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#65114 - 19/06/15 05:24 AM MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
Hello ODK History Lovers

This series of posts present original research I conducted over the last couple of years.
It paints a new light on the 1920 founding of the Scott Bonnar Company that history knows about.
This is the story of the S. Bonnar Company (AKA Bonnar Engineering) founded in 1916, which
commenced business at Young Street, before moving to near-by Bloor Court Premises in 1917.

This post series deals with the Young Street premises and Mr. Scott Bonnar’s world from
about mid-1916 to mid-1917. It’s a story full of surprises …

CONTEXT
Adelaide was from the very beginning a planned city and a freely-settled British province
without the convict settlement baggage of other early Australian cities. It was laid out
in a grid pattern and surrounded by parklands. It is this grand-design that explains why
Adelaide is such an attractive city today.

Early Adelaide
was shaped by prosperity and wealth and this came to make so much sense in
explaining the world that a young Scott Bonnar inhabited one hundred years ago. There was
certainly poverty too! This is a city that had well-developed secondary industries at the
start of the 20th Century.

Scott’s first business address was located in Young Street, straddled by the great
east-west streets of Waymouth and Franklin, in Adelaide’s CBD. Young Street is a narrow
and short street; only about 135 meters long.

Here is my MUD MAP of the story I would like to tell…

[Linked Image]

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Last edited by CyberJack; 26/06/15 05:44 AM. Reason: Updated Mud Map.

Membership information

#65129 - 20/06/15 08:22 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART TWO - Waymouth Street End

Photo 1 was taken from Waymouth Street looking up Young Street. It’s a great photo
because it tells us so much about Scott Bonnar and Adelaide in 1916. By this time,
street lighting was appearing on the main streets, and one can be seen in the photo.
The first electricity generating station began service in 1900, meaning that house
holds and businesses had electricity connected. In small machine shops, like Bonnar’s,
machinery would have been powered by the electric motor.

Black’s Farriers on Wymouth Street illustrates nicely that the dominant vehicles on
Adelaide streets were still horse driven. However, that situation would change within
a decade. In any case, this particular part of the city was a motor vehicle (cars and
motorcycles) area, and one very relevant to the story I tell here. At this time, Scott
Bonnar was an early motorcycle rider.

Just a bit further up Young Street was the two storey building, Publishers Limited.
Just beyond that you will just make out a group of tenements and small shop. They will
feature later in the story. For the time being, let’s just call this side of Young Street
(The east side) the dark side …

[Linked Image]
PHOTO 1 of Mud Map [Image: State Library of South Australia]

On the photo’s right-hand side there is No 97 – that’s 97 Waymouth Street and it was
the large corner block that adjoined the Lord Raglan Hotel (out of view) [see “C” on
my Mud Map]. A sulky can just be made out in the doorway of No. 97. This was J. Stewart’s
Coach Painting Works
. There are vehicles for sale in the yard.

Of utmost interest is that which sits behind No. 97, up Young Street’s west side.
There appears to be a high gabled roof – like a church – and then a three story building,
the side of the façade can just be seen:-

[Linked Image]
Photo 1 Mud Map - Detail

The three story building belonged to Detmolds Limited [see "A" on my Mud Map].
It was the biggest and newest building in the street in 1916, and the sign on the
side says, “William Detmold”.

Detmold's is very relevant to my story. It was my first clue in identifying where in
Young Street Scott Bonnar’s shop actually was. Well, in Scott’s newsprint advertising,
his premises were always … “next Detmold’s”.

[Linked Image]

The above advertisement illustrates Scott Bonnar's Lightning Greenfeed Cutter.
I've discussed that important invention HERE.

In the next part we will look at the other end of Young Street - the Franklin Street end.

TO BE CONTINUED ...


#65140 - 20/06/15 12:37 PM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART THEE – Franklin Street End

Young Street seemed like a good location. It was in the CBD, and not far from Adelaide’s
majestic King William Street and Victoria Square; just a postman’s walk from the Adelaide
GPO, with its ornate Victorian architecture and splendid skylight roof interior.

This photo, from 1918, looks down Franklin Street. Young Street is on the right (at arrow).
Note the electric tram car. Horse and motor vehicles are about equal in number.

