Gibbs Brothers - 795-815 High Street Reservoir
The first ironmonger/produce store at 795 High Street was established by A. Freeman in 1911. Four years later Joseph Kellam took over the business.
In June 1917, thieves used explosives to blow open the store's safe, £3 11s being taken.
Kellam was to stay until 1926 when the Gibbs Brothers arrived. They were to continue operating from the site for the next forty or so years. In the early 1930s they expanded their business taking over the store operated by the bootmaker, Mr. Laity.
In 1933 thieves struck again with another attempt to blow up the safe, this time unsuccessful. They broke through the roof and attempted to stuff detonators into the lock. Although the detonators exploded they failed to damage the safe sufficiently to remove any cash.
The store was burnt down in a fire in September 1970.
In the early 1970s Pat Crea established the Volkspares Motor Accessories business from the site. It is unsure whether the old buildings were demolished at that stage or not but the present building is clearly not the original ironmonger's store.
Pat Crea was an Australian Sports Car driver, racing against the likes of motor racing champions Allan Moffatt and Bob Jane.
It is currently operated as a plumbing business.
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.
Many robberies reported. The Argus [Melbourne, Vic 1855 -) 12 July 1933, p.8
Safe robberies at Preston. Preston Leader (Melbourne, Vic 1888 - ), 30 June 1917, p.2