LILYDALE RAILWAY STATION REFRESHMENT ROOMS SOHE 2008
Statement of Significance
Last updated on - October 15, 2003
What is significant?
The provision of refreshment rooms at Victorian railway stations began in the 19th century, when the only way a passenger could get any refreshment on their journey was at purpose built rooms. Refreshment rooms were set up at all major stations, most junctions and some other stations where long stops were necessary for train-watering or other running purposes. There were usually many stops on all main lines, and at least one timetabled stop on most branch lines. The last trains to make refreshment room stops were the Sunday trains to Swan Hill at Bendigo, which ceased in 1983 with the introduction of a buffet car.
The three main types of refreshment rooms were set table rooms, counter meal rooms and tea stalls. Set table rooms were generally operated as licensed dining rooms and were available at large stations and interchanges such as Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Seymour and Warragul. Counter meals, also available at the larger stations, were available at other regional stations, such as Traralgon, Korong Vale, Korumburra, Castlemaine, Echuca, Warrnambool and this example at Lilydale. Counter meals were generally a hot one-course meal with beverages. The last counter meals served at country stations were Ballarat and Seymour, which ceased in 1976.
The Lilydale railway station refreshment room was opened in 1914 as part of the new railway station building. The station was a busy tourist interchange, and a large part of its trade was the day-tripper tourist crowd travelling on to Healesville, and to Warburton, the line for which branched off at Lilydale. The rooms were privately operated until 1919, when Victorian Railways took over the operation. Between 1932 and 1939 only light refreshments were served because of the depression and a downturn in passenger numbers. The rooms included a large cellar, separate bar, and the main refreshment room measuring 55ft by 20ft (about 20m x 7m), with pressed metal dados and platform serving window. Although the counters are now gone, still surviving along one side of the room are the original glass-fronted cabinets installed when the rooms were built. The rooms were operated by a staff of six or seven and adjoining rooms included kitchen, scullery, toilets and living quarters for the manager. The rooms were finally closed in 1978.
How is it significant?
The Lilydale railway station refreshment room is of historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Lilydale railway station refreshment room is historically significant as an intact example of a type of railway infrastructure that was once an everyday experience for train travellers in Victoria. This room is significant as the last remaining refreshment room on the suburban network, and is significant in particular as a reminder of the tourist crowds that travelled to this region by train. This room was for counter meals only, and is in contrast to larger surviving dining rooms at places such as Seymour and Serviceton.
LILYDALE RAILWAY STATION REFRESHMENT ROOMS
Lilydale War Memorial
Former St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Lilydale Court House
Lilydale Pre Federation House Types
Mechanics Institute; Free Library & Athenaeum Theatre (Former)