Denton Mills business card of James Hobson Turner


Simon Turner, James Hobson Turner’s great great grandson, has sent me this scan of James’s business card showing what he describes as “the original factory” of Denton Mills. I’m not sure whether what is depicted is in Abbotsford or in Elizabeth St Melbourne. Simon tells me that:

‘It appears James helped establish his son Henry on a property “Deighton”, in Bengworden near Bairnsdale. Henry’s son William carried on the property, then my father Graeme moved to where we still farm today, in Bindi near Omeo.’

If anyone knows anything about James, let me know, and I will pass it on to Simon.

Denton Hat Mills designed by William Pitt

The Denton Hat Mills in Nicholson St (1888) were designed by William Pitt, the architect who also designed the Rialto (1889), the Victoria Brewery (1882, pictured, now the Tribeca Appartments), the Princess Theatre (1886), the old Stock Exchange (1891), the Alderfleet Building (1888, now part of the ANZ), Church St’s Empire Works factory, as well as others, some destroyed. All this I know from the truly excellent website Walking Melbourne by Sean Fishlock where you can find on one page all the buildings built in 1888 — that was the year for building in Melbourne — or all the Victoria St buildings featured.

Busy Oven Cafe, Johnston and Nicholson corner

On Sunday, I had breakfast at Busy Oven on the corner of Johnston St and Nicholson St (9415 7418), not exactly an auspicious location. Once you’re inside, though, it’s lovely. They have new opening hours, and are now open from 9ish on Sundays.  It’s a good place to go for a quiet, quick breakfast on a weekend, with a good chance of getting the paper to yourself, only locals, not too crowded, honest food.  Its decor is just a bit too living room, too utilitarian, too local lunchspot, to be really stylish which keeps out the too-beautiful people but at the same time it is a nice place to be, and if the mufffins aren’t yet ready, it’s not because the delivery is late but because they haven’t got them into the oven yet. I suspect its prices are pitched just a little high ($3 coffees, $5 toast), but if that doesn’t bother you, and you don’t plan on stealing my paper, get along there. I spotted the Scottish Karl Roche who runs Element, a cafe which kicks arse in every way, in there for his morning coffee, and that is probably the best advertisement a place can get in my book. He’s so cool he’s got a girlfriend (named Bonnie?) from the Cook Islands, or at least he did, and his cafe doesn’t have a phone, or at least it didn’t, and as far as I know, still does, and still doesn’t.