202-208 Little Page Street
The building at 202-208 Little Page St. Middle Park, has had a long and varied history. It was first listed in Sands and McDougall's Directory in 1926, as ‘factory being built’. In 1927, the factory was occupied by Wyeth, Besemeres and Co. button manufacturers. This entry appears to refer to two owners Campbell Wyeth and a Mr. Besemeres.
In an alphabetical list of residents for 1926 the only Besemeres in Victoria is a Besemere F. auctioneer at 46 Lydiard St., Ballarat. However iin 1927 there is a Basil Besemeres, at 2a Wave St., Elsternwick, who could possibly be the partner in the button factory. The name Besemeres does not occur again, and in 1928, the sole occupant was Calvin Wyeth, button maker. In 1929 Calvin Wyeth, owner of the button factory, is joined by The Atlas Seal Factory Co. Pty Ltd. bottle tops and seal manufacturers and The Milkap Co., bottle wad manufacturers.
Chris Hawkins who lived nearby at this time, remembers the “Milkap” sign on the building. Reg Boyd who grew up in West St. Kilda in the 30’s, described his childhood with his brother: “We would play in the tips in Albert Park and our best find was thousands of unused cardboard bottle tops,which we used to flick like miniature frisbees”. This suggests the change to aluminium foil caps in the 1940’s.
In 1935 The Australian Seal Co. Pty. Ltd .making crown seals at 48 Little Page St. is the only listing, and the business appears to remain there until 1954, though the name in 1950 became Australian Crown Seals Pty. Ltd.
It seems that the building may have been empty for a period at this time but in 1958 the new owners were Rogers, Seller, & Myhill Pty. Ltd.(storage). In 1970 new owners were listed : Coynes Transport Service P/L, and Argus Storage P/L, and by 1974 these two firms were joined by Hannan,G. & Sons,P/L, furniture removers.
In 1985 the architectural firm of Cocks and Carmichael were the owners of 202 Little Page St. In 1995 the firm was listed as Cocks, Carmichael, Whitford P/L. In 1999 the building was bought by a private owner and converted the warehouse building into a residence with garden courtyard plus architect’s offices. In 2015 the owner split the building into two residences.
Thanks to Members: Rosemary Goad and Diana Phoenix