Description of the Sunshine Harvester Works Gate Houses.
There were two gate houses at Sunshine Harvester Works. The main gate house was at the entrance to the factory located off Devonshire Road and adjacent to the factory offices in Russell Street. This gate was the main entrance and exit for factory staff.
The main gate house was manned 24-hours a day. The gatekeeper was responsible for operating the factory whistle, security and controlling the movement of vehicles and people entering and exiting the premises. In 1955, a weigh bridge was installed at the gate house. The gate house featured a punch-clock for night watchmen to use at set times. The clocks were linked to the Sunshine Fire Station in the event that the night watchman was involved in an incident.
A second gate house was located in Anderson Road at the rear of factory. This gate was used for the receipt of heavy materials and equipment, reclamation of scrap materials and despatching of machines manufactured in the factory.
Usually one person manned each gate house. Known gatekeepers included Reg Barclay and Tom (Scotty) Donald who managed the main gate house from 1930 to 1950. Tom was followed by Charlie Hales who, by 1955, had spent 33 years working for the company. Charlie was succeeded by Jack Davenport who earned himself an unusual nickname. The Victoria Police headquarters in Melbourne was known as D24. Jack was given the nickname 'D23½' due to his close monitoring of employees at the gate house. Former employee Peter Chettle recalls the inspection of workers' bags at the gate house: 'Everytime you went out the gate, if you walked out with your bag closed, they'd want to know what's in it. But if you walked out with it open, no problems, you could walk through'.
- Ray Browne and Ken Porter (former employees at Sunshine Harvester Works), personal recollections held at Museum Victoria, March 2000 and 2002.
- Interview with Peter Chettle by Liza Dale-Hallett, 31 March 2006. Held in H.V McKay Sunshine Collection, Museum Victoria, registration no. HT 33613.1.