodate more than
1,000 students. West Preston Primary School would later be joined by a
primary school in Preston East in 1927, and later by a girl's high
school in 1929. By 1922, Preston had been formally recognised as a
Borough, two months later it had become a Town, and finally by 1915,
Preston had been proclaimed a City.
With the 1930s and the Great
Depression came economic hardship for Preston. However, capital works
projects, which included the designation of new parks and reserves and
the paving of roads, helped attract new residents to the area. Preston
bucked the economic status quo by recording rapid growth between the
period 1933 and 1947, with the population growing by some 40%. This
growth also resulted in the establishment of a technical school in 1937,
which would later become a campus of the Northern Melbourne Institute
of TAFE. A notable highlight for Preston residents during the era of
depression was VFL legend Roy ("Up There") Cazaly's coaching of the
local football team.
Two World Wars provided Preston with two
awardees of the Victoria Cross - the Empire's highest military award for
valour; Bruce Kingsbury and William Ruthven, both of whom lent their
name to future localities.
The post war period would also see
Preston experience rapid growth. Between 1947 and 1954 the population
grew by 37% topping 64,000. A 15 year joint vision between the Preston
and Northcote Councils would later culminate in 1958 with the
construction of the Preston & Northcote Community Hospital (PANCH).
This period also saw the construction of some 2,600 Housing Commission
of Victoria dwellings which continued up to 1966, by which time said
dwellings accommodated approximately 11% of Preston population.
acquisition of former Housing Commission land by the Myer Emporium led
to the opening of the Northland Shopping Centre in 1966.
the suburb of Preston exists to the south of the original Preston
municipal area. Suburbs which were once part of this include: Reservoir,
Ruthven, Keon Park and Kingsbury.
is bordered to the east by the Darebin Creek, a small tributary to the
Yarra River and consists largely of flat terrain, ideal initially for
farming, but later for industrial and residential development.
original abundance of land resulted in low density urban development of
Preston's former farmland, however population pressures and Preston's
locality with respect to the Melbourne CBD has led to a growing tendency
to medium to high-density urban redevelopment.
Preston is a large suburb, there are sections of it where class varies:
East Preston is the cheapest area in Preston, consisting of smaller
houses and less picturesque streets. South Preston is nearing Thornbury
and has more of an alternative appeal. West Preston is the most
expensive part of Preston, consisting of larger homes, well kept
sidewalks, nature strips and large established trees in its streets.
Halwyn Crescent was rated by The Age newspaper as the best street in
Census populations have been 623 (1861), 3,563 (1891) and 6,555 (1921).
The Preston Municipality's Census populations were 5,049 (1911), 33,442
(1933), 46,775 (1947), 84,146 (1961) and 76,996 (1991).
three postwar decades saw an influx of Macedonian immigrants into the
Preston area, later followed by Asian refugees in the 1980s. By 1986
some 30% of the population was foreign born.
is part of the Darebin City Municipality, whose offices are located at
the former Preston Town Hall. Preston lies within the Federal electorate
of Batman, which is the current seat of The Hon. Martin Ferguson, M.P.,
a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). In the Legislative
Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of Victoria, the State
Electoral district of Preston incorporates all of Preston (and some
parts of Reservoir), and is currently represented by Robin Scott, of the
Arts and entertainment
part of the City of Darebin, Preston has an active and eclectic artists
and DIY community which is contemporary, experimental and culturally
diverse. Writers, musicians and visual artists flock to the locality for
performance, collaboration and acceptance. Notable contributors to the
Darebin arts community are locals, Saint Jude, Downhills Home, The
Contrast, The Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, Performing Older Women's
Circus (POW Circus), and members of Little John, but this is only a drop
in the ocean. Darebin celebrates the artistry and diversity of the
community with regular festivals and events such as the Darebin Music
Feast and the now defunct High Vibes Festival. The major community
Indigenous Radio Station 3KND is located in Mary Street in Preston. 3KND
is 100% Aboriginal managed.
has been home to the Preston Bullants Australian rules football (later
known as the Northern Bullants and currently as the Northern Blues) club
since its inception in 1882. West Preston Football Club is also located
in Preston. The suburb also has many junior football teams, including
the Northern Knights, who play in the TAC Cup and the Preston Bullants
Junior Football club whose home ground is Preston City Oval. The Darebin
Falcons Women's Australian rules football team play in the VWFL. The
Falcons were first division premiers in 2006 and 2007.
Preston City Oval is also home to the Preston Cricket Club, which has
played their home games there since c1860. Preston has played in the
Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association since joining the VSDCA in
1922. Preston's First XI last won a Premiership in Season 2002/2003.
has also been home to the Preston Lions Football Club since its
inception in 1947 and currently competes in the highest soccer league in
Victoria, the Victorian Premier League. The Preston Lions Football Club
play their home games at B. T. Connor Reserve. The club has a large
successful junior base with teams from under 8's to under 18's and also
have a women's team who also compete in the highest league in the state,
the Women's Premier League. In 2007 the Lions finished the season as
Minor Premiers and then went on to claim the Championship in front of
more than 5,500 people as the Lions won 3-1 against the Whittlesea
There are few large grounds around the Northland Shopping
Centre, adjacent to Wood Street. Grounds are maintained very well, and
people play cricket in summer and footy during other times. Joggers are
visible in all grounds.
is home to many schools. The primary schools include Preston West
Primary, Preston Primary, Preston South Primary, Preston North East
Primary, Sacred Heart Primary, Bell Primary and St. Raphael's Primary.
The high schools are Preston Girls Secondary College and Parade College
Preston Campus. As well as there being a St. John's Greek Orthodox
College and East Preston Islamic College which both offer primary and
secondary education, and the NMIT Preston Campus offering TAFE courses
and training. There is also The Northern College of the Arts and
Technology which caters for Year 10, VCE, VCAL and post-secondary
students seeking a specialised education.
is serviced by tram, train and an extensive bus system. The suburb is
serviced by two train stations, Bell and Preston, both located on the
South Morang railway line. A number of trams services operate though the
suburb, including tram route 11 to Collins Street, tram route 86 to
Docklands, and tram route 112 to Fitzroy Street.
routes travel to areas including: Northland Shopping Centre, the Preston
Market (37.739°S 145.002°E) and High Street.
This information has been sourced from Wikipedia