[Linked Image]
[Image: State Library of South Australia]

The next photo [Photo 2 in my Mud Map] looks from about where I placed the red arrow in the previous photo.
It shows what Scott Bonnar would have passed every morning. It’s the Bristol Hotel [“B” on my Mud Map].
Eliza Street is first on the left; Young Street just after. The building immediately behind the hotel is the
Eliza Street end of the Detmold’s Building.

The building on the left is being demolished. It would shortly become the new premises for Reo Motor Sales,
who also sold Dennis Lorries (of motor mower fame). The building on the right of the Bristol housed the
Bristol Billiard Saloon, a music teacher, a dressmaker, and a butcher. All very respectable.

[Linked Image]
Photo 2 Mud Map

Today, the key buildings in the above photo survive. All have a heritage listing.
The Bristol is now the Franklin Hotel. Would Scott Bonnar have drunk at the Bristol?
I guess, highly likely: manufacturing work can get mighty hot in an Adelaide summer. Of course,
there was also the Lord Raglin at the other end of the block. He would have to had been
quick though – a 1915 referendum led to laws requiring hotels to close at 6 p.m. This
became know as the infamous “6 o’clock swill”.

[Linked Image]
[Image: 2015 Google Maps]

TO BE CONTINUED ...


#65159 - 21/06/15 09:12 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART FOUR - Detmolds & the Toy Factory

I would like to spend a little bit of time discussing the west-side of Young Street,
that is, Scott Bonnar’s side. I said that Bonnar’s premises were next to Detmold’s.
The building was the last premises on the west side of Young street. Its number today
is 25-29, but back than it was No.17 Young Street.

DETMOLDS LIMITED
Detmolds [Building "A"] were wholesale and manufacturing stationers. Their factory did everything:
paper printing, book binding, envelope making … they were the 'Office Works' of their day, but
with knowledge & service. A subsidiary of the British firm, William Detmold, the company would
have offices in many Australian states. Clearly a successful business, they were frequent
newspaper advertisers for business and staff recruitment. Detmolds would later be known as
Spicer & Detmold, and then Spicers Australia Limited.

Detmolds was, by far, the largest business (with the largest building) in the street.
The building itself has frontages in Young Street and Eliza Street. The building, costing
£10,000, was just months old when Scott Bonnar moved in next door. It survives and is
heritage listed with the National Trust of South Australia. Here is a quaint 1960s photo.
It is Photo 4 on my Mud Map:-

[Linked Image]
Photo 4 Mud Map

TOY WAREHOUSE - War Repatriation

The first business on this west side of Young Street was situated just behind the Coach Painting Works
at No 97 Waymouth. It was a toy factory run by the Australian Soldiers Repatriation Fund, established
to employ about half a dozen returned soldiers who, because of the nature of their injuries, could not
pursue their former occupations.

I mention this because Scott Bonnar would have seen, on a day-to-day basis, these less-abled soldiers
turn up for work, a poignant reminder to him of the horrible effects of that Great War. Two or three
of Scott’s brothers were at this time overseas fighting in the AIF. Scott, who joined the AIF in 1915,
was discharged at the request of the State Munitions Committee because of his engineering qualifications.
He was needed at home. I hope to tell that story at some future point.

I have not been able to locate a photograph of the toy factory, but this 2015 Google Maps image will
suffice. This scene looks up Young Street towards Franklin Street. First building on the right was about
where the toy factory was located; then there were residential tenements, housing about four small
households (mostly labourers); then there was Bonnar’s and a blacksmith (where the white façade is);
and then Detmold’s.

[Linked Image]
Google Images, 2015

But what did Scott Bonnar’s premises actually look like?
What did he do there?

TO BE CONTINUED …



#65193 - 23/06/15 05:00 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART FIVE - Finding Bonnar's Workshop

When my research revealed Scott Bonnar’s Young Street premises I immediately had two questions:
what did the premises look like; what did Scott do there? I’ll deal with the first question now.

It goes without saying that Young Street has almost completely changed its landscape today.
The clue “next Detmold’s” was the starting point.

The first thing I did was find as many old photographs of Young Street as I could. I then compared
these with Directories of the period. It was at this point I encountered a problem: street numbers
were in a state of flux. Whilst odd and even numbering had been standardised by the mid-1880s,
street numbers were changing in order to account for the many subdivisions that had taken place
since settlement.

