These are some of the identities we use on our Squizzy Taylor School Tour
This tour has assisted hundreds of students over the past five years on our Runner school tour to experience the drama, localities and characters of this outstanding school text by Robert Newton.
Theodore Leslie Taylor 1888-1927
They called me Squizzy Taylor cos I had drooping eyelid making me ‘squint’. My nicknames included ‘The Turk’ and ‘The Artful Dodger’. I was leader of the ‘Bourke Street Rats’ and the Richmond Gang or ‘Push. I was convicted 18 times just because of my hobbies eg murder, race-fixing, illegal gambling, jury fixing, stand over, blackmail, sly grog, cocaine and prostitution. The coppers framed me! They say was killed in a shoot-out in Fitzroy with Snow Cutmore, leader of the Fitzroy ‘push’, in 1927. But that’s not the full story!
I was a real greengrocer in the Eastern Market in the 1920. Mathew Newton reincarnated me to appear in ‘The Runner’ as being stood over by Squizzy who sends Charlie Feehan to pick up the protection money payment. As I told the little runt: ‘And what makes ya think I’d and over my ‘ard-earned ta a pipsqueak like yourself?
I’m a Fitzroy gang member. In 1921 I shot Squizzy on the crowded corner of Bourke and Russell Streets. In October I shot John Thomas ‘Fivo’ Olson in Fitzroy but I was acquitted. Some think I also assassinated Taylor in 1927 at Snowy Cutmore’s house. What a load of old cobblers. I wouldn’t hurt-a fly. Look at my kind face – is that the face of a guilty man?
I was the ‘Two-up King’ of Melbourne’s illegal gambling. Taylor and I were heads of the Bourke Street Rats that had a gang war with the Fitzroy ‘Push’ including Henry ‘Long Harry’ Slater for several months in 1919. I accidentally bumped into Henry Slater in Little Collins Street in May 1919. Naturally, I had to shoot him five times but I was acquitted for self defence. It was so obvious I was innocent. not my fault the gun accidentally went off 5 times.
Henry ‘Long Harry’ Slater
I was a leading member of the Fitzroy gang. We fought a gang war with Henry Stokes and Squizzy Taylor’s Richmond gang for several months in 1919. I accidentally bumped into Henry Stokes in Little Collins Street in May 1919 and he shot me five times. How rude! I survived. Stokes was acquitted for self defence. Go figure that out? If I meet again, he is a dead man walking!
I am a character in The Runner. I won Squizzy’s race and my mate Nostrils came second. All was well until we met Barlow’s gang in Fitzroy Gardens. In real life? Norman ‘Nostrils’ Heath and I were Squizzy apprentices until we became leaders of the sixty-strong Barco Boys Gang who terrorised the Block Arcade 1924-1929 with drug dealing and extortion.
Norman ‘Nostrils’ Heath
I am a character in The Runner. As Charlie’s loyal friend, even after losing a race to him, I assisted him on the sly grog runs (between playing games for Richmond at Yarra Park) until we met Barlow in Fitzroy Gardens. In real life? Charlie Feehan and I were Squizzy apprentices and leaders of the sixty-strong Barco Boys Gang who terrorised the Block Arcade 1924-1929 with drug dealing and extortion.
As leader of the Barlow Gang, I finished Nostrils ambition to be a footballer in the Fitzroy Gardens. Nostrils got lucky on the football field against me but no more! I dumped Feehan on the corner of Spring and Wellington on route but why didn’t those eggs smash? Alice deserves better than him. MYSELF!! Besides I need the cake more than him.
I was the leader of the Fitzroy Gang or ‘Push’. Squizzy and I fell out over the jewellery robbery from Fitzpatrick’s Jewellery store at 39 Collins Street. We shot it out at 50 Barkly Street, Carlton in 1927. That’s the last thing I remember before waking up in a sly grog bar in heaven. Or was it hell?
Knuckles aka Bill Loughnan
Just call me Knuckles. I was Squizzy’s bondsman. When he needed bail to be freed from jail or court I put up the cash to ensure he got out. Where I got it is none of your business unless you want a broken nose or worse. My usual job was with the Builders labourers Union. Don’t mess with me!
