Comments, suggestions, tips and invitations are welcome.

I’d like to hear from you about your favourite local ghostsigns, old buildings, lost places, and odd bits of suburban lore.

If you would like me to give a talk, please get in touch.

Or just say hi if you see me wandering around your suburb.

Buy the book: Melbourne Circle: Walking, Memory and Loss.

Email me at nickgadd [@]

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Photo: Tony Proudfoot


  1. Reading your article on ETA Foods building in Braybrook brought back so many memories tinged with sadness to see how that great building was left to go into such disrepair. I worked there 1967-1969 it was my first job and loved it. The building itself had every facility staff would require. Upstairs a huge staff room with a complete kitchen where meals were cooked every day. I think it was 25cents for soup, meal and sweets. Always tomato soup and fish Friday’s. We also had morning tea and afternoon tea provided in the same room. Every department was clearly defined within the building with an internal stair case for staff to use. We were discouraged from using the carpet reception stairs these were for visitors. The factory was very clean and well organised and could be accessed from the offices both down stairs and upstairs. I conducted factory tours for groups every month taking them from chocolate almonds to potoe chip production was easy.
    There was photo copy room (very modern in those days) and right up the top a little tiny room that led to the roof to raise the flag. In this little room was gestetner machine (you may have to google this.). The reception area was very welcoming with a plug and chord switchboard and all of the Managers had their offices down stairs. Accounts etc up stairs. I was a junior when first started and every morning went by taxi to pick up the mail opened it distributed into pigeon holes then off around the entire building adding and taking from the in/out baskets. Yes it was a great place to work and being young and foolish I left for greener pastures never found one. Hope you find some value in this. Kind regard Kerryn Lambert

    1. Thank you for sharing those memories Kerryn. It does sound like an enlightened place to work – Romberg would have been pleased. And yes, you’re right, I had to google gestetner machine!

  2. Hi Nick, re your current post about Bridge Road: there seems to be an apostrophe in the word Billiards, making it Billiard’s. Do you think that could be a name, rather than an indication of the game, which you say, you cannot find reference to?
    Love your blog and a few years ago started my own in bohemian in Brunswick but have now moved away.

    1. Hi Dana, It’s possible, I noticed the apostrophe but I wasn’t sure if it was just a blemish on the wall (I’m still not). However the name Billiard doesn’t appear in the Sands & McDougalls either. But yes, it might be a name. More research is required! Glad you like the blog, thanks for the comment.

  3. Hi Nick,
    Love your blog. I work in the city and whenever I see oddities in the way of old signs building features etc. I take a photo. Glad to see I am not alone. Would like to send you some examples – how could I do that?

  4. Synchronicity is a wonderful thing, researching the history of my old warehouses that I live in Melbourne CBD in the 1980s I stumbled across your Ghost Sign images, then lo and behold you appear on ABC Radio National this morning.

    After 30 years away I will be returning to Melbourne soon and I’m planning several photography projects, one of which was ghost signs, and so I hope we can meet up when I come back. I shoot film with vintage cameras and hunting the City for ghost signs seems like a glorious type of Flaneurie with purpose.

    My goal is that like my hero Eugene Atget in Paris to document Melbourne’s CBD as it is rapidly becoming gentrified and history is being lost each day.

    Your novel sounds wonderful, and I too am a big typophiliac.

    1. Sounds like a great project! I too love Atget’s work. Melbourne is changing even faster than Paris was in his day. Thanks for getting in touch.

  5. Hi Nick, I have been researching my family tree and have found my great grandfather was T B Guest!
    His factory is in North Melbourne and the name is still visable on the side of the factory! They have made apartments in the building but his name is still visible!
    Would love for this to be added.

  6. Hi Nick,
    I just stumbled upon your blog via your article about Ripponlea village (where I’ve lived the past 30 years).
    Despite your comment during your walk with Fiona Gruber that you prefer not to know some details of ghostsigns, curiosity got the better of me and I’ve discovered that “Newman’s” was in fact, an art gallery at 289 Collins St. I couldn’t find where they’d “removed” from, however.
    At first, I wondered if it might refer to Newman’s Chocolates (whose factory shop in Richmond I used to visit regularly), and I thought they may once have had a shop in the CBD.
    However, in this article (& this one) about the life of photographer, John Kauffmann, it’s mentioned that he’d had a third solo show at the Newman Galleries, 289 Collins Street, March 1935.

    1. Nice work David, thank you! I was unaware it was a gallery. There was also a Newman’s confectionery shop in Collins street, but at a different street number.

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