Friday, February 29, 2008


Hands up who in Melbourne knows where Travancore is? Some of you will. Most people would not but they will know where Essendon is. Travancore is a housing estate in the Essendon area and it has, recently I think, become a recognised place in our Melways street directory. (Actually, it was marked as such in my 1993 directory but not my 1978.

In its midst is a tram depot, surrounded by streets such as Bengal Street, Madura Street, Lucknow Street, Delhi Court and Delhi Reserve, Mooltan Street and Mangalore Street.

So where does Travancore fit into the Indian place named streets? It was a Raj time name for the area or state known as Kerala in India. (not geographically precisely correct)

I have seen other spellings of Travancore. Perhaps Travencore, or Travancor, or Travencor. Can't remember now.

There are so many of these estate names being used now in Melbourne, much to glee of real estate agents who point out their exclusiveness and use them to their advantage.

We have lived in two of them although we never used the names. Bennettswood (Burwood) and Summer Hill Estate (Glen Iris).

Just as trivia, our Glen Iris house had a covenant on the title to the effect that we weren't allowed to make bricks on the property. We really had no intention of doing so and sandy loam does not a good brick make.


  1. I'm almost certain that, back in the Peter Davidson era, Dr. Who had an Australian assistant/screaming-usless-sidekick called Teegan Travencor. Could be wrong...but it rings a vague bell.

  2. Yes I know where Travancore is. A colleague from work lives there. Although, they just bought a house in a German suburb by the sea (quite a move from India!) a bit further south.

    Covenants were the topic of a talk back radio show I heard some of a few weeks ago. Apparently there were covenants on many subdivisions in Melbourne's east preventing removal of soil. The reason being to prevent quarrying. I guess your house in Glen Iris was thought to be at the opposite end of the brick production process...

  3. Perhaps you just didn't dig deep enough to hit the rich dark clay.
    Either that or the estate was built on some kind of ancient burial ground they didn't want uncovered.
    That would probably explain all the possessed residents too...

  4. A lovely bit of alliteration Brian.

    German suburb? Scratching my head Ben. There were a few middle suburb quarries so I guess it was an effort to prevent any happening near near housing estates.

    There was clay deeper down Jiminy. I have no idea why there is sandy loam over the top of clay all over the eastern suburbs.

  5. There were quite a large number of small quarries all over Melb, mostly for the bluestone/slate/ and bricks. Just before and during the 1890's depression most were shut down and filled in.

    Sandy loam is usually in/around where there were former rivers/creeks/waterways of some description.

    Sorry Brian,Aussie character twas Tegan Jovanka in Dr Who.

  6. Swampy ground too Jayne? But our house was on a hill. Hang on, there was a natural water course not far away. Put underground at some time.

  7. Jayne,

    Ah...knew it was something like that. One of these days I'm going to have to have those woofers and tweeters sorted out in our telly.

  8. Probably nowt wrong with your sound system Brian. The problem is surely with your national health hearing aid.

  9. The sound system's fine. It's just that three stray dogs and a couple of sparrows have taken up residence next to the cathode ray tube making it difficult to hear any of the programmes.

  10. Interesting. I think they ought to be more creative in their naming of new suburbs and streets. How about Paxameer street? Or Jolloxopopul Park?

  11. Please Reuben, I have enough trouble with Wangeri Way and Birrarung Mar. Paxameer is nice though. Doesn't Pax mean peace in some language?

  12. I nly know where it is because I work with some girls who live there. Ithought it an odd name because a long time ago there was a place I did a stint of psych nursing at and it was called Travencore too...weird hey?

  13. That place rings a bell Cazzie. But now all is explained, you had a stint as a psych nurse, haha.