Francis Clapp, 1833–1920 – creator of Melbourne’s trams
In 1885 I ran the first tram or cable car in Bourke Street. Before then there were 18,000 horses and I owned 1600 of them. Next year we carried sixteen million passengers! Squizzy’s gang, the Bourke Street Rats travelled to many crimes on my trams. Squizzy ran down and killed Daphne Alcorn stepping from my St Kilda Road tram. He just drove off, the bastard. Could you imagine Melbourne without trams for 130 years? And for 113 of those years, until 1997, there were ‘connies’ collecting fares and punching tickets and shouting ‘TICKETS PLEASE!!. Bring ‘em back I say!
I was a famous dancer who married Squizzy’s wife, Ira ‘Jazz Baby’ Pender shortly after Squizzy was killed. We opened up a dance school at 73 Bourke Street, today the Tuscan Bar, before we divorced. ‘Babe’ really had the moves but you can trust her as far as you can kick her.
John William Hall
I was a taxi driver, hailed by Squizzy Taylor in Lonsdale Street and told to drive to several locations looking for Snowy Cutmore ending at 50 Barkly Street, Carlton. After shots were fired Squizzy staggered out and I drove him to hospital. I took the long way and Squizzy died without paying my fare, the rat!
Edward ‘Ted’ Whiting
My name is Ted Whiting an ex-boxer from the Fitzroy Gang. I was shot six times in the head in Fitzroy by Taylor’s gang in the Fitzroy War in 1919. The newspapers reported that I was only saved by my ‘exceptionally thick skull’.
I was the champion full forward of South Melbourne Football Club. I was getting off a tram when I was hit by a brick truck on the evening before the 1935 Football Grand Final. I blamed Squizzy Taylor for running me down to ‘fix’ the match. I’d forgotten he’d been dead for 7 years.!
The police believed that Taylor and I robbed Arthur Trotter, a salesman from MacRobertson’s chocolate factory, of £200 and shot him in front of his family at his home in Fitzroy in January 1913. I was tried for murder but got off. Taylor got off too. We was innocent, we just dropped by for some chocolate.
I was a salesman from MacRobertson’s chocolate factory. In January 1913 I was robbed of £200 and shot in front of my family at my own home in Fitzroy. The police believed that Squiz Taylor and that bastard ‘Bush’Thompson did it but couldn’t prove it. They are never going to get any chocolate from me for Xmas.
I was a member of the Fitzroy Gang arrested for throwing a bomb at the home of a police detective who was investigating gang shootings and Squizzy’s jewellery robbery at Kilpatricks. I was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. How unfair!
On 8 October 1922, I was the bank-manager who was robbed and shot in the underpass at Glenferrie railway station after I pulled out my pistol. Angus Murray was hung for my murder. Taylor was charged with organising the crime, and helping Murray escape from Pentridge prison. He got off. Perhaps I shouldn’t have carried all that money home each day.
I was a cab driver from the Globe Motor & Taxi Company who was shot by Squizzy after I refused to participate in the hold-up of a bank manager in Bulleen in 1916. There were a dozen witnesses who identified Squizzy but they suddenly ‘lost’ their memory at the trial.
Benjamin Isaiah Taylor
My name is Benjamin Isaiah Taylor, father of Squizzy Taylor. I built horse coaches. I suffered great poverty in the 1893 depression and we had to leave our house and move to the Richmond slums with my wife Rosina and the children when Squizzy was five. I don’t care what people say, Squizzy was a good boy really, except when he was awake.
With Squizzy, I coordinated a lucrative business in jury-rigging. If you were accused of a crime you hired me or Squiz and the witnesses got a visit. Suddenly they seemed to lose their memories or go on distant trips or vanish.
Twelve police cars raided 443 Barkly Street, St Kilda where Ira Pender, Taylor, prison escapee Angas Murray and myself were holed up after I shot and killed a bank manager during a robbery at Glenferrie Station, Thomas Berriman. Angas got himself hung. I went to
I was a Herald reporter who knew Taylor, used the name Theodore Joseph Lestor Taylor. Others used Joseph Leslie Theodore Taylor. Hugh claimed that Taylor had hypnotised the media creating a sensational star out of a petty gangster.
I am Snoopy Tanner, a nasty character modelled on Squizzy Taylor in a famous book by Frank Hardy called Power and Glory. In the novel I am a violent gangster hired by John Wren, a corrupt gambling baron from Richmond.
