WELCOME TO VIRTUAL YALLOURN - winner of Commendation Award Oct 2015 and Oct 2016 (two years in a row) from Royal Historical Society of Victoria - journey back with us to the old township of Yallourn in Latrobe Valley, Victoria – a unique town built between the 1920s and 1950s by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) to house their workers and then dug up by the same SECV for the coal beneath in the 1980s. This is the only way we can revisit our town with our children and grandchildren.
See the many photos and house plans, navigate around our 3D Town, read information, memories and stories. Most of all, play a part in it with us by adding your own photos and memories and help us name the various people in existing photos - for everyone to share. (To contribute, contact julie@yallourn.org to set up an account.)
Ex-residents, please also take the time to add your family to the map (HERE).
For more information, visit YALLOURN ASSOCIATION at http://www.yallourn.org and please 'Like' our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/yallournassociation.
Special thanks for support given by Latrobe City & Public Records Office Victoria in preserving the history of Yallourn for all to share.

  • 32068



    The following news article, regarding the Annual General Meeting of the Yallourn & District Band, was published in the ‘Morwell Advertiser’ in June 1934 and reported on the highlights, activities and financial situation of the band during that year.

    The Yallourn Band is an absorbing story in the history of the town; and this website and various other texts refer to the importance of the band throughout the six decades of Yallourn’s existence. The origins of the Y&DB are not exactly clear but it is believed that several local workers, with a love of music, contemplated forming a band as early as 1921. The idea took hold and with the patronage of Sir John Monash and recruitment of other enthusiastic musicians the band became a reality, flourished and, in time, gained a reputation as ‘one of the best’ in Victoria.

    While Charles Turner is the most celebrated of all Yallourn bandsmen, the story which is included in this article centres on another of the other great contributors to the musical culture of the town of Yallourn - Mr Bill Fleming.

    Bill Fleming was an extraordinary character and this story highlights his dedicated contribution to the Yallourn music scene and his experiences as a soldier and a POW during WW2.



    Yallourn and District Band.

    At the Annual Meeting held last Tuesday evening, the following office bearers were elected:
    • President: C. Boehm and G. Dickson Brown.
    • Secretary: N. P. Bolger.
    • Asst. Secretary: W. Fleming.
    • Committee representing the public: P. Harry, G. N. Bedford, E. Garret, H. Lynch. J. E. Turvey.
    • Trustees: T. Hill and W. M. McRitchie.
    • Auditors: J. Cullen and T. E. McGowan.
    • V.B.L. Representative: H. A. L. Binder.
    • The Committee representing the bandsmen: A. L. Williams, A. Forbes, R. Gould, P. Cameron and R. C. Wiggins.

    The following report was submitted to the meeting:
    Several changes in the playing personnel of the Band took place but the Band has been able to keep up to full playing strength. Young players are being trained and encouraged, and it is hoped that in the near future most of the vacancies which occur will be filled from the ranks of these young players.

    The services rendered by Mr J. C. Turner as Bandsmaster have been most satisfactory, and he has devoted a great amount of time to the training of the bandsmen. He has kept abreast of the times in providing and teaching suitable musical compositions which have been appreciated during the recitals given by the Band at the rotunda.

    Appreciation of the services rendered by Mr Williams, the Band Sergeant, who has been the principal coach of the young aspirants for positions in the Band, was expressed by the Committee; also to Mr J. Amos, the Drum Major, whose services have contributed in no small manner in bringing the Band up to such a high standard in the drill and marching section. The bandsmen's interests have also been well looked after by Mr H. A. L. Binder, who is the Band's delegate to the Victorian Bands League.

    To the playing members of the Band the public of Yallourn owe a measure of thanks for the self-sacrificing manner in which they have devoted their leisure time to practice in order that they might provide enjoyment for their fellow citizens.

    During the past year the Band has competed in one band contest, which was that held at South Street, Ballarat, where they succeeded in gaining second place. The general opinion of bands men who attended this competition is that the playing of the Yallourn Band reached the highest standard it has ever attained. Several soloists also competed at this contest, but only one succeeded in catching the Judge's eye.
    Early in the year the Band held a local Solo Competition. On the 24th September last the Yallourn Band took part in the Massed Bands performance on the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and created a very fine impression, whilst marching through the streets, and on the ground. Whilst in Melbourne for the Massed Bands Recital, the Band broadcast a programme from Station 3AR, which was commended by the Broadcasting Company, and well received by listeners.

