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Kingsville

(3012, 8 km W, Maribyrnong City)

Originally included in the municipality of Footscray in 1859, Kingsville, one of two estates developed in the 1890s by the Werribee Park's Chirnside family on the triangle of land enclosed by Geelong, Williamstown and Somerville roads, was surrendered in 1871 for a 50-year period to Werribee Shire. Queensville estate remains marked by the royalist street names immediately west of Williamstown Road, while Kingsville estate was the remainder of the land to Geelong Road. House building proceeded in the years before World War I, when the Kingsville and Queensville Progress Associations pressed Footscray Council to resume the area from Werribee Shire, but incorporation as West Ward came only in 1922. The construction of Footscray tram lines to Williamstown Road gave settlement and industry a fillip. When the builder Anders Hansen erected hundreds of homes on estates west of Geelong Road, the name Kingsville was extended informally to this area. Kingsville Primary School opened in 1919, and Kingsville Football Club joined the Victorian Junior Football League in 1924. Hansen was still the main builder when development was renewed after the depression and World War II: his name is preserved in Sredna and Nesnah streets, and on the fa├žade of shops he built opposite Tottenham station.

Framed by industry along the Sunshine and Geelong roads, and home to large quarries first opened in the late 19th century, Kingsville had a reputation before the coming of the motor car as a quiet suburban retreat with quality homes in garden settings. The vast Robbs Road quarry became a municipal tip by the 1940s and, when finally filled and improved as Hansen Reserve, this open space complemented the earlier cycle track and football oval on the south. Residents acted to enhance and protect environmental amenity. In the 1980s Joan Davis led the Sunshine and Kingsville Resident Action Groups' successful protest against plans for a steel-recycling mill. Friends of Stony Creek, which runs through Kingsville and Yarraville West, maintain a watchful eye. As a name, Kingsville survives in businesses, the post office, the police station and the school, though there is still much confusion between Kingsville and West Footscray south of the railway.

John Lack