I was, the biggest gambler in Victoria and ran the famous ‘Richmond tote’. I had police, politician and judges in my pocket. Squizzy did jobs for me. Muriel Starr who ran the Exford Hotel, corner Lt Bourke and Russell Street, was my bag lady. She passed gambling earnings from John West to Squizzy and also delivered it across Australia for crooked businesses.
Daisy Moloney – ‘The Runner’
I am a character in Robert Newton’s novel of Squizzy Taylor called ‘Runner’. I am the street worker but one of the only moral street characters. I advised Charlie Feehan to watch out for those ‘right nutters in the Richmond push’.‘Use that money fer something good, ya hear?
Margaret Dougan – Bilker
I was a notorious ‘bilker’ or pickpocket in the lanes of Melbourne relieving rich men of gold sovereigns. In October 1912 my friends brawled with Squizzy’s gang – the Bourke Street Rats – who ended in QV hospital full of hat pin holes. Newspapers said I was glamorous, attractive, charming, beautifully dressed with expensive jewellery. I changed the colour of my stylish dresses daily to confuse the police and the witnesses. I carried a nickel-plated pistol in my handbag and wore razor sharp hatpins.
Ida ‘Babe’ Pender
I married Squiz in 1924. My nickname was ‘Jazz Baby’, because of my obsession with jazz dancing at the Palais de Danse in St Kilda. Just call me ‘Babe’. I was arrested on the run from shoplifting charges in July 1922 while window shopping in Flinders Street. After Squiz was killed I opened a dance school with dancing champion Micky Powell at today’s Tuscan Bar at 79 Bourke Street.
I was treated at Melbourne Hospital after the shooting of my son Snowy, leader of the Fitzroy who ‘as shot in the bedroom at my house at 50 Barkly Street, Carlton in 1927. There were rumours that I finished off the wounded Squizzy with my pistol as he lay on the floor of my home. Good riddance to the little runt!
I was Squizzy’s girlfriend and helped him rob the Jewellery store at Fitzpatrick at 39 Collins Street. I had a talent for luring men into the back lanes where they were mugged or blackmailed in Little Lonsdale and Bourke Streets. I was sent to a sly-grog joint to test the feeling of the Fitzroy ‘push’ but had all my jewels stolen. Within three weeks, eighteen bullets had been extracted from men who couldn’t ‘remember’ what happened. I starred in a Squizzy film ‘Bound to Win.’
Constance Stone, first doctor 1856 – 1947
Despite opposition I became the first woman doctor in Australia, In fact I inspired my sister, cousin and daughter all to became doctors after me and together we dispensed free treatment to the poor in La Trobe Street in Melbourne. We asked every woman on Victoria to give us one shilling each and with the Shilling Fund we built Australia’s first Women’s Hospital! Go see my building – the Womens Centre at 210 Lonsdale Street.
Alice Cornwall – ‘The Runner’
I am a character in Robert Newton’s novel of Squizzy Taylor called ‘The Runner’. The daughter of a cake shop owner in Fitzroy, I take a shine to Charlie Feehan after a bad start. He is not bad looking which won’t last as he eats a lot of cake!
I was a well-known figure at the Eastern Market where I read people’s fortunes illegally, I sold cosmetic powders (Charlie’s mother included) and practised as a phrenologist i.e reading people’s characters from bumps on their head. I sued newspapers who criticised me, for large amounts of money, and won! Please let me read the lumps on your head for you. Only five quid!
Nellie Stewart, Actress (1858–1931)
My reviews described me as ’a beautiful woman with expressive eyes, a finely tilted mouth and dimpled smile, a talented, considerate and versatile actress’. . Squizzy came to my shows to impress his girlfriends. I was certainly a darling of the Australian public in many plays and films in the Bourke Street theatres. In 1911 I was one of the first performers ever to be filmed when I acted in the hit Australian film: Sweet Nell of Old Drury.
