The Clockface type traffic control signal was designed by Charles Marshall in 1936-37 and manufactured by his manufacturing engineering firm Charles Marshall Pty Ltd, of Fitzroy. This type of signal was used at about 35 Melbourne intersections between the late 1930s and the 1960s. The signal has two large discs, each approximately 3-ft (1 metre) in diameter set at right angles at the top of a 15-ft (4.57 metre) high mast with dial faces on either side of each disc designed to face the oncoming traffic on all four roads at a right-angle crossroad intersection. A large white indicator hand or pointer on each the dial face swept through red, yellow and green sectors of the face to indicate stop and go intervals. The prototype Marshalite unit was installed at the intersection of Gertrude Street and Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, in 1937, at the expense of the company with the permission of the Fitzroy City Council. It lasted only a short period before having to be dismantled after falling foul of the law. A Fitzroy councillor who had been booked for driving against the signals contested his fine in court and won on the grounds that the signals were not the property of the Fitzroy Council and therefore were operating without legal jurisdiction and so where ordered to be removed. The Second World War then intervened hampering further development and it was not until 1945 that a second example was installed (with appropriate approvals) on the corner of Johnson and Brunswick Streets, Fitzroy. Over the next 15 years a number of Marshalite signals were installed at main road intersections in Fitzroy, Clifton Hill, Northcote, Coburg, Richmond, Malvern, Camberwell and along the Neapan Highway through Chelsea. Originally the dials on the Marshalite signals had only green and red sectors, with a rotating indicator lamp instead of the pointer, but later an orange or amber sector was later added at the request of the Traffic Police to give motorists approaching the intersection at speed a warning of the impending change from green to red, and a plain white pointer was used instead of the rotating lamp, with the whole dial illuminated by an overhead lamp at night. Contrary to popular misconception, Marshalite signals always operated in conjuction with more conventional traffic lights positioned on each corner of the intersection, which were connected as slave signals controlled by the operation of the master Marshalite signal, which stood on either in the centre of the intersection or on the most prominent corner. Initially these traffic lights had only two lamps showing green and red, with a third amber lamp added when the intermediate colour was also added to the Marshalite dials.


In 2009 a 12-year-old boy was charged with receiving stolen goods after he had been given a Freddo stolen from a shop in Northam near Perth, in a case which Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia, described as a Freddo frog having “held the whole police system up to ridicule”. After missing a court date in connection with the matter, the boy, who had no previous convictions, had been arrested and held for several hours in a police cell. The boy’s lawyer, Peter Collins from the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, suggested that the charges were because the boy was Aboriginal, and that the same action would not have been taken against a “non-Aboriginal kid from an affluent Perth suburb with professional parents”. Northam police denied this, and said the boy had come to their attention in the past. The charges were subsequently dropped, and an order for legal costs of one thousand Australian dollars was made in the boy’s favour. The Freddo itself was not recovered because it had been eaten.



Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read was born on the 17th November 1954. Read was one of Victoria’s more colourful former criminals who wrote a series of semi autobiographical and fictional crime novels. Read was born to a former army father and a mother who was a devout Seventh-day Adventist. He was placed in a children’s home for the first five years of his life. He grew up in the Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood, Thomastown, Fitzroy and Preston. He was bullied at school, claiming that by the age of 15, he had been on the “losing end of several hundred fights” and that his father, usually on his mother’s recommendation, beat him often as a child. Read was made a ward of the state by the age of 14 and was placed in several mental institutions as a teenager, where, he later claimed, he was subjected to electroshock therapy. Read was described variously as witty, charismatic, sadistic and frightening. Read has claimed to be involved in the killing of 19 people and the attempted murder of 11 others. However, many of his associates in the underworld say he is prone to making up numbers to increase his own notoriety and the sales of his books, and Read himself has stated several times he would “never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn”. In an April 2013 interview with the New York Times, Read claimed “Look, honestly, I haven’t killed that many people, probably about four or seven, depending on how you look at it.” Read has stated on many times that the Geelong Gaol was the one Goal he did not want to go back to. Reads cell was on the third level no. 101


ON THIS DAY – January 7, 1913

Early on the morning of the 7th of January a tragedy happen at Fitzroy. The victim was Mr Arthur Trotter, aged 42 years, a commercial traveller employed by Messrs MacRobertson and Co, who was shot by one of two armed burglars and died shortly after his admission to St Vincent’s Hospital. The scene of the outrage was at ‘Harrietville’, 403 George street, Fitzroy, where Mr Trotter resided with his wife and five year old son. ‘Harrietville’, which was built by Mr Trotter about 18 months ago is a six roomed dwelling exceedingly handsome in contrast with its somewhat sombre surroundings. A well cared for garden separates the house from the street. Dr. Cole, the coroner, held an enquiry regarding the death of Arthur Trotter, who was shot by one of two burglars who entered his residence, 403 George street, Fitzroy, on the early morning of January 7th. Harold Thompson, alias Hobbs, against whom a charge of having murdered Arthur Henry Trotter is preferred, was present in custody, and was represented by counsel. Dr. Henry Mollison, said the wound in Trotter’s head had been blackened by powder, and the cause of death was a bullet wound in the brain. The muzzle of the revolver must have been right up against the deceased when it was fired.


