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Tallong Midge Orchid

The Survivors
by Greg Stone

Fire in the Bush
by Greg Stone

More Road Kill
by Phil Mosies

Injured Native Wildlife
Emergency Management

Goldrush Grog
by Phil Mosies

Spring Purples and Pinks
by Greg Stone

Road Kill Recipes
by Phil Mosies

Penrose General Store

The Spotted Gums
by Greg Stone

Winter Fires
in Tallong

History of
Penrose General Store

The 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 waterhole.

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 Louise.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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 destinations.

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.

The 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.

The 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 Orchard stall.

The 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.

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