Thus, Detmold’s building changed from being No.17 to No.29. The biggest problem, though, was that
Scott Bonnar’s premises were also lumped in with No.17 in the 1917 Directory, the only Directory
to include Scott Bonnar! What this Directory did establish, though, was that Scott Bonnar was not
‘exactly’ next door to Detmold’s – There was a Blacksmith’s shop in between. There was also an
engineer on the other side, along with good old Mrs Goodchild – all at No.17!

A lucky break came in the 1921 Directory, when new numbering separated the No.17 properties.
Detmold’s would become No.29 (actually 25-29), next door would be No.23 and then No.19. It would
appear by deduction that Scott Bonnar had been at the No.19 structure, now occupied by one Ern Bateup,
a secondhand car dealer. I reproduce the 1917 and 1922 Directories below:-

[Linked Image]

A SURPRISE - of Biblical Proportions
A big surprise was that research revealed that there was a church in Young Street! It was –
or appeared to be - next door to the Detmold’s building! This was the gabled roof in the Part Two
photograph. It can also be seen in the Part Three photograph taken from afar – looking back from
the GPO towards Young Street. Surely Scott Bonnar’s first premises were not in a ... church!

In articles in the Register (14/02/1925) and Observer (20/04/1929) I discovered that the church
in Young Street was once the main church of the Bible Christian denomination. It would appear
that this building, built in the 1850s, ceased being a place of worship in about 1888, when this
sect merged with the Methodist Church of Australia, and worship was transferred to Maughan Church
in Franklin Street.

My approach was this: if I could find photographs of the church area (next to Detmold’s building)
I might be able to match the building structure with known addresses and known businesses (from the
Directories and other sources).

That opportunity arose with a disaster that occurred a few years after Scott Bonnar left Young Street…

TO BE CONTINUED …


#65208 - 23/06/15 10:47 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART SIX - A Large Conflagration

It would take a muffled explosion that occurred in the early morning of Wednesday 21 February,
1923, that would supply the evidence I needed. A huge fire that lit up Adelaide!

Duncan & Fraser, a well-known vehicle manufacturer, importer and new vehicle dealer, had their
premises just around the corner, on Franklin Street. A news report from the Border Watch paper
(23/02/1923) dramatically tells the story of the ensuing inferno:

“the whole block covering nearly an acre was soon a black and smouldering mass. Flames fed by
petrol, oil, and other combustibles, burst through the roof hundreds of feet in the air, making
a wonderful spectacle.”


The fire brigade could do nothing to save the building. They did manage to save six new Studebakers
and a number of Fords before the roof collapsed, then, “Eighteen new Studebaker cars, which were
awaiting delivery on the following day, and 44 new Fords were destroyed in a few minutes”.
The damage bill was estimated to be over £150,000.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Out of this calamity came one lucky photograph that looked back towards Young Street. Importantly,
it showed the church, and the shed structure between it and the Detmold’s building. Most importantly,
I now had a second reference point – No.19, the second from Detmold’s, was the church, and it was
being used by a second-hand auto dealer, Ern Bateup. [See Photo 6 Mud Map].

[Linked Image]
Photo 6 Mud Map
[Linked Image]
Photo 6 Mud Map - detail
[Linked Image]

This was credible evidence (but not conclusive) that suggested Scott Bonnar’s first premises
his little factory, workshop, and secondhand motorcycle showroom – was indeed the 60ft. x 40ft.
stone walled church!

TO BE CONTINUED …

NOTE: all photos come from the State Library of South Australia collections.
For an excellent set of photos of the Duncan and Fraser business click HERE.




#65238 - 25/06/15 08:50 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART SEVEN – A Complication

For completeness, I want to stress that my assertion that Scott Bonnar’s first premises were in
the church building itself is more probable than not, but not conclusive. For one thing, because
Scott was only at this address for fourteen or so months, I only have one Directory (1917) that
shows his location on the church grounds (see Part Five above).

[Linked Image]

The last residential property before the church grounds was occupied by Mrs Goodchild in 1917,
and then by Mrs Dailey in 1922. A lucky find of two photographs from 1922 show No.17. It’s the
tenement or small cottage on the right. You can also see a bit of No.15 as well. Also note Ern
Bateup’s
new, small office in front of the church [Photo 7 on Mud Map]

[Linked Image]
Photo 7 Mud Map

The problem is this: the 1917 Directory suggests that there was a business each side of Scott Bonnar
… meaning there might have been a structure on each side of the church. Also note that Macbey has
changed places in this arrangement. He has moved up to be right next to Detmold’s by 1922.

