HOMES OF DISTINCTION SINCE 1986

Riverdell

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In 1917, Eltham, Victoria was just a small rural village close to the Yarra River. Lidia Jane Bradbury purchased an original Crown allotment from solicitor Robert Lindsay Wingrove. One of her sons, Ron, had a medical practice on Main Road and Brougham Street, Eltham. His two-storey gabled residence was a typical Californian Bungalow, surrounded by a beautiful tree-filled landscape and positioned to capture views to the distant northern ranges.

Fast forward 75 years and in 1992, Gayle and Bryan Cole, of builders B & G Cole, purchased the property and set about making it their own—not only as their residence but an office for their business.

"We have always loved the old original period- style homes and have taken this passion into our profession as builders of reproduction period- style homes. After building two new homes and establishing two new gardens for ourselves, I longed to renovate a property with 'fine old bones' that had established gardens," says Gayle.

"We stumbled on the property that was being auctioned later that day, but could only peer over the paling fence at the front," says Bryan. "We returned to the auction and Gayle found herself bidding, as we had both fallen in love with the property from the moment we walked down the driveway and saw the cherry tree in blossom. It was passed in to us and we purchased it later that evening."

"Through Harry Gilham (of the Eltham Historical Society), we were introduced to Geoff Bradbury, who was then in his 80s and had grown up in the house. He gave us some photos, which prompted Gayle to trace the history of the house."

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