Collingwood Notables Database
Boot and shoe manufacturer
When Charles Trescowthick died at the age of 79 he was referred to as the ‘oldest boot and shoe manufacturer in the state’. Son of Cornish migrants, Trescowthick was born in Ballarat East. He moved to Melbourne and in 1883 began his apprenticeship with James and McGan in George Street, Fitzroy. He soon set up his own business and was actively engaged in boot manufacturing until the time of his death.
Trescowthick originally established himself as a boot and shoe manufacturer in 1892 in a small factory behind his house in Roseneath Street Clifton Hill, and by 1900 had expanded this to a large three-storey building where he employed 250 workers. His factory was said to be equipped with all the latest mechanical aids to manufacture the numerous boot and shoe lines stocked by the firm. This factory was occupied by the Australian Process Shoe Company after Trescowthick moved to Hoddle Street. During the First World War it became the Commonwealth Government Harness Factory. With substantial additions on the Groom Street frontage it became the building still standing at 24 Groom Street. Trescowthick’s factory can be seen at the rear, connected to the newer building.
Charles married Alice Nye in 1891; the young couple lived in Clifton Hill at 96 Roseneath Street (the factory was behind the house) and had six children, the first of whom died in infancy. By 1903 they had moved to Benvenuta in Darebin Road Northcote. Unfortunately, Alice died in 1906 leaving her husband to bring up the young family with the assistance of a housekeeper, Mrs O’Connor, as he continued to build up his businesses. In 1911 the family moved to a substantial Edwardian villa, Flowerdale, in Alphington, where Charles was to live for the rest of his life. The house is now part of Alphington Grammar.
In 1907, Charles Trescowthick established a new boot factory at 324 Hoddle Street. By 1920 he had erected an additional building to the north of the factory and by 1930 had erected another small addition to the south of the works. These buildings remain (2016). He was also owner of a tannery in Grosvenor Street, Abbotsford in the 1930s. His only involvement in public affairs was some time spent some on the boot trade Wages Board to which he was appointed in 1904.
By the time of his death at Flowerdale he was also actively involved in pastoral pursuits in New South Wales. He was survived by one daughter, Ruby, and four sons, Norman, Clifford, Charles, and Ronald, all of whom were well known in pastoral and commercial circles. Norman was acknowledged as a flying ace in World War 1.
|Birth Date||Birth Place|
|1868||Ballarat East, Victoria|
|Spouse Name||Date of Marriage||Children|
|Alice Maud Victoria Nye (1868-1906)||1891||Muriel, Ruby, Norman, Clifford, Charles, Ronald|
|Home Street||Home City||Status of Building|
|96 Roseneath Street||Clifton Hill||Demolished|
|Work Street||Work City||Status of Building|
|rear, 96 Roseneath Street (now part of 24 Groom Street)||Clifton Hill||Extant|
|316, 324-326 Hoddle Street||Abbotsford||Extant|
|Death Date||Death Place||Cemetery|