Y.M.C.A. Hostel, Northcote

In the first decade of the 1900’s George Wardrop, a tailor, bought and lived in a house that stands at what is now called 3 Wardrop Grove. After his death he bequeathed the house the Y.M.C.A., but it has since been demolished.

After the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1942, it was thought that Melbourne could be a target for Japanese attack and people were encouraged by the Council and State Government to build their own bomb shelters. The citizens of Northcote and Preston went about constructing there own trenches but many ceased their digging after hitting hard rocks or worse, their own sewerage pipes.

At the Y.M.C.A. Hostel, now called Wardrop House, the boys constructed an elaborate shelter featuring 70 yards of trenches that zigzagged through the grounds. Apparently, in the event of an attack, there would have been enough room for all the residents of Wardrop Grove and the nearby Lawry Street.

Butler, Graeme (1982). City of Northcote urban conservation study. Alphington: City Of Northcote.

Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.