Penrose General Store
first provisional store was established at Penrose, in the late 1890's.
It was owned by William John Dyer and situated on the Dyer estate,
which was the property of David Redmond. Also of interest, was the
watering well on this property. The Cobb & Co coaches came along the
old Argyle Road passed through and watered their horses at the
Dyers conducted their store for a number of years and as the population
of Penrose grew, they decided a larger shop was needed. They then built
the Penrose general store on the western side of Penrose, opposite the
railway crossing. The Dyers later sold their business to Mr. Joseph
Tickner, who conducted the business with his son Eric and daughter
general store was a fully stocked country store. It sold chaff and oats
by the bags, tins of kerosene, 701b bags of sugar, and 25lb and 501b
bags of flour, candies, bags of potatoes, biscuits, rice, salt and
dried fruits. Rice and sago were weighed up and put into brown paper
bags, as there were no plastic bags in the shop. Bread would be wrapped
in white butcher's paper. Bacon was cut into strips from a side of
bacon, which was hung out in a back room and kept in a cheesecloth bag.
Cheese was cut by the wedge from a big round cheese. Eggs were wrapped
in newspaper and placed in a paper bag or into a small cardboard box of
sawdust. Medicines were sold for all types of ills.
general store also kept good old-fashioned lollies, such as licorice
straps, bullseyes, peppermints, boiled lollies and butter balls and
these were kept in big glass jars. Half penny lollies were
popular with the children who would take ages to decide which ones to
buy. There was Nestles penny chocolates, which always had a hidden card
for collectors. Mrs Luke carefully selected a good supply of cottons,
needles, skeins of wool and knitting needles and pattern books.
Materials would consist of flannelette, calico, and cotton prints for
aprons and pretty silks and taffeta. There was also face and bias
binding, buttons, embroidery cottons, even hooks and eyes. They also
delivered goods to their customers.
Post Office and Telephone exchange were also run in conjunction with
the Penrose store. This department was run most efficiently by Miss
Lillian Steer, who operated the busy exchange, ran off telegrams and
handled the banking. At the end of the day, she would stamp the
outgoing mail, place it in the mailbag and it would be taken over to
the railway station and sent off by train. The mail would then be
sorted on the train, placed in bags and sent off to its
January 14th 1939 was a tragic year for Penrose as most of the village
was destroyed by bushfire. The Penrose general store was totally
destroyed. The large weatherboard building, with its bright Bushells
tea and coffee sign was reduced to ashes. Johnstone and Luke were
people of great courage and within two days had set up a temporary shop
in the Old Butchers shop.
mail was distributed from there and they stocked the little shop with
essentials. They then purchased land from Mr. Gustav Ay and built the
now general store. The builder was Mr George Parry, and the shop was
reopened again in August 1939.
Penrose store was sold about 1948 to Reg and Norma Atkins. It then
changed hands many times. The shop closed for a brief period in 1991
and the Post Office was transferred as a community mail service to
“Brooklyn” and operated by Lesley and Ted Day at Brooklyn
Penrose General store was reopened again on 6th September, 1993 by
Susan and David Barnett of Penrose. The shop was sold to the present
owners, Gordon and Corrie Ferguson in 1994 and is currently operating
as a general store, post office and coffee shop.
Extracts from "A Village called Penrose" by Mrs Lesley Day
Information obtained from:
Mrs L. Day
Mr Gordon Ferguson.
Compiled by Irene Davenport of Penrose.