The Story of Doc Hughes and his Store
This is the story of Carrodoc (“Doc”) Hughes, who ran a General Store, and kiosks in Torquay from the late 1920’s until his death in 1972. CARRODOC LLEWELYN HUGHES was born in Maryborough in Victoria in 1898. CARRODOC had five siblings,
- Margaret Ellen Hughes, (born 1888 in Maryborough, and married in 1916 to Ernest Bedford.)
- William Senore Hughes, (born at Percydale in 1890 married Amy Ivy Baker born 1894)
- Grace Louisa Hughes
- Albert Oscar Hughes
- Ethenie Clara May Bodecia Hughes
It is believed that Louise Howqua born in 1871, related to Pearl, married Harry Harrison in 1908 and at this time they commenced to conduct a grocery business and kiosk at 24 The Esplanade, Torquay until Harry’s death in 1926. Louisa then married again William James Hounslow, sometime later. His parents were James Hounslow born 1868 and Eliza Stranks. It is unknown when Carrodoc actually purchased the grocery store from his Aunt Louisa, however it is thought to have been after Harry died in 1926 and around the time Carrodoc and Pearl were married in 1928
The shop was situated at 24 The Esplanade in Torquay, and easily identified as the site with the single large Norfolk Pine that still stands today, and next to what is now known As Growlers restaurant and Bar. Harry Harrison’s parents were William Harrison and Mary Anne Chamberlain. Harry owned 11 properties in Victoria Crescent/East Esplanade area of St. Albans and held mortgages and contracts of sale over a further 17 properties in that area. Louisa died at Essendon on 31st August 1952. As there were no children from either marriage, after legacies to three church charities her estate valued at over 10,000 pounds went to her nieces, nephews, grandnieces and Grandnephews.
Carrodoc and Pearl ran the grocery store, café, and kiosk across the road from the grocery store on the Front Beach through that time until late 1960’s. It is interesting to hear the stories of Myrle and her brother and Pearl and Doc, running the kiosk across the Esplanade on the Front Beach.
Here Carrodoc’s son John, was a jazz musician, and with Yatey’s band played on weekends. The venue was attended by all of the young people residents and visitors to Torquay during those early years of the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The young Surfers would meet at “Doc Hughes” for coffee at the café, and all the locals attended the dances at the Kiosk.
As well as the music nights, and dances, John ran the kiosk during the day and on the weekend. Community groups met there for their meetings, locals met for coffee.
“Doc” owned the land next door to his shop at no 23 The Esplanade that now has Growlers Restaurant and Bar on it. Rumour has it that the kiosk was relocated to this site, however others have told us that Doc also ran the Kiosk at Cosy Corner, and it was this building that was moved to the current Growlers site. Doc owned the Growlers site which was part of the land in front of the Scammell house which the back is now the front facing Pride Street. Myrle, Doc’s daughter believes it was the kiosk from the front Beach side of the Esplanade that was moved to the Growlers site. Doc also owned from the back of the shop at 24 The Esplanade to Pride Street, and had built holiday cottages at the rear of the shop. Another theory is that the kiosk that was at Cosy corner was moved to where the old Hot Water Depot was in the late 1800 to early 1900’s, just north of the Surf Club sometime in the nineteen fifties or sixties . Terry Wall, son of the late Jim and Phyl Wall, Foundation Members of the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club, remembers buying drinks both at cosy corner from Doc in the fifties and later at Spring Creek from Mumbles. He and others have told us that this was run by Kevin (“Mumbles”) Walker in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and it was a fun place with Calypso music being played all through the summer and frequented by the Surfers visitors and locals alike.
Another theory is that there was many of these kiosks along the beaches of Torquay, just like there were many rotunda’s along the beaches through the early 1900’s. We have a photo donated by the Barrow/Smith Family showing a similar building at Fisherman’s beach.
Doc and Pearl had two children, Myrle born in 1935 and John born in 1938. John died in 1978
Doc died in 1972, he owned many properties around Torquay at the time of his death.
A Young Myrle Hughes met Vic Tantau, a Torquay Surf Life Saver when he came to Torquay to surf. Vic was a well known Champion of the Torquay Surf Club. He and Myrle were married in 1957. Vic and Myrle had two children. Leonie and Sonya.
People in this article: Albert Hughes, Carrodoc Hughes, Charles Gogoll, Doc Hughes, Eliza Stranks, Ethenie Hughes, Fanny Grelleth, Grace Hughes, Harry Harrison, James Hounslow, John Hughes, Kevin “Mumbles” Walker, Leonie Tantau, Louise Howqua, Margaret Hughes, Mary Anne Chamberlain, Myrle Hughes, Ruby Pearl Gogoll, Sonya Tantau, Terry Wall, Vic Tantau, William Harrison, William Hughes