Windsor

Melbourne’s rag trade, once it moved out of the city proper, never went too far away. In the early days, much of it clustered along the north-south line of Church and Chapel Streets. From the Pelaco factory in Richmond to the dens of many a tailor in South Yarra to the out and out sweatshops that clustered around Greville St, Prahran, all levels were catered for. As the business expanded, it went ever southward until it hit the notional boundary of Dandenong Road. The good people of East St Kilda wanted nothing to do with this disreputable industry.

They were not alone in this desire. In 1868, a South Prahran (as the area was then known) tailor and resident named Charlie Ingliss devised the process that would give the area its name. In seeking an easier to perform alternative to the ‘four in hand knot’, Ingliss eventually came up with the knot he called the Windsor knot (in an example of shameless toadying to the British Royal Family). This knot became phenomenonally popular in Australia, and was carried to the rest of the world by mariners and the those who’d made their fortunes on the goldfields. As such, it gained an association with both authority (via the British Navy) and wealth (via the rich returnees) and went on to become one of the most popular tie knots in the world (King George V of England, for example, would use no other knot, and loved it so much that he changed the name of his family to Windsor in 1917).

Using this modest fame that it had acheived, the area previously known as South Prahran did its best to make its name Windsor, even renaming what was originally called Chapel Street Station to Windsor Station. Ironically, the creation of one of the world’s foremost symbols of formality in the area is today largely forgotten, and in Melbourne, the Windsor end of Chapel Street is considered the more Bohemian end, and the independent tailors such as Charlie Ingliss find their modern equivalents in modern avant garde fashion deisgners and trendily alternative clothing boutiques.

Suburbs near Windsor: