The Adelaide Fruit & Produce Exchange Co. Ltd
Rundle Street was named after Mr John Rundle, a Director of the South Australia Company and member of the House of Commons, by the Street Naming Committee on 23 May 1837. The street was installed with the first electric street lighting in South Australia in 1895 at the former intersection of Rundle, King William and Hindley streets.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Mr William Charlick, who had founded Charlick Bros. in 1881 (a fruit, potato and grocery business) at the “original” East End Market with his brother, retired from the grocery side of the business to form William Charlick Ltd – wholesale fruit and potato merchants.
Realising that the East End Market (located on the north side of Rundle Street) was again outgrowing its site, he acquired the land between Rundle and Grenfell Streets and began to negotiate with The East End Market Co Ltd to extend their site. However, after protracted discussions, the negotiations failed. Mr Charlick then decided to pursue his idea of building a new modern market on his own land.
Enlisting the support of growers, merchants and the City Council, a Bill was passed in 1903 empowering Mr Charlick to develop a new market, but not exceeding four acres in area, which was to be completed by 1908, with the City Council having the power to take over the market (at its then value) some time in the future. This option was never exercised by the Council.
The Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange Co Ltd was quickly formed with a capital of £40,000, and on the 2nd of May 1904, the new market was opened for business. Various extensions ensued over the next few of years, and by 1910, there were 390 grower’s stands (with provision for their vehicles and teams), 20 large packing stores, 11 small stores, 10 side stores, a refreshment room and a blacksmith.
Nearly four acres had been developed for market purposes at a cost of nearly £52,300 – for land and buildings. The market was described as “the best of its character in Australia – lofty, well ventilated, wide roads, no obstacles, automatically drained, and kept wonderfully clean”. The original Chairman was Mr W. Charlick, with Mr T.H. Brooker as Secretary. The market soon became known as “The New Market”, with the original site across the road (north side) known as “The Old Market”.
The markets traded successfully up until the late 1980’s at which time they were relocated out of the City to the northern suburb of Pooraka. This then created an exceptional and rare opportunity to redevelop the four acre site, bounded by Rundle, Union and Grenfell Streets and East Terrace.
Please refer to the historic PHOTO GALLERY (courtesy of the State Library of South Australia) below to take a memorable walk through time and re-visit what once was. You can simply sit back and let the slideshow run its course or move through the images as you please – either way, enjoy the journey!!!