East Bendigo

East Bendigo, a residential and industrial suburb, is east of the Bendigo to Echuca railway line and north of the McIvor Highway. It extends north to the suburb of White Hills, but the actual White Hill (231 metres) is in East Bendigo.

The railway has a line running west to Kerang and until 1958 was also the junction for the line from Heathcote to Bendigo. The railway junction made it a convenient transport point for livestock shipped to the Bendigo saleyards in Charleston Street. The saleyards had an adjacent council abattoirs and the Victorian Co-op meat freezing works (1922) in Strickland Street.

There were other industrial activities. Charleston Street had a sawmill, the Bendigo flourmill (1912), a hardware supplies yard and a Council road-making depot. There was also the Newmarket hotel at the Nolan Street corner and the Fleece Inn at the Lloyd Street corner. The saleyards had a spur railway line for trucking in stock. North of the line there was a residential area with an Anglican church (1897) in Strickland Street, down the road from Kitchen's soap factory. Before the church was built services were held in an unused powder magazine near the Heathcote railway line.

East Bendigo's earliest large industrial site was the Victorian Railways workshops, constructed in stages from 1911 to 1917. The increased population led to a primary school opening in Strickland Road in 1916. After World War I a progress association was formed. It helped to get a swimming pool built in 1931, made of red gum sides and a sand base, near the saleyards. After World War II the East Bendigo bowling club (1946) opened next door.

All the major industrial activities have departed. The saleyards were relocated to Maiden Gully, west of Bendigo, the abattoirs closed in the 1970s; the railway workshops, which employed over 400 workers making and repairing locomotives and rolling stock in the 1980s, were downsized in the 1990s and strangled into closure in 2002. The workforce had been heavily unionised, making it a doubly tempting target for privatisation.

East Bendigo has shops on McIvor Highway, the Newmarket Hotel and a recreation trail on the former Heathcote railway line. The primary school closed in 1998. East Bendigo's census populations have been:

census datepopulation

Further Reading

Andrew Ward, 'North Bendigo Railway Workshops' and Gary Vines, 'Abattoirs in Bendigo' in Mike Butcher and Yolande Collins, Bendigo at work: an industrial history, Bendigo, 2005