Fortunately, I have proof in a second 1922 photograph below. Taken from Eliza Street it shows the
arrangement from the rear of the church [Photo 5 on my Mud Map].

It provides evidence that there was a lean-to structure on the R.H church side. Also note the large
structure behind the church. This was part of the church property and was originally the church hall,
directly connecting with the church building. It had Eliza Street frontage and address.

[Linked Image]
Photo 5 Mud Map

The lean-to structure is not shown in the 1923 fire photograph from Part Six. In that photograph
a new shed has been built with Eliza Street frontage. This provides a resolution in the discrepancy
between the two Year Directories I have presented here.

In the next part I will deal with the second question I set myself in Part Five of this series,
that is - detail of Scott’s business activities at Young Street.

TO BE CONTINUED …


#65239 - 25/06/15 09:06 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART EIGHT – Business Activities

There are two things Scott Bonnar was definitely doing at his first premises. It would appear
that he was manufacturing his own “Lightning” green feed cutter for poultry use. He sold the
cutter directly from his premises and no records hint at agencies at this time.

It would appear that the second business was repairing engines and motorcycles as a second hand
motorcycle dealer. I do not know if Scott was undertaking munitions contracts for the Government
at this time. It is highly probable, though, that he was undertaking general engineering business
including brassware manufacture. He advertised in Adelaide’s Advertiser and Mail newspapers.

[Linked Image]

Here is a selection of advertisements from the Young Street address.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

TO BE CONTINUED ...


#65242 - 25/06/15 10:41 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART NINE - The Premises Today

I have placed an “X” on my Mud Map (Part One) that shows the outline of the church.
It’s the raised bit in the roof line. I have read reports that the church was demolished in the
late 1970s – but that’s not totally correct. Here’s my take on its partial demise…

The church survived complete into the 1950s. Holdens were popular …

[Linked Image]

In the 1960s a structure was built in front to meet the footpath line. Essentially, every piece
of available land on the church grounds was built upon. In this 1960s photo one can see the new
structure. Elegant isn’t it? Note that Detmold’s is still in business, but now as Spicers:-

[Linked Image]

The late 1970s was crunch time, and typical of State Governments and local Councils of the period:
destroy old stuff. Despite reports that it was completely demolished, the little church, dating
from the 1850s, did survive! The beautiful gable roof was cut off and the structure was gutted:-

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

TODAY
Today the premises are used as a training and function centre - the IVC.
I guess that's sort of appropriate - a sort of homage to the birthplace of the first Scott Bonnar
business at No.19 Young Street, Adelaide. It's a classy interpretation of the building.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

WEBSITE - Layout & Photos
Click HERE to visit the IVC website for some good pictures of the internal layout.

[Linked Image]



#65246 - 25/06/15 02:11 PM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART TEN - Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

In this final part I set myself the task of finding some sort of explanation as to why Scott Bonnar
only stayed at Young Street for just a year, possibly a year and a half. After a century, we’re not
likely to ever know.

The last advertisement at Young Street was dated Saturday, 7 July, 1917. The first advertisement at
his new address – at Bloor Court – was dated Wednesday, 11 July, 1917. That’s a pretty accurate date
for the move to new premises just one block north of the Young Street address.

Apart from the obvious reasons, I would like to put forward two reasons that I found in the record
trail. The first is straightforward; the second explores ‘the dark side’ of Young Street…

For one thing, the premises were put up for sale in March of 1917. In the advertisement I reproduce
below, we learn a lot about the physicality of the church property. Note that the ‘stone structure’
is the church itself; the slightly larger corrugated iron ‘workshop’ was the original church hall,
which fronted the Eliza Street side of the property. Of particular interest is the suggestion for
purpose – manufacturing or motor garage! That’s what Scott Bonnar had used it for; that’s what Ern
Bateup (and others) would use it for shortly.

[Linked Image]

THE DARK SIDE
The second reason is left-of-field. To put it bluntly, Young Street gained a ‘reputation’ that was
less than savoury for Christian loving Adelaide folk…

Here’s a great 1917 photograph of the east side [taken from the Photo 3 point on my Mud Map]. If Scott
Bonnar walked out the front of his shop, and looked across the street, he would have been facing the
little shop with the awning, and a row of residential tenements. That was Mrs Zschorn’s shop, listed
as “confectioner and cool drinks” in the 1917 Directory.

