Erinsborough

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Erinsborough
'Neighbours' location
Neighbours Pinoak Court.jpg
View of Pin Oak Court, the cul-de-sac that doubles for Ramsay Street
Created byReg Watson
GenreSoap opera
Information
TypeSuburb
Notable locationsErinsborough High School
Lassiter's Hotel
Ramsay Street
Notable charactersNeighbours characters

Erinsborough is the fictional suburb in which the Australian soap opera Neighbours is set. The show focuses on the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in the suburb. Neighbours storylines primarily centre on the residents of Ramsay Street and the other locations within Erinsborough such as The Waterhole, Harold's Store, Lassiter's Hotel and Erinsborough High School. Erinsborough was originally going to be named Erinsfield and it is a loose anagram of Neighbours.[1][2] Throughout much of the show's run it was not stated which city of Australia Erinsborough was located in. The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne meant that scripts did not mention that Erinsborough was a suburb of the latter city until 1994.[3] Since the 2000s it has been explicitly stated that Erinsborough is a suburb of Melbourne.[4]

The school and the street were some of the first sets to be seen and used by the characters within the show. The Lassiter's Complex within the town was not featured on-screen until 1986, when Daphne Clarke (Elaine Smith) began working at the Coffee Shop. When other characters began visiting the cafe, they got to know the rest of the complex. Rosemary Daniels (Joy Chambers) used the complex as a base for the Daniels Corporation and a hotel, which used to include a restaurant, a pub and the Lassiter's Lake also began appearing. There are enough different locations for characters to come into contact with each other daily and enough jobs within the complex to ensure that characters will make each other's acquaintances. The Neighbours sets underwent a makeover in 2010 ahead of the 25th anniversary in March 2011. Bulldozers moved into the Lassiter's Complex area to begin work. Many of the sets were revamped and there were some new additions.

Erinsborough High School[edit]

Erinsborough High School has been featured on screen since Neighbours began in 1985.[5] It is a co-educational high school, and in its fictional history, it was opened shortly after the Second World War.[6] Many of the characters have been seen attending or working there over the years.[7] The Blackburn English Language Centre in Burwood East, Victoria, and Coburg High School have both been used for location and exterior shots.[8][9] Kenneth Muir (Roger Boyce) was principal of the school when the series began and Erinsborough High was regularly seen until 1986, when Scott Robinson (Jason Donovan), Charlene Mitchell (Kylie Minogue), Mike Young (Guy Pearce) and Jane Harris (Annie Jones) graduated.[6] The school was not seen again on screen until late 1988.

The set features a corridor, a stairwell, an office and a classroom. Other areas of the school, including the playground and changing rooms, have been featured over the years. In 2010, the layout of the classroom was changed as was the school logo. Neighbours' oldest surviving prop is the school's emblem and motto, which is stuck on the doors leading from the car park to the studios. "Erinsborough High School: Sapienter Si Sincere" means wisdom and success.[10] On-screen, Erinsborough High has faced the threat of closure three times, in 1991, 1997 and 2015,[11] and the school has been merged with both West Waratah Tech and West Waratah High. Erinsborough High's uniform has also been through numerous changes, with the maroon jumper being the most consistent item. A storyline that aired in October 2015 saw a fire destroy part of the school and trap several characters inside.[11]

In May 2011, Erinsborough High came fourth out of four in a poll run by Inside Soap to find reader's favourite fictional school, which they would most like to attend. Erinsborough High received 16% of the vote.[12] Of the school, the Daily Mail's Jaci Stephen commented "Erinsborough High has never exactly been the educational epicentre of Australia".[13]

Erinsborough Hospital[edit]

Erinsborough Hospital is the local accident and emergency hospital. It has seen many of the show's characters pass through its doors over the years.[7] They have been treated for a variety of illnesses including smoke inhalation, burns, heart attacks and kidney disease. Many of the characters have been born or died at the hospital,[7] while a number of regular and recurring characters have worked at the hospital over the years.[14] Over the years various Melbourne hospitals have been used for filming, including Austin Hospital, Dandenong Hospital, Maroondah Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.[15] The exterior of the hospital is the entrance to the Neighbours production office in Nunawading. It has also doubled as a law firm reception and a funeral home.[16] Alan Fletcher, who plays Doctor Karl Kennedy, said it was confusing for visitors and couriers when the studio reception was used for filming hospital scenes.[16] In 2010, the hospital underwent a revamp and a new look reception area was added.[17]

Fitzgerald Motors[edit]

Fitzgerald Motors

Fitzgerald Motors (previously Carpenter's Mechanics) is the local garage, where many of the characters take their cars to be serviced.[7] The garage was first owned by Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver), who bought it in 1997, after deciding to expand his business empire. Lou offers mechanic Ben Atkins (Brett Cousins) a chance to go into partnership with him, but Philip Martin (Ian Rawlings) decides to buy a two percent share of the garage to stop the arguments. After Ben leaves for Sydney, Lou hires mechanic Drew Kirk (Dan Paris). Drew later buys into the garage and is a partner until his death in 2002.[18] Stephanie Scully (Carla Bonner) takes over the business on behalf of Drew's widow, Libby Kennedy (Kym Valentine). When she becomes pregnant, Steph gives Christine Rodd (Trudy Hellier) the manager's job. Janae (Eliza Taylor) and Janelle Timmins (Nell Feeney) then buy the garage from Lou and Libby.