    Later in the year the Band was again ‘on the air’ during a broadcast description of the Commission's workings at Yallourn. In addition to recitals given at the Yallourn rotunda and the Hospital, several performances were given in neighbouring towns within an area extending from Warragul to Bairnsdale.

    For the year ended May 29th, 1934, the finances of the Band were maintained satisfactorily. Receipts from all sources amounted to £307/4/3, whilst expenditure totalled £426/3/11, leaving a debit balance of £118/19/8. The balance sheet as at 29/5/1934, reveals a surplus of assets over liabilities of £404/15/1.

    The members of the social committee were commended on their efforts during the past twelve months. To those members who are actually interested in band affairs it is quite apparent that without the efforts of the social committee the band could not retain the standard which it has attained.

    The committee expressed its appreciation of the services rendered by the honorary auditors, Messrs J. Cullen and H. E. McGowan. The financial success of Band recitals has been facilitated considerably by the Press, to whom the committee extended thanks for publishing programmes and giving publicity to Band affairs generally.

    It has been the desire of the committee to establish a suitable building in which the Band could practice, and the bandsmen could hold their own social functions. With this object in view the General Superintendent was approached about the middle of last year with a complete scheme, together with a suggestion that the material be supplied by the Commission and the labour provided by the bandsmen, but to date no definite reply has been received to this proposal.

    The public of Yallourn were thanked for their continued practical and financial support which at all times has been given generously, and with an earnest desire to elevate the Band to a status worthy of the town.


    William James Fleming was born in Bulwell, a suburb of Nottingham, England in August 1906. He was the son of William James Fleming Sr, a coal miner, and Emma Fleming. Bill had a brother Ted, and sisters Elsie, Nell and Doris, all of whom except Elsie eventually migrated to Australia, settling in Yallourn and surrounds.

    Bill left school in Bulwell at the age of 13 and began work at a colliery in the mines. He learnt to play the cornet at an early age and played with the Hucknall Excelsior Band, a champion band in the English Midlands, and began to develop what was to become a life-long passion for bands and music.

    In 1928 Bill migrated to Australia to join his older brother Ted, and began work in the coal mines at Wonthaggi. They lived in Korumburra and within months he was appointed to the position of bandmaster of the Korumburra Brass Band. They were soon joined by the rest of the family, although sister Elsie married in 1921 and remained in England. In 1929 Bill successfully applied for the position of Assistant Bandmaster in the newly formed Yallourn Band, and moved to Yallourn. He settled into the South Camp, and began work as a labourer before becoming a greaser and fireman at the Yallourn Briquette Factory. Ted soon joined him in Yallourn and worked as a bricklayer with the SEC. Unlike Bill, Ted had no active interest in music but was a talented golfer, winning the Yallourn Golf Club championship in 1935, 1936 and 1937 before suffering a back injury and subsequently leaving Yallourn.

    Bill met Mary Nancarrow who worked in the general store and they married in 1934. They moved to a house in Southway to start their married life, which was to continue until Mary’s passing in 1980.

    Bill continued to work at the Briquette Factory for the rest of his working life, punctuated by his service in WW2. He obtained a position on staff in the Briquette offices as Operations Records Officer in 1948, became a Technical Services Officer in 1959 and continued until the close of the factory in 1971. Although Bill was due for retirement he was employed to work for some months after the factory closure to assist with the personnel dispersion and ultimate closure of the factory. He found working alone in the factory to be quite different and sad in many ways, but was happy to continue his 43 year association for a little longer.


    The background to the formation of the Yallourn Band is not unlike those of the colliery bands in the mining villages of England during the 19th century. From the earliest days of
    Yallourn, the SECV commissioners appreciated the importance of music in the lives of workers and encouraged the formation of a town band with both moral support and direct financial aid for the purchase of instruments. The formation of the Yallourn and District Band was mentioned in an article in ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ in August 2014…
    In Victoria’s southeast, the State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi was the springboard for the Union Band, which merged with the Wonthaggi Town Band in 1935. In 1922, workers at the State Electricity Commission coalmines in the Latrobe Valley formed the Yallourn and District Band. The state utility contributed £400 to help buy instruments and uniforms. ‘The SMH’ August 20th 2014.
    The inaugural Yallourn Band committee meeting was held in November 1925 and the elected office bearers were listed as: F.E. Morton, H.I. Roberts and J. Turvey.