The stern looking woman at door (with barefoot child) is at No.10. I wonder if she’s the Mrs S. Smith
listed in the Directory? The building just visible on the far left is Publishers Limited, which was
shown in Part Two [Photo 1 of my Mud Map]. Here is Photo 3:-

[Linked Image]
Photo 3 Mud Map

These were working class folk. The thing is, though, in the time Scott Bonnar was in Young Street,
the residents (and their visitors) seemed to be getting in the newspapers way above the normal frequency.

Let me cite a few examples. It was reported in the Daily Herald (7/06/1916) that Frederick Smith (No.10)
received two months’ imprisonment for “using indecent language to his wife in Young Street”. He had six
previous convictions for similar offences. Fred would stay in the papers, for in March of 1918 he would
accuse his wife of inflicting a scalp wound. Of course, this is domestic violence, and it can happen
anywhere – as it also did at No.14, in a shocking case of a wife being abused, assaulted, and then thrown
out in the rain. Not fully dressed, she crawled her way to her aunt’s place.

However, nothing would compare with the scandal that would erupt over 'other behaviours' that would
occur on this side of the street. It would make headlines in all the papers for months ...

TO BE CONTINUED ...


#65256 - 26/06/15 04:49 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
PART ELEVEN - The East-side Story

The BIG SCANDAL involved the keeping of houses of ill-repute … brothels!
Young Street came to be known for all the wrong reasons...

In the Advertiser (28/08/1916) it was reported that No.14 was the culprit household.
In the Register (19/08/1916) it was reported that No.22 was also a culprit (the confectioner
was delivering more candy than sweets). The Advertiser (07/09/1916) reported that No.26 was
also in on the game! These shenanigans and the following court cases made headlines in all
the newspapers of the day and for months ahead.

This titillation of the unwanted kind would not have been helpful to any business in
Young Street. The big businesses (like Publishers and Detmolds) would have been okay;
being wholesalers, they did not reply on public thoroughfare.

For small businesses – like Scott Bonnar’s – it would not have been helpful at all.
It’s one thing to advertise, “S. Bonnar, (next Detmold’s)” in advertisements; it would
be another thing altogether to advertise, “S. Bonnar, (opp. whore houses)”.

Clearly, this would have been a commercially-relevant reason why Scott Bonnar moved premises.
I have no idea what importance this scandal made to his decision to move a block north, but
it would have been significant.

The last photograph (1919) I would like to present shows the east-side just a year or so
after Scott Bonnar moved to Bloor Court. Compare it to the photo above. It nicely, but subtly,
sums up the situation. All the residential properties were demolished!

Clearly, the whore houses really made an impact - and the dark side finally saw light.

[Linked Image]
Photo 3b Mud Map


#65257 - 26/06/15 04:52 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
SIGNIFICANCE

In Adelaide - the city of churches – it is poignant that the very first Scott Bonnar premises
were in a little church in Young Street. In this post series I have presented new and original
research that changes the history – or pre-history - of the Scott Bonnar Company.

I have attempted to show that Scott Bonnar’s world was different to ours – a transitional world
between the age of the horse and carriage, and of the horseless carriage. It was a simpler world
where town planning - in a planned city – still enabled residents and industry to coexist, side
by side.

The word ‘lawnmower’ does not enter the narrative at this time. A young Scott Bonnar was making
a living out of manufacturing and selling his first invention, the patented Lightning feed cutter.
He was also, at least, dabbling in the automotive trade. What other munitions or engineering work
he was doing is simply not known.

Scott Bonnar’s move to Bloor Court in July 1917 is also a significant story, and one still awaiting
its stage appearance in these forums. Needless to say, that story has its own surprises …

The rest is history.
-------------------------------------------------
JACK


#65258 - 26/06/15 05:20 AM Re: MR SCOTT BONNAR's Young Street Premises - c1916-17 [Re: CyberJack]  
CyberJack  Offline
Forum Historian
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,642
Tasmania
[Linked Image]

BLOOR COURT PREMISES
LIGHTNING CUTTER - C1913

[Linked Image]

Would you like to comment on this story?
Simply create a new topic in the Old Soap Box HERE.


Last edited by CyberJack; 24/07/15 01:00 PM. Reason: Added links.


Moderated by  CyberJack 

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