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22 Bland St, Yarram VIC 3971
MURAL The Scammel Family
LOCATION – 22 Bland Street, Yarram VIC 3971 (Yarram Men’s Shed)
WHY I BECAME INVOLVED “The reason I wanted to contribute this mural to Yarram is simple. Yarram was good to us, good to our kids and I just wanted to give something back. I think it is fitting that it was painted on the Men’s Shed in Yarram and I think Heesco has done a marvellous job. The likenesses are uncanny. ” Margaret Scammell – Widow to Geoff Scammell depicted far right in mural”
THE MURAL DESIGN – “I spent a lot of time with Margaret pouring over old photographs and clippings, trying to get a sense of the men…who they were and how they fitted into the total picture. I made a few mistakes along the way as Cliff and Geoff looked so much a like I got a little confused. We eventually sorted it out. The day before we were due to start, Heesco suggested that we turn this mural into a sepia tone which was a brilliant idea as it adds a real sense of history and nostalgia.” Wayne Tindall – Artist/film maker
ABOUT THE MURAL –In 1920, after the death of his father, Reg Scammell with his mother and three sisters came south from Gardenvale in Melbourne, to try and eke a living from a heartbreak farm in the hills of Blackwarry. This proved to be an impossible venture, so in 1923 Reg went to Melbourne to serve a building apprenticeship with his uncle, Fred Head. After completing his apprenticeship, Reg was involved with construction in Melbourne and regional areas. The Robinvale Railway Station was just one of his early projects.
In 1928 Reg returned to Yarram and commenced constructing houses, shops and out-buildings in town and surrounding districts. In 1931 he married Marjorie Lowe and subsequently made their home in Devon North. Two of his first employees were his father-in-law Bill Lowe and Stan Gooding – Stan being a well-known identity in Yarram as the proprietor of Stan Gooding Holden Motors.
Reg won the contract for the construction of all the Housing Commission houses in the town as well as for those in Toora. Together with construction of private homes and shops, there was no shortage of work in the early years. Reg introduced the “conite” method of construction to the district and many instances of this medium are still prevalent in the area.
Reg and Marjorie had a family of four, George, Geoff Anne, and Cliff. All three sons became part of the family business. George commenced in 1948, Geoff in 1955 and Cliff in 1961. Early on, all cupboards and joinery were constructed on site however in later years Reg – and later George, produced all the joinery in the factory/workshop at the Scammell home in Devon North. In the late seventies Reg retired due to ill health and the business continued with George and Geoff at the helm.
Some of the shops in Yarram – Wynnes Bakery, Les Wynne Drapery, Hastings Chemist, Bill Collins Electrical, the old Library/Comfort Station building and many others, all still hold pride of place in the main street. The Devon North Sunday School Hall, the Woodside Hall and other public venues, all managed to withstand exuberant social activities over the years and are testament to the building expertise of the Scammell gang.
George and Geoff, with long time workmates Joe Dean and Geoff Coulthard, remained with the firm until it was time to hang up the nail bags in the late nineties. The number of homes, shops, halls, fire stations, buildings of all sizes and descriptions in the district, which bear the Scammell stamp, is too numerous to mention.
Depicted in the mural from left to right – Reg Scammell, George Scammell, Cliff Scammell, Joe Dean & Geoff Coulthard (loyal members of the team for many years) & Geoff Scammell.