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Whelan a part of Australian history

A Whelan history timeline

Whelan the Wrecker was a family owned and operated Australian demolition company which began in Brunswick, Victoria in 1892 and later based in Port Melbourne.

The Company is well known for its role in the destruction of a number of grand old buildings of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’, many of them along Collins Street’s ‘golden mile’. Led by the Council of the City of Melbourne, this push to demolish much of Melbourne’s Victorian era buildings in favour of new ‘modern’ buildings was strongly motivated by the city’s experience of war. Families welcoming home their loved ones from WWI were invigorated with a renewed sense of national pride and a desire to forget the dark days of war. From the 1920s onwards-clean lines and modern appearances brought about positive feelings of hope for the future and Melbournians were eager for change.

The Company’s work reshaping the city continued post WWII. The ‘Whelan the Wrecker is Here’ sign which could be seen around the city, particularly in their halcyon days of the 1950s and 60s, represented to many a time of great progress and urban renewal.

The Whelan family, while being instrumental in changing the landscape of the Melbourne, has always held an appreciation for heritage, which distinguished them from many other demolition companies. Their work resulted in the demolition but subsequent rescue of the much-loved Skipping Girl sign in Richmond and parts of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Many other pieces have been saved by the Company from sites around Melbourne and made available through a now legendary salvage yard. The Delta Group and Whelan the Warehouse continues this work with their keen eye for reclaiming and rehoming heritage pieces today.

In 1991, as the Company got ready to close it doors, Myles Whelan donated over 170 pieces to the Melbourne Museum. The Bull’s head plaque from the Bull and Mouth Hotel, the custom made cast iron from the Federal Coffee Palace and the Coat of Arms from Melbourne’s Eastern Market are key pieces of the valuable Whelan Collection held at the museum. Brickwork, safety signs, demolition equipment and other relics showcase the work of Melbourne’s most famous demolition company and offer a unique insight into the shaping of the city’s modern backdrop.

The Delta Group offers a number of services along with demolition and deconstruction including recycling, asset recovery and landscaping, and have been involved in major projects around the country since 1974 including work on Darling Harbour and the Sydney Convention Centre. Their ‘never let you down’ definition of integrity has made them Australia’s largest demolition company.

Whelan the Warehouse now benefits from the wealth of experience offered through these two Companies and has unparalleled access to unique salvage pieces, recycled timber and an extensive range of timbers to suit every need.