On This Day – January 4, 1916

At the Morgue the State Coroner conducted an inquiry into the circumstances, surrounding the death of Vera May Spark, 23 years, single, who was shot dead on this day in January by Raymond Victor Dawson, 25, in the Matter’s house, at 178 George-Street, Fitzroy. Dawson, who was present in custody. According to the story told by Dawson to the police shortly after the occurrence, he went into the kitchen, where Spark was preparing breakfast, he had a revolver in one hand and an alarm clock in the other. Pointing the revolver at her he said jocularly, ‘I will shoot you.’ She replied ‘Go on why, you could not shoot a maggot.’ Dawson repeated that he would shoot her. Spark opened her mouth and said, ‘Shoot that’ Dawson pulled the trigger. There was an immediate explosion. The woman fell back on the sofa, with blood pouring from her mouth. She died in a few minutes. Dawson went to Fitzroy police station and explained the circumstances of the occurrence, saying be did not know the revolver was loaded. The revolver from which the shot was fired has disappeared, and no trace of it can be found.

On this day …….. 27th of December 1902

The strange conduct of the young man Frank Dunnemann, who on the 27th December, at Fitzroy, shot at and wounded a young lady, formed the subject of his trial for attempted murder at the Supreme Court. It will be remembered that the young people met first in Broken Hill, where Miss Elkins was appearing with a variety company, and residing at an hotel kept by the accused mother. Then she went to Adelaide, and accused followed her. She came across to Melbourne in December, pursued still by her ardent lover. She tried to be cool with him, and finally refused to have anything to do with him. She confessed to having written letters couched in loving terms to the accused. One night, while she was returning to her home in Fitzroy, the accused met her in a quiet street, and in the course of an altercation a revolver he was carrying exploded, the bullet striking the young lady on the forehead. The young man was chased by a bystander, whom he shot at, and missed. Then he pointed the revolver at his own head, and, firing twice, inflicted two wounds in the forehead. He was found lying behind a bush, and subsequently near the same spot a letter, signed by the accused, was discovered. It was addressed to Miss Elkins’s mother, and bade ‘farewell to all.’ It was full of curiously misspelt words, and aimed at in forming the world of the accused’s love for ‘his Connie, without whom I cannot live, and so I want to make sure she is dead.’ For the defence it was stated that the accused, who is only 20 years old, was subject to fits, and had been hit on the head some years ago. The plea of impulsive insanity was accordingly put forth. The jury brought in a verdict of wounding with intent to murder, and Judge Hodges recorded a sentence of death, saying that he did not feel justified in passing it.


On this day …….. 25th of December 1937

Charged with the manslaughter of Herbert Scanlon at Fitzroy on Christmas Day Leo Michael Patrick Brooks aged 20 years, grocer, of George street, Fitzroy, was remanded at the Fitzroy Court for seven days. Bail was fixed at £100. Senior detective P T Gooden said that on Christmas night Brooks was involved in an altercation with a young woman in George street, Fitzroy. Scanlon, who was not in the party attempted to intervene and strike Brooks with a bottle. Brooks warded off the blow and knocked Scanlon to the ground. Scanlon struck his head on the pavement. He was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he died the next day. Leo was the father of Judy Moran and grandfather to Jason and Mark Moran.


ON THIS DAY – December 23, 1962


Three youths were committed for trial on a charge of having murdered a 34 year-old mechanic. The mechanic, Raymond Albert Frederick Shannon, 34, of Collins Street, Carlton, died in Royal Melbourne Hospital from injuries which the City Coroner, Mr. Pascoe, said had been maliciously inflicted by the three youths. The youths are Anthony Kevin Joseph Amad, 19, panel beater, of Rathdown Street, Carlton; Keith Albert Collingburn, 20, labourer, of Ross Street, Richmond; and Frederick Thomas Haar, 21, of Tait Street, North Fitzroy. Each was granted bail of £500 with a similar surety of £500 or two of £250. Peacemaker Shannon received his injuries outside a cafe in Flinders Street, City, early on December 23. Mr. Pascoe said he was satisfied that Shannon had played the role of a peacemaker. “They all had the same idea—to beat into submission a man named Albert Frederick Coulter and any other person with him,” he said. “In this case it was the unfortunate man Shannon,’ he added.