    Bill Fleming’s name was first mentioned in this research sometime in 1929. He was 23 years of age when he took his place in the band. In that period, there were at least five cornet players… Bill Reid, Alf Welfare, Bill Daniels, Frank Schneider and Bill Fleming.

    Bill loved music and joining the band was a natural progression in his life. Not only was Bill an adept and versatile musician but, as shown in the newspaper article above, he was an active member of the band committee from the earliest times.....


    20/07/2017 - 14:15
  • 23480

    1962 Staff vs Prefects Softball Game - end of year
    Marie Gorman, Margaret Waterson, Iris Ortolja, Alice Van Staveren, Susan Wallace and Janice Ipsen. Boys at the back - Peter Gray, Colin Johnston, John McLaren, Tony Hoffman, Stefan Tomasz

    21/07/2017 - 11:10
  • 32057

    Click on the title above and then click the link below the picture to view the full magazine (pdf format).

    20/07/2017 - 13:58
  • 32058

    Back Row: Colin Harvey, Eric McKinstray, Hayden Hutton, John Graham, Graham Harkins, George Fulwood, ? Reid, Ian Terrill, Norman Aldred
    2nd Back Row: Mickey Ross, Ian Smith, Max Pritchett, Paulene White, Ruth Gill, Marj Smith, Margaret Turner, Ian Curtis, Jeff Madden, Norman Foley
    Middle Row: Gloria Knight, Joan Scott, Barb Buller, Bev Jones, Marg Prestidge, Jenifer Grant, Lorraine Douglas, Avril Scanlon, Dawn Doxin, Dot Hansen
    2nd Front Row: Nancy Warren, Audrey Savige, Brenda Metcalf, Elaine Griffiths, Bev Smith, Doreen Kitney, Pam McPhee, Enid Davis, Elaine Broberg, ? , Barbara Bingham
    Front Row: Bill Woods. Ian Stanger, Eric Smith Geoff Mussared, Harold Dawson, Dennis Nunweek, Norman Melbourne, Ian Collins, Stuart Saunders.

    Source: David Grant

    20/07/2017 - 13:57
  • 32067

    Yallourn Brass Band 1929 - names of bandsmen:

    Top row: L. Trengrove, W. Daniels, W. Fleming, J. Smith, K. Shepherd, W. Reed, A. Welfare, F. Schneider, A. Risely(?), E. Sousa, A. Wiggins, J. White
    Front row: K. Smith, J. Arnold, R. Wiggins, R. Douglas, J. Amos, V. McMahon, J. Turvey, P. Cameron, A. O'Brien, R. Gould, G. Roberts, P. Noonan
    Drummers: P. Hyland, W. Kite

    Source: Ian Fleming

    17/07/2017 - 14:47
  • 32066

    Band of the 52nd/37th Battalion, civil defence and home garrison duties

    This band contained many Yallourn Brass Band members, including Charlie Turner, Bill Fleming, Alec Wiggins, Bill Daniel

    17/07/2017 - 14:42
  • 32065

    Yallourn Band at 1951 Carols by Candlelight, Yallourn Theatre

    Charlie Turner conducting, Bill Fleming back left. Alec Wiggins is in front of him and son, Ian, is the blond haired boy standing behind.

    Source: Ian Fleming

    17/07/2017 - 14:33
  • 32010

    L. Hillis ( Yallourn) reaching forward for a low forehand stroke during the country week matches at Kooyong yesterday.

    SOURCE: NLA 205298353 ‘THE AGE’ TUESDAY MAY 4th 1941 PAGE:10

    10/07/2017 - 14:12
  • 23717

    Filmed by Bill and Dot Burns, Soundtrack added by Mike Hamilton.

    07/07/2017 - 10:54
  • 30384

    My Dad seemed to take on many roles but his main job was a teacher at Yallourn High School...Kathy

    01/07/2017 - 16:28