Whitehead’s Paddock Estate (The Pivot)

Main Image

Flett & Raglan Streets, Plenty Road

Whitehead’s Paddock estate was named after Joseph Whitehead who is listed as a resident in South Preston up until the mid-1880s according to street directories.

Joseph Whitehead’s house was advertised for sale in 1884 and described as a weatherboard cottage with seven rooms with ‘commodious stabling and outhouses at the rear as in the occupation of Mr. Joseph Whitehead’.

 This very desirable property occupies a first-class position in a rising and rapidly improving neighbourhood. The future prospects of Preston land are exceptionally good and as the facilities of transit increase, the value of land must make a proportionate advance.

Two years later in 1886 the sale of subdivided land known as Whitehead’s Paddock was organised by auctioneers, F.E. Coote on Saturday 11 December at 3pm with enticements of free passes for transport leaving Preston cab stand and lunch provided onsite. 22 lots of business and residential sites were for sale for a deposit of £5.

The advertising mentioned that the proposed site of a railway station and the terminus of the Omnibus Company’s new line were nearby. The estate was ‘opposite the Post Office and Coffee Tavern and handy to State School’ as well as being close to all the amenities of High Street and Plenty Road.

In 1888 it appears that another company took over sales of the land (GD Langridge & Son) as the very same 22 allotments of land appear on a real estate poster renaming the estate, ‘The Pivot’.

Newspaper advertising for this sale emphasised the close proximity to Bell railway station which was due to open the following year in 1889. The land is described as occupying ‘one of the premier positions of what must eventually become the MELBOURNE of the NORTH… on a beautiful rise thus affording splendid views of the Great Metropolis and Suburbs.’

 In the late 1880s many blocks of land were subdivided and put up for sale by speculators and developers as a land boom took place. But most were only sparsely occupied until after the First World War.

However, Whitehead’s Paddock (The Pivot) in South Preston was well settled at an earlier date, probably due to its proximity to the city and to major roads and transport.

This can be clearly seen on the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works plan showing Flett Street in 1909.
Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.
Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848 - 1957), Saturday 27 September 1884, page 3
Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848 - 1957), Saturday 11 December 1886, page 10
Age (Melbourne, Vic: 1854 - 1954), Saturday 11 December 1886, page 14
Herald (Melbourne, Vic: 1861 - 1954), Tuesday 24 January 1888, page 4
Section of 1909 MMBW plan no. 2375 showing Flett Street, Preston (SLV)
Plan of Whiteheads Paddock, South Preston [cartographic material]. 1886. State Library of Victoria. Available online.
Plan of The Pivot, South Preston [cartographic material]. 1888. State Library of Victoria. Available online.
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.