John Anderson, a Geelong accountant, purchased the land at the first land sales in 1886. Two years later John had sold the property to Edward Fischer, a Geelong jeweller, after which Fischer Street Torquay is named. That same year, 1888, Edward built his four roomed house on Rudd Avenue. He owned the house until 1897 when he sold the house to Harriet Hornsey.
Springside sadly no longer exists but surely no house in Torquay has more stories to tell or is more a part of our folklore than Springside.Published with permission Photographer John Witzig
circa 1970 Greg Hill (Fledge), Greg Alla (Pup), John Robinson (Boong), Chris Young, Charlie Bartlett (flashing the peace signs) and ‘Little Charlie’ Irving. The dog’s name was Rodney.
Springside was a superb century old house sheltering in the trees at 7 Rudd Avenue, just a hundred metres from the pub and it became a mecca for wandering surfer’s, artist’s musicians and assorted creative souls in Torquay in 1969.
The sixties brought great change to Torquay. The Olympic carnival of 1956 brought a plethora of new ideas and new equipment. The many surfers who were there quickly to snapped up some of these ideas and found ways to replicate the new shorter, faster boards here at home. Surfing at Torquay had a life of its own. By1967 the short board revolution had created a massive change in surfboard design and surfing experimentation creating a bigger division between the traditional surf club member and the new wave of free spirited surfers.
With the birth of Ripcurl in 1969 and Quiksilver in 1970 Torquay became the centre of surfing in the State if not the nation. People began to make a lifestyle for themselves that involved making a living in town and finding time to surf as much as possible and in some ways there was a certain animosity between the surfers and the townsfolk. The surfers arrived and stuck together and Springside in the late 60’s had a floating population attracted by the environment and the surf.
The two-year period from 1969 until 1971 including the period of the world titles in may 1970 is considered by many to have been a high point in Torquay history. During this time Springside became a centre for people to come and stay. Simon Buttonshaw in “Sea Waves” 1978 says “a lot of people used to come and stay from Melbourne. Usually fairly creative people who were attracted by the atmosphere of the place, there was always a collective people situation made up of individuals who were different. and for them surfing was almost a total expression of what we were going through.”
Sadly for Springside this “nirvana” was not to last for in 1972 Springside was burnt to the ground and the residents were forced to move on. But it remains etched very clearly in the memories of those who had the pleasure to live there or sit under the trees listening to music or be a part of the party that life was there.