Our community connection- the past and the present

It’s a dream come true to have an owner who sees heritage and community as positives rather than obstacles. Julie Eagles 

From mid 2014, our community began to celebrate the sympathetic renewal of Warrnambool’s Pleasant Hill, the Silver Ball and Fletcher Jones Gardens.  The site was so neglected and derelict that it looked lost until it’s purchase by Dean Montgomery in May 2014. Almost immediately work began to weather proof and restore the site and this seemingly impossible task continues, with as much of the original buildings as possible being retained!  

A Warrnambool Motor Museum will open in the eastern part of the site in 2017.  The Motor Museum logo features the Silver Ball.  Artist studios and classes continue in part of the building and a new community run 'Outlaw' gallery opened at the end of 2015. The large and interesting range of second hand stalls selling furniture, clothing and bric a brac remain in the western section and there are plans for a reception centre, bar and cafe in the middle section. The gardens are being fully restored and 'open' to the public and the Silver Ball has undergone safety works in anticipation of work to fix corrosion and give the icon a new coat of paint.  

Two history panels were installed on site as part of the FJ Stories Project in 2015 and 2016.  Each are 5mx1.5m and feature photographs, drawings, anecdotes and history timelines telling the story of FJ the man, FJ the business and the history and story of the iconic FJ gardens and Silver Ball.  

Warrnambool is so incredibly lucky.  In our wildest dreams, we couldn't have pictured such a wonderful outcome - an owner who is creating a great new use for the site who also really cares about the history and story of Pleasant Hill and its resonance in our community.  

Participate

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.