380 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North

The following information relates to Thomas Dowd and Ashton House, which is the right hand side of the Bristol Building that currently is occupying the site. I have used the google image showing the three buildings from 376-380 Queens Parade because it gives a contrast to the photo directly below which was taken in c.1910.

Yarra Libraries – c.1910 – Three Queen’s Parade shops on the North Fitzroy side, including Kingdom Cycles (which finally ceased trading around 1990), J. H. Cooke, butcher and Thomas J. Dowd and Company, tailors and hatters (in Ashton House). The street is quite crowded with pedestrians, horse-drawn vehicles (including a roofed abattoirs wagon) and one motor car, the last being perhaps the cause of the crowd. The drivers of the horse-drawn vehicles are wearing pith helmets and white jackets. Content of image: Kingdom Cycles ; Cooke, J. H. ; Dowd, Thomas J. ; Queen’s Parade Address: Queen’s Parade streets – queen’s parade

Thomas Dowd (Tailor)

J.H. Cooke, Butcher, 378 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill – Image held by Fitzroy Library. FL 36J J.H. and Sarah Cooke and friends in car, with delivery boys in carts.

“Thomas Dowd, native of Collingwood, founded a tailoring business in Queens Parade in 1907; in 1909 he had new premises built with his name ‘Thom. J. Dowd & Co/Tailors’ moulded in the pediment (no. 402). The business grew
further and moved to Fitzroy in 1929; it survived, thrived and went international in 1938 with Dowd’s brother Arthur and others, as the Hickory Foundation Garment Co.”
(Nomination to Heritage Victoria – Queen’s Parade Shopping Precinct)

Queens Parade, North Fitzroy, c.1920. Source: Coyl, City of Yarra Library, identifier: FL69. Sourced from the Queen’s Parade Nomination to Heritage Victoria

The following is also extracted from the work of Virginia Noonan for the Nomination to Heritage Victoria – Queen’s Parade Shopping PrecinctThe Dowd tailoring and corsetry manufacturing business which grew into the worldwide Hickory Foundation Garment business was established in Queens Parade in 1907. In that year Thomas John Dowd and another tailor named Smith established a tailoring business in rented premises at 380
Queens Parade. Thomas Dowd was born in Collingwood in 1884. In 1908 he married Gertrude Alice Germer, who was born in North Fitzroy in 1891. The Germer family lived in Kneen Street, North Fitzroy. Gertrude’s brother Charles Germer was also a tailor, with a business in Smith Street, Collingwood. In 1909 Dowd purchased 398 Queens Parade, where he erected a new building financed by the Extended Star Bowkett Building Society.

376 (Cycleworks) and 378-382 (Bristol) – Google Image Oct 2016

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