ON THIS DAY – December 18, 1945


Leo Clinton Cartledge aged 23, of George Street, Fitzroy, labourer, was charged with the murder of Raymond Theodore Combs, aged 20 an American negro seaman. He was remanded until January 9. Combs’ body was found in the Yarra at Studley Park on December 24. Police allege that his skull was smashed by blows from beer bottles in an argument at a house at Fitzroy on December 18, and that he was later taken in a cab to the Yarra, where the body was thrown in. A pathologist’s report indicated that Combs was still alive when he entered the water. Combs deserted from a U.S. merchant ship in Melbourne on December 17. Motive for the crime, police say, was robbery.

ON THIS DAY – December 15, 1907




At the morgue to-day the City Coroner continued the enquiry into the death of Mrs. Annie Hill, which occurred on December 15. at Fitzroy. In the earlier stage of the enquiry evidence was given by Senior-Constable Lane, who stated that early on the morning of December 15 he heard loud screams coming from deceased’s house. He went in and saw deceased bleeding from the nose and mouth. She complained that William John Dalrymple, who Iived with her, had beaten her. On December 17 witness arrested Dalrymple on a charge of having inflicted grievous bodily harm. Annie Bushell, a married woman, said that on the night of December 15 deceased and a woman named Margaret Boylan quarrelled in Flinders street. Witness went home with Hill and slept with her. Next morning Hill was found lying dead on the bed. The medical evidence was that death was due to compression of the brain, due to laceration of the cerebral artery. The injury was caused within 12 hours of death. Boylan. was arrested, but the Coroner expressed the opinion that the quarrel had nothing to do with, the death of Hill. and the police obtained her discharge. The Coroner to-day found Dalrymple guilty of wilful murder, and he was committed for trial.

On this day …….. 14th of December 192612336200_219965101667959_208935242_n

A meat chopper, knives, a tomahawk, lead piping, and sticks were used as weapons in a fight between two Chinese in Fitzroy, on September 23. The fight ended fatally for one of the Chinese. As a result, Chung Wah Lee, aged 36, stood on trial on this day on a charge of murder. Accused, in his defence, said he had been attacked with a ‘chopper, tomahawk and knife. life ‘was unarmed and his hands were badly cut in defending himself. The other Chinese dropped a knife, and he picked it up to defend himself. After an hour’s retirement, the Jury returned a verdict’ of “Not Guilty,” and the accused was discharged.



The finding of the battered bodies of two women in their home in North Fitzroy yesterday has provided Melbourne police with the greatest murder mystery since the killing of teenager Shirley Collins, three years ago. The dead women were Mrs, Mary Boanas, 82, and her daughter, Mrs. Rose Fisher, 52, of Brunswick st, North Fitzroy. Robbery is believed to be the motive for the killings. Det. Inspector G. Petty, in charge of homicide at Russell Street, said tonight that they had no definite lead in the case. “The crime could have been committed by anyone but it is more likely that someone who knew that the women had a lot of money in the house was responsible,” he said.Mrs. Boanas, an invalid, lived with her daughter in a neat, well-kept two bedroom house in North Fitzroy. Police said the killer missed £1,037 which had been hidden in drawers, but there may have been several thousand pounds taken by him.Detectives were told that women led a life of almost complete detachment from the neighbours and were rarely seen outside the house, The time of the killings been set between 8am, and 8 p.m. on Friday The bodies were not found until 4.30 yesterday noon. Mrs. Boanas’ sister, Mrs. R. Moss, became suspicious when she found a parcel of eggs which had been left on the doorstep by another sister on Friday. After letting herself in, Mrs. Moss found Mrs. Boanas dead in a bed in her ground floor bedroom. There was a severe wound behind Mrs, Boanas’ left ear. There were no signs of a struggle. The body of Mrs. Fisher was found face down on the floor of the kitchen, with severe head wounds. Police believe the killer had crept up on her, as there were no signs of a struggle. The murder weapon has not been found, but it is believed to be a blunt instrument, such as a wrench. The two women had lived for many years in Peking (China) but came to Australia after the Japanese attack in 1936. Mrs. Fisher’s husband, a proprietor of a newspaper, stayed there and was killed. Police do not think the killings had any association with their life in China. It is thought that the women distrusted banks, and that this was the reason for the large sum of money being hidden in the house.