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.
Thomas Dowd (Tailor)
“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)
The following is also extracted from the work of Virginia Noonan for the Nomination to Heritage Victoria – Queen’s Parade Shopping Precinct “The 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.“