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Goldies Roadhouse

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Fast Facts
Address: 30 High Street
Town or Locality: Willunga
Year constructed: 1954-5
Year demolished or re-purposed:
Built by: Hillman (Goldie) and Ruth Goldfinch
Used for: Service Station and Cafe
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Goldies Roadhouse was built by Hillman (Goldie) and Ruth Goldfinch on a block of land purchased from Harry and Evelyn Pope, owners of the general store just down the road at 22 High Street.

The foundations were laid in 1954 and building progressed slowly throughout 1954 and 1955. It was opened by the SA Manager of Shell Co. in September 1955.

Goldie’s Roadhouse sold Shell petrol, provided food in the Café, had a mechanical repairs and servicing workshop, delivered fuel to farms and businesses nearby as Willunga Distributors, and also had a franchise to sell Austin motor vehicles.

It was a family business. Hillman and Ruth Goldfinch's son Jim was the mechanic and son-in-law Fred Hamilton helped Goldie with the fuel delivery. Daughters Jo Goldfinch and Mary Hamilton were also involved - the Café was run by Ruth and daughter Jo (Mrs Josie Cook).

Apart from the Goldfinch family, a number of local people were employed in the business, including Peter Moritz, Reg Hall, Roger Stahl and Tony Liddy who worked as mechanics. Joyleen Mann and Judy Dunn worked in the Café. Dot and Reg Bradley were also employed there.

The main customers at the Café included McLaren Vale Fruit Packers workers and Stock and Station agents who came in for meals. The SA Tourist Bureau brought customers for morning and afternoon teas usually on Wednesdays.

Goldie’s Roadhouse closed in 1961, for health reasons. (Hillman Goldfinch died in 1968, aged 68 years). It was never a Golden Fleece petrol station - the name 'Goldies' was derived from Hillman Goldfinch's nickname of Goldie.

The property was sold to Bill Air from McLaren Flat. The premises were then shared by his Willunga Disposals business and Seacombe Electrical Wholesalers. In 1978 Willunga Disposals expanded into the entire area.

Later occupants include a hairdresser, the Spock Sisters, Funky Finds and the Farmers Market office. Tango Turtle café opened in 2009 in the area originally occupied by Goldie’s Roadhouse Café.

External Links

Sources

  • Willunga National Trust with thanks to the Goldfinch family.
Goldies Roadhouse opening, September 1955
Goldies Roadhouse opening, September 1955
Goldies Roadhouse, Opening Day, Sept 1955
Goldies Roadhouse, Opening Day, Sept 1955
Jo Goldfinch in an Austin 6 about 1958.
Jo Goldfinch in an Austin 6 about 1958.
Goldies Roadhouse 1960s, 30 High Street, Willunga.
Goldies Roadhouse 1960s, 30 High Street, Willunga.


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