Thursday, 12 July 2012

HEARNS HOBBIES, CITY

Hearns Hobbies at 295 Flinders St in the City, established in the 1940s has become one of the best-known and most highly respected hobby houses in the country. During the control line boom years of the 1950s and '60s, Hearns rather than a shop was more like a club, where everyone who was anyone would pop in to meet their friend and have a chat.

During the Great War of 1914-18 a young fellow named John 'Jack/Johnny' Hearn joined the Royal Flying Corps. This was the commencement of a dynasty that has been devoted to aviation - particularly models - for better than 70 years.  Jack Senior had three sons - Jack, born in England in 1920; Keith and Bruce, about two years later and two years apart, both born in Australia.  The earliest record of an interest in modelling is shown in a photo of Jack taken in 1923, holding a wire framed silk covered model aeroplane.  Sadly Keith passed away in 1981, but brothers Jack and Bruce, Jack's son Norman, Keith's son Bruce and Bruce's son Geoffrey are all still actively and enthusiastically involved in aeromodelling.

Hearns Hobbies is still an active and busy model business in Melbourne. It offers for sale Diecast & Pre-Made Models, Kites, Meccano, Model Railways, Plastic Kits, RC Boats, RC Cars, RC Helis, and of course RC Planes. The Hearns brothers have eased themselves out into a more leisurely lifestyle. As Jack recently commented: "In spite of all the problems it is very satisfying to have seen the growth, advancement and sophistication of the aviation model world develop to the standard it is today."

This post is part of Lesley's Signs, Signs meme.




12 comments:

  1. Oh such a nice retro shop and how great that people still want those kinds of toys for their kids (or themselves)...

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  2. It's nice to hear of family businesses like this!
    I have never heard the word palimpsest before but i'm not surprised that you knew it! Thanks so much, Nick.

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  3. This is great, Nick! Thank you! I love it!

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  4. love the kites - so colourful!

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  5. Wonderful evening shots. Love that neon.

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  6. Thanks for the night tour Nick, as I've not been to Melbourne yet. I have already been checking your FFF to be up, am very excited!

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  7. Great nighttime views. Thanks for sharing the history - very interesting. :-)

    My sign is HERE.

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  8. the colorful kites in the window display are beautiful! i like the well-light streets, not scary to walk even at night.:p

    we have a similar store here called Hobbes & Landes--but i don't think they're as old as Hearns Hobbies.:p

    Signs

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  9. I love the blue tinted light
    so pretty in the night
    lovely photos

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  10. It is unusual to see such a going concern still in the family - and with so many interested in the business.

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  11. Love that second shot most... well done!

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