Welcome to FJ Stories

FJ Stories is a collection of stories, anecdotes and images of Warrnambool’s past and ongoing connection to Fletcher Jones - the man, the business and the Pleasant Hill Factory site in Warrnambool. This is the home of the much loved Silver Ball and Fletcher Jones Gardens.  Both were state heritage listed in 2006, along with other parts of the Pleasant Hill site.  

FJ Stories does not aim to tell the comprehensive story of the Fletcher Jones business in Australia, which at its peak encompassed 55 stores, three factories and employed around 3,000 people.  We've focused on Pleasant Hill and the Warrnambool connection.  Fletcher Jones and his business became synonymous with Warrnambool and both played a huge role over several decades in the life and prosperity of the town and the thousands of people who were employed there. We do tell some of the story of the man himself with a focus on what influenced his inspirational business and personal philosophy. But there are more comprehensive accounts of the man and the business.  You will find some links from this website.  

The Pleasant Hill site looked lost after many years of neglect until its purchase by Dean Montgomery in May 2014.  A community campaign to highlight our community’s connection to the FJ Story in Warrnambool started in 2012. Led by artists and community groups, the deterioration of the Pleasant Hill site steadily gained attention as people shared stories, photos, artworks and movies inspired by the FJ story, FJ Gardens and the Silver Ball. A small band of volunteers kept the gardens alive in those years. The FJ Stories project grew from some of what was shared during the community campaign. 

The site is a mixture of history and connecting the past with the present. Below are links to two timelines - one for FJ, (the man and the business) and the other for key moments and events that culminated in the community campaign to Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher's gardens.  

Elsewhere, the stories are organised in themes and sub themes. There are long stories, short stories and you will find some short movies and links to articles, documents and other websites. Some stories appear in more than theme or sub-theme. There are lots of beautiful, contemporary and historical photographs.  Click on the photos in each story to enlarge and hover to get a short description.  

We are very grateful to everyone who has so generously contributed, stories, photos, old newspaper clippings and other documentary memorabilia. Special thanks to the Jones Family for their permission to use so many photographs from the collection put together by son of Fletcher, David Jones.  

The Fletcher Jones site is integral to Warrnambool’s cultural identity.  Warrnambool City Council Heritage Strategy 2011

We welcome your feedback and participation. If you have a story, photo or an anecdote you'd like to share about what made Fletcher Jones, the man and the business special, we'd love to hear from you.  

To the best of our knowledge, the information shared on this website is accurate; though some dates may differ slightly in other versions of the FJ history. We hope you enjoy exploring the site.  The FJ Stories Project won the Victorian Community History Award for best Collaborative Community History Work, 2017. 


Become a Part of the Fletcher Jones Story.

If you would like to share images, stories or anecdotes about Fletcher Jones, the man or the business, please contact the Project Coordinator, Julie Eagles, through this website or contact via the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher’s Gardens Facebook Page.  

We'd also love your feedback about our website and your favourite stories.  You can also let us know if you think we've got anything wrong, misspelt or left out.