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Garage remains rise during build

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May 01, 2018

The two large metal tanks on the work site at Shepparton’s Law Courts.

Watson and McCabe’s garage on Wyndham and High streets operated for nearly 40 years. Picture supplied by Shepparton Heritage Centre

Petrol bowsers at the High St entrance of the garage. Picture supplied by Shepparton Heritage Centre

Two large metal tanks hauled from the ground during work on the entrance to Shepparton’s new law courts were probably petrol tanks from the old Watson and McCabe garage which occupied the High St site for nearly 40 years.

The tanks were found underground last week at the new $73million building’s northern entrance, currently under construction.

Tatura’s Peter Fowler, who spent five years at the garage as an apprentice mechanic during the 1960s, said the High St entrance had two petrol bowsers out the front.

‘‘The car sales area was around the corner on Wyndham St, while the service entrance was on High St,’’ Mr Fowler said.

‘‘It was a big affair at the time — there were 20 to 25 mechanics working there.’’

Barbara Harrington (nee Watson), niece of Fred Watson, said her uncle opened the garage when he retired from the police force after World War II.

Mr Watson ran the business with partner Albert McCabe for many years.

Watson and McCabe operated until the early 1980s when it was demolished to make way for the magistrates’ court.

A Court Services Victoria spokesperson said a hazardous materials consultant has been engaged to take samples of the area for testing.

The new building, which involved demolishing the 1980s-built courthouse, includes the construction of a new landscaped forecourt on High St and refurbishment of the 1930s courthouse, scheduled for completion in October.

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