A Walk in South Arm History with Maurice – Part 2

South Arm historian, Maurice Potter, continues his walk in history.

Part 1 took us from Goats Bluff to the South Arm Store and today he's taking us for a further wander back in time and along the road, filling in some background as we go. See if you can visualise South Arm back then...


I begin with the history of the South Arm store, built by Mr. Ardy Griffiths in 1914. Looking at the store as it stands today, try to visualise how it was set back from what is there now. Remove the post office, the bus shelter, the store room and the petrol bowsers which weren’t there until around 1935 .

The home was built by Mr Griffiths who didn’t ever run the store. It was passed to his son-in-law, Bill Richie, who also operated a small shop selling hot water and ice cream near the track onto the Halfmoon Bay beach.

It was later sold to Mr & Mrs Sargent, who then sold it to Mr William (Bill) Pitt around 1937. The next new owner was Mr Bart Hughes and in 1944 alterations to the front of the store took place, with the small area for the Post Office and the wall and original window moved to the position that we see today.

Since that early period, it has had several owners – Mr. Woods around 1946 then Rex Calvert for a short time then Mr & Mrs J. Parkinson who had it the longest, around 20 years. After that came Mr. Jackson, Mr. Harmon, Mr. Dillon, Mr. P. Calvert, Mr. B. Grubb, Mr. J. Cini, Mr. Walker, Mr. G. Coburn, Mr. P. Purdon, Mr. N. Broadby, Tony and Ann Beattie and today Jacqui and Mark Stevens.

Opposite the local store the land was still being farmed by the Alomes family and it didn’t change hands until 1948, when small allotments where developed. The next land under development was by Mr Robert Calvert, selling the two allotments below the store. The first became what is known as Oceania and the second called Atlanta, also known as Lloyd’s Corner, later removed allowing for new road development.

The Cenotaph was built in 1952-56. As we walk around the and past the Cenotaph the home set back on the right was then the home of Mr Alfred and Lena Calvert. On the left side we can see the remains of the early shack of Mr Withington which they used for holidays in 1920-40.

Walking on we find on the right one of the oldest holiday cottages in the area called The Bungalow. It was built by Will Watson, brother of John Edwin Watson. John and Amelia (nee Alomes) Watson  lived at 'York Grove', Sandford. Their sister Elizabeth married John Gibbs Tolman (Hobart businessman and of Tolman's Hill fame) then their son Charles bought the cottage from his uncle Will. Charles' children Jack and Olivia spent many summer holidays at The Bungalow, often with a school friend in tow - one Errol Flynn!

On the left opposite The Bungalow was a large block which also belonged to the Tolmans which was covered with very large pine trees, some remain.

As we walk further in these early days, we could see the small homes surrounded mostly by fruit trees as these were the homes of the people who had lived in South Arm for many years.

On the right we see the home of Audrey and Ted Gorringe, set back on what was 10 acres of orchard. On the left was a small cottage which remains today, occupied by relatives of the original family owners. Next to that was the home of Mr. Perce Hook who for years was the organist at St Barnabas Church.

Opposite was the home of Mrs Venetia Musk, set well back from the road and surrounded by lots of fruit trees. Her home was on a much higher level than the road as the area below would flood during the winter months - she even had a small bridge built to cross to reach the road!

After that it was large areas of bushland with the odd farmer’s home set amongst the trees.


This brings me to end of our walk in history and I trust that it has provided some entertainment.

Maurice Potter


Photos: South Arm store, South Arm Cenotaph, The Bungalow

Bungalow family information: thanks to Michael Topfer

South Arm Store
South Arm Cenotaph
South Arm Cenotaph
The Bungalow, South Arm
The Bungalow, South Arm