Seeking photos of Leslies store staff

Surrounded by memorabilia from Leslies store, including a early vacuum cleaner, a cash register and a pricing unit, sisters Brenda Carter and Barbara Johnson check out some early advertisements. Their father Clive Woodland originally worked in Leslie Grocery Store (he later moved to McDowall and Jacksons).

People who have images of staff at Leslies department store in Sale are being invited to share them as part of a museum display.

Sale Historical Society is keen to add staff images to the new Leslie’s display at the Foster Street Museum.

The display showcases the commercial and community contributions of four generations of the Leslie family.

The first to arrive in Gippsland was engineer James Leslie who worked with Philip McArdle and had engineering works on the site which later became the Prince Regent Theatre (now Specsavers).

His son William Durham Leslie is best known for starting W. D. Leslie’s department store in 1886.

He opened near Foster St and gradually moved north in Raymond St until he took over the store of J. Cromie’s Hall of Commerce, where he had worked for about 13 years from his teens.

The store was later run by his sons, including William Coupar, father of the late John Leslie OBE, who also became manager.

The original store closed in 1969 and was sold to Woolworths (later Jewel, Cobb and Co and now U Mart).

A modern store replaced the 1901 extension on the west side of the street (now Harvey Norman).

In 1973 this was phased down to just furniture and furnishings and closed in the mid-1980s, a century after the first store opened.

The Leslies were involved with local government, Kilmany Park Boys Home, Apex, Rotary and many local health, arts and sporting organisations.

The museum is open from 1.30pm to 4pm Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Openings are subject to regulations, QR check in, masks and social distancing.