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Turnbull Alley

Located between Bourke and Little Bourke streets, Turnbull Alley extends west from Spring Street, forming a dogleg to meet at the rear of the Princess Theatre. It was named pre-1856 and in 1860, was occupied by Robert Hagin's marine store.

Turnbull Alley was home to a number of private residences in the late nineteenth century, while still being used frequently by patrons of the Princess Theatre. In December 1894, property owner A.E. Walker complained to the City of Melbourne on behalf of one tenant, Mrs Cohen and her large family, of the urinal situated opposite this property, built level with the footpath and used by 'fifty or hundred men during the intervals of a performance'. Upon his visit, Assistant Inspector Richard Bullons reported that 'Mrs Cohen's complaint is that the men do not adjust their dress before leaving the urinal'. This was of particular concern to residents as the laneway was so narrow. Bullons recommended that Council write a letter to the Princess Theatre advising that 'a prominent notice be put up, requesting persons to adjust their dress before leaving'.

Biheng Zhang

Sands & McDougall’s commercial and general Melbourne directory, Sands & McDougall, Melbourne, 1935. Details
Bate, Weston, Essential but unplanned: The story of Melbourne's lanes, State Library of Victoria and the City of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1994. Details
Unit 676, no. 4461; VPRS 3181/P000, City of Melbourne Town Clerk's Files Series 1; Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Archives Centre. Details