Essendon West

Essendon West is a residential suburb 10 km north-west of central Melbourne. It is bounded in the west and south by Steele Creek and the Maribyrnong River. Its northern neighbour is Niddrie and its eastern neighbours are Essendon and Aberfeldie.

The nearest public transport is the Essendon railway station, about 3 km east. That distance, however, did not dissuade a speculative land subdivision in the late 1880s, with street names inspired by precious stones. Beryl, Ruby and Sapphire Streets are still there, some other names have gone, but most of the land was open paddocks 60 years later.

In the mid-1930s some of the subdivisions on the edge of Essendon West were settled: Hoffmans Road had three poultry and dairy farms and Buckley Street had a few shops on the south (Aberfeldie) side and some adjoining houses. The accepted area of West Essendon was actually closer to Essendon, and the West Essendon progress association (1939) concerned itself with an abandoned sandpit in Bradshaw Street.

House building began in the early postwar years. By 1950 the local State primary school, Aberfeldie, became overcrowded. The progress association concentrated its attention on the Bradshaw Street tip, and in 1957 equipped its community hall with the Olympic Village international cafeteria, next to Bradshaw Reserve.

At about that time St Bernard's Catholic college, Moonee Ponds, bought a paddock in Beryl Street for playing fields. In 1963 it built its senior college there. By then most of the nearby streets with precious-stone names were half or more filled with houses. Niddrie technical school was a short distance away, and at that time the area was considered to be part of Niddrie.

Essendon West was gazetted as a suburb in 1998. It has large public reserves and a lookout point next to the Maribyrnong River. Its census populations have been:

census date population
2001 1340
2006 1363
2011 1398