Dame Nellie Melba, Opera Singer (1861–1931)
I was a Prima Donna i.e an opera singer. Squizzy came to my shows to impress his girlfriends. My real name was Helen Porter Mitchell and I was the eldest of ten children. I called myself Melba because I loved Melbourne and Melbourne loved me From 1904 I produced over one hundred records for the new invention of the gramophone. Peach Melba a dessert is named after me – go and eat one, they are definitely delicious
I was a ‘bag’ woman for John West, the biggest gambler in Victoria. He had police and politicians in his pocket and Squizzy worked for him. I ran the Exford hotel, cnr Lt Bourke and Russell Street. I passed gambling earnings from John West to Squizzy and secretly delivered it across Australia for crooked businesses.
Mrs Fred Thorpe.
My darling husband Fred was a Squizzy gang member. When the police raided our house I reluctantly had to give up the fully loaded gun I kept in my silk stocking. Ain’t a girl entitled to any privacy? That gun was just for domestic purposes like killings rats (like the Fitzroy Gang).
Vida Goldstein, Campaigner 1869-1949
I was a Suffragette for the Womens’ movement and proud of it. In 1891 we went from door to door collecting signatures for the ‘Monster Petition’ demanding that women have the right to vote. We got 33,000 signatures. We ran the Peace Commune at RMIT’s Storey Hall in Swanston Street and were very unpopular but a person without principles is nothing! I became the first woman to stand for parliament in the British Empire. Finally in 1908 women in Victoria could vote. A sculpture of my Monster Petition is in Spring Street. Stand up and be counted!
Ma – The Runner
I am a character in Robert Newton’s novel of Squizzy Taylor called ‘The Runner’. The mother of Charlie Feehan and his baby brother Jack, I am widowed and am having hard times in the slums of Richmond. And where the hell is Charlie when I need him. Always running around.
I was the mother of Squizzy Taylor and the wife of Benjamin Taylor the coach builder. We suffered great poverty in the 1893 depression and had to leave our home and move to the slums of Richmond with our children. Squizzy was five. He was not a bad boy really and he bought me home some lovely things. (Or did he steal them I wonder?).
Harriet – ‘The Runner’
I am a character in Robert Newton’s novel of Squizzy Taylor called ‘The Runner’. I am Charlies Feehan’s very annoying and aggressive duck who won’t lay eggs. Actually my name is ‘Harry’.
Mary MacKillop, first Australian Saint 1842-1909
I was born in Brunswick Street not far from the Parliament. As the eldest daughter I looked after my brothers and sisters. Together with Father Julian Woods, I founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in order to run free schools for the poor around Australia including in Little Lonsdale Street in Melbourne. The church kicked me out at one point – they certainly thought I was no saint. In 2010 however the Pope declared me Australia’s first Saint, so there!
Irene Lorna Kelly
Taylor married me at St James’s Congregational Church, Fitzroy, on 19 May 1920. He stashed me in Albert Park at his brother’s home to keep his girlfriend Dolly Grey off the track but Dolly located me and dragged me to see Squizzy. He divorced me 6 May 1924 to marry Ira Pender. Good riddance. Her bad luck, my good luck!
Shopkeeper, Little Lonsdale Street – ‘The Runner’
I am a character in Robert Newton’s novel of Squizzy Taylor called ‘The Runner’. I smack Charlie Feehan in the ear after he practices boxing on my mannequin outside my tailor’s shop in Lonsdale Street:‘Ow missus that hurts! One of Melbourne’s oldest tailor is C. Maimone in Crossley Street.
I was the daughter of Squizzy’s third marriage to Ida Pender. I was very young when my father was shot in 1927 so I never equally knew him. Perhaps he should have stayed home and did more babysitting.
I was a young woman when Squizzy Taylor accidentally ran me over when I was alighting from a tram in St Kilda Road. The coward drove away and denied being there. He got off. I’ll catch up with him on the tram in heaven and shove him off!
I am actress Jacki Weaver, born 1947, who played Dolly Grey, Taylor’s first wife, in the 1982 film ‘Squizzy Taylor’. Squizzy had a film about him ‘Bound to Win.’
I am Australian actress Kim Lewis, born 1963, who played Ida Pender, Taylor’s third wife, in the 1982 film ‘Squizzy Taylor’
Gun Alley Ghost
I was a young girl, Alma Tirshke (12) who died in Gun Alley opposite the Eastern Market in 1921. Squizzy offered a reward to be popular but an innocent man was convicted. I still wander around Melbourne as the Ghost of Gun Alley. Let’s do coffee!
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