The Corner Store: A Dying Icon

The Last Corner Store by Graham Woollard (

Down here in Melbourne I'm watching our Corner Stores disappear. Here in Victoria we call them Milkbars because that's what they provided us with late at night when you found you had no milk in the fridge!! Down to the Milkbar we would go which would stay open half the night for people like me. They also stocked lollies as we call them (confectionary to the rest of the world), bread, newspapers (do we still have them? Paper ones I mean!), soft drinks and a few grocery items. The Corner Stores are dying in their thousands. Locally, ours are being turned into fashionable little cafes that serve smashed advocado on sourdough bread if you get the gist of my implication!

My research into Corner Stores revealed some delightful results. First I discovered this wonderful painting of The Corner Store by Ted Dalton (Credit: Yarra Plenty Regional Library).

The painting above is a view of the old Burgoyne store looking south-east across Main Road, Eltham near the intersection with Bridge Street.

The Corner Store is becoming a thing of the past, but memories from residents of Eltham will be invoked with a painting recently hung at Eltham Library. The Corner Store by Ted Dalton was painted in oil about 1980 and has been identified as the view of the old Burgoyne store looking south-east across Main Road, Eltham near the intersection with Bridge Street.(

The late Ted Dalton was a member of the Diamond Valley Arts Society.

The painting is located on the south wall of the library and together with the local history collection will help to connect our residents to the history of Eltham Township. The Library thanks Mrs Dalton for the donation of the painting and Eltham District Historical Society in facilitating this. (

I also discovered a plethora of paintings created by South Korean artist Me Kyeoung Lee who is also concerned about the disappearing Corner Store.

The paintings by Me Kyeoung Lee are so beautiful I had difficulty choosing which ones to show you so very soon I will dedicate a complete blog to this artist.

She has, in fact, spent the past 20 years documenting these little corner shops, partly because she finds them so beautiful, but also because she wants to capture them before they disappear forever.(Katy Cowan (

To whet your appetite here are three more of her delightful paintings of corner stores in South Korea. If you are keen to follow up immediately on these paintings this is a link to Me Kyeoung Lee's website.

A couple more paintings of corner stores to conclude today's blog.

Stephen Magsig (
John Lovett (

I have very fond memories of my childhood local milk bar run by Mr and Mrs Mac who had unbelievable patience as we chose one lolly from each jar and then changed our minds!!

R.I.P Corner Store- Life will never be the same when you are all gone.