Collingwood Notables Database
Philanthropist, charity worker
‘A notable worker in public causes’, ‘one of the most lovable and genial of women’, ‘a prominent figure in all philanthropic movements in Melbourne’ and ‘one of our best known and most popular women’ were among the phrases used to describe Margaret Saddler after her death. Born Margaret Martin, the daughter of James Martin, a contractor of Victoria Street, and Helen Sinclair, she married Joseph Saddler junior at St Philip’s Church in 1878. Saddler was a long-term resident of Marine Parade Abbotsford. The Saddlers had arrived in Victoria in 1853 and lived at first in Stafford Street before buying land in Marine Parade after John Orr’s Abbotsford Estate was subdivided in 1856. Joseph Saddler junior and senior worked for H.M. Customs.
Malcolm (Doc) Seddon
Footballer, mayor, cricketer, soldier, carrier
Malcolm (‘Doc’) Seddon – footballer, cricketer, soldier and Mayor (1941-42) – was one of the few people to be praised as a ‘great Collingwood man’. He was loved and respected not only for his sporting prowess and his bravery at the Front in the First World War, but for his advice and wisdom. ‘Ask Doc what he thinks’ was normal conversation in many Collingwood homes.
Mary Ann Clarke Shakespeare
Mary Ann Shakespeare, born to an illiterate mother in London’s East End, operated a private school in her parents’ house in Collingwood in the 1870s and 1880s. While a school run by an unmarried daughter was fairly common at the time, the duration of Mary Ann’s school in comparison to most in Collingwood was unusual. Her family also serves to demonstrate the localised and close-knit nature of life in nineteenth century Collingwood, as well as the expanded opportunities available to British immigrants in the more egalitarian colony.
Ernest David Sharp
One of Collingwood’s longest-lasting photography studios was established in the mid 1880s by Mark Joseph Allan. It was then carried on by Ernest Sharp at 318 Smith Street Collingwood, still under the name of the Allan Studio or Allan’s Studio, until the 1940s.
Hat factory manager, councillor
Shaw was the manager of the Denton Mills Hat Factory in Nicholson Street Abbotsford and lived close by, firstly next door and later at 104 Nicholson Street where he showed how attached he was to his job by naming his residence Denton House. Shaw was brought out from England to take over as manager sometime around 1882, to replace Thomas Shelmerdine who left Denton’s to set up his own hat factory in Trenerry Crescent.
Thomas Shelmerdine came from a hatmaking family in Stockport, Cheshire, which, with nearby Denton, was a leading hat manufacturing centre in the nineteenth century England. By the age of sixteen he was working in the business with three of his five brothers. His father Samuel, along with James Kirk and Cephas Froggatt, patented ‘improvements in machinery or apparatus for felting or “planking” the bodies of hats … improvements also applicable to other felting purposes’. With this pedigree, Thomas would also prove to be an innovative manufacturer in Melbourne and was widely regarded as a pioneer.
Hat manufacturer, philanthropist
Margaretta Lockwood married Thomas Shelmerdine, a hat manufacturer from Cheshire who became a noted and innovative hat maker in Abbotsford. Prior to her marriage she lived with her parents in Williamstown. She was to become the matriarch of a large and successful hat making family, and a well-known figure in Abbotsford through her philanthropic activities connected to St Philip’s Anglican Church.
Thomas William Sherrin
Manufacturer, Collingwood Football Club Committee member
In football circles, Sherrin is a name to conjure with. Even non-football fans would probably recognise the distinctive name seen on so many footballs, but might not realise that the Sherrin name belonged to a family who lived and worked in Collingwood, and was deeply involved with the Collingwood Football Club. Thomas Sherrin was the founder of a business empire which not only manufactured a wide variety of sporting equipment, but also developed the distinctively-shaped ball which became the standard for Australian Football.
Manufacturer, founder of Siddons Industries Ltd and Sidchrome Spanners
Royston Siddons was the founder of Siddons Industries and the creator of the Sidchrome Spanner which became a household name throughout Australia after a successful advertising campaign with the catchy slogan ‘Ye canna hand a man a grander spanner’. An electrical engineer, Siddons was a remarkable innovator with strong Methodist principles that shaped his life.
Early settler, magistrate, public servant
Simpson arrived in Van Diemen’s Land from England in 1825. He held various appointments there but eventually decided that joining the Port Phillip Association offered better prospects and sailed for Melbourne in 1836. He initially held pastoral leases near Werribee but with his abilities was soon appointed a magistrate and in 1840 a police magistrate. He was to hold a series of official positions in the ensuing years.
Elizabeth Wilhelmina Skiddy
Elizabeth Skiddy was matron of Dr John Singleton’s Retreat for Friendless and Fallen Women in Islington Street, Collingwood for an impressive stretch of 25 years. Here girls and women could stay for up to three months and were taught washing, ironing, housework, needlework and other household tasks, to give them skills for employment. The live-in matron or sub-matron was expected to be with the women continually.
Journalist, art critic, theatre critic, Parliamentary Librarian, early settler
Born in Kent, Smith arrived in Melbourne in 1854 and took a post with The Age as leader-writer and dramatic critic, and before long also took up a similar position with The Argus, adding the roles of art and theatre critic. He was very well-read, a prolific writer, and in great demand as a popular lecturer; from 1863-69 he was also employed as the Parliamentary Librarian. His personal library was extensive and valuable. In 1859 he moved to Yarra Grange in Abbotsford where he was to live for thirteen years.
Keith William Stackpole
Keith Stackpole senior was a talented sportsman who played both cricket and football at an elite level, and wherever he played he always called Collingwood home. After the Second World War he played 20 cricket matches for Victoria making 1025 runs at an average of 34.16. As captain of the Collingwood District Club he was always ready to nurture young talented players. His son, also Keith, went on to play Test cricket for Australia but always maintained his father was the better player. They played together for the Collingwood club just once. It was the father's last match, the son's first. Stackpole senior was a magnificent player of spin bowling. Former Australian spin bowler, Lindsay Kline, always said the best players of spin he bowled to were the legendary Neil Harvey and Keith senior.
Charles Robert Swift
Swift was a young solicitor's clerk living in Harmsworth Street when he married Ann, the daughter of Richard Norton, the publican at the Willow Tree Hotel. Maybe the hotel was his 'local' as it was very close to his house. Swift had arrived in Australia in the early 1850s, having previously worked as a solicitor's clerk in London.