After Janae leaves Erinsborough, the garage is taken over by Lucas Fitzgerald (Scott Major). Elle Robinson (Pippa Black) later buys the garage and Steph returns to work there in 2009.[19] Following Steph's departure, Lucas takes on Chris Pappas (James Mason) as an apprentice. Lucas purchases the garage from Elle and renames it Fitzgerald Motors.[20][21] He sells the business to Danni Ferguson's (Laura McIntosh) mother in 2013, and she employs Mark Brennan (Scott McGregor).[22] His younger brother Tyler (Travis Burns) comes to Erinsborough in 2015 to work at the garage, and shortly after Mark quits to rejoin the police force.[23] Local businessman Dennis Dimato (David Serafin) later purchases the garage.[23] Lucas later purchases the garage back,[24] promotes Tyler to manager and briefly employs Steph upon her return to Erinsborough. Mark is dismissed from the police force and returns to the garage, taking over as manager when Tyler is arrested on a murder charge. Bea Nilsson (Bonnie Anderson) begins an apprenticeship at the garage.

Harold's Cafe[edit]

Harold's Cafe (previously Daphne's, The Hungry Bite, The Holy Roll, The Coffee Shop, The General Store and Harold's Store) is a café and shop. It previously offered dry cleaning and postal services.[7] During 2004, the café was burned down in a fire that also destroyed other businesses in the Lassiter's Complex.[25] When it was rebuilt, a Post Office was included. The production staff worked with the Australia Post to create the store, which was an official registered Post Office.[10] During The Erinsborough Tornado storyline in 2014, Lou Carpenter (Tom Oliver) was trapped in Harold's Store with Susan Kennedy (Jackie Woodburne), who had to perform an emergency tracheotomy on him when he began choking on some food.[26] In 2015, the store is renovated and renamed Harold's Cafe.[citation needed]

When the business was on the verge of being sold in 2009, a reporter for the Daily Mail commented "From Daphne's to Harold's Store, the coffee shop at Lassiter's complex has had many incarnations, but it's always been locally owned. Surely Elle wouldn't stoop so low as to sell it to a chain to help ease her finances? Cue an Erinsborough community protest."[27]

Lassiter's complex[edit]

Lassiter's Lake. The walkway was constructed in 2010, during a revamp of the sets

The Lassiter's complex is a short walk from Ramsay Street and encompasses many of the local amenities, including a hotel, bar, law firm, courtyard and the Lassiter's Lake. Following the cancellation of Holiday Island, the sets were redesigned and turned into the Lassiter's complex and the swimming pool was turned into a lake.[28] The complex exterior was not featured on-screen until 1986, when Daphne Clarke's grandfather, Harry Henderson (Johnny Lockwood), bought her the Coffee Shop.[29] When characters began visiting the cafe, they also started to get to know the rest of the complex.[29] Rosemary Daniels (Joy Chambers) thought the complex would make a good base for the Daniels Corporation and she moved the company into an office there.[29] A hotel, pub and the lake also began appearing.[29] This meant that there was enough different locations for characters to come into contact with each other. There are also enough jobs within the complex to ensure that characters would make each other's acquaintance.[29]

At the end of the 2004 season, Lassiter's was burnt down by returning character Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis). Paul also murders villain, Gus Cleary (Ben Barrack) in the pub.[30] When the stunt team set fire to the set, many of the trees surrounding the area also caught alight.[31] The Herald Sun placed the Lassiter's fire at number five on their list of Neighbours top ten moments.[32] Of the storyline, the paper said "Lassiters, the iconic hub of cafes, pubs and other businesses was for years where everyone met in Erinsborough, including the very famous pub run by Lou Carpenter. But at the end of 2004 producers wanted a massive cliff hanger, so they decided that the whole place would burn down. It was the part of the last major revamp for the soap."[32] Sarah Megginson of SheKnows also added the fire to her list of most memorable Neighbours moments.[30] David Walliams referenced the fire in his 2008 book, The Boy in the Dress.[33] In early 2010, bulldozers moved into the Lassiter's complex lot to the begin work on revamping the sets ahead of the show's 25th anniversary in March 2011.[17][34] The lake was drained and a new walkway was constructed.[17] There were also some new additions, including a new Erinsborough News office.[34]

Lassiter's Hotel[edit]

Lassiter's Hotel. The mezzanine level was added in 2010

Lassiter's Hotel is a local hotel in Erinsborough. It is part of a worldwide chain of hotels in places like Darwin, London, Montana and New York.[7] The hotel's grounds form a courtyard area, known as the Lassiter's Complex, where several independently managed businesses are located. Lassiter's used to have a shopping arcade, which had a bookstore, chemist, clothes shop and gift shop inside.[7] Characters often stay at the hotel, and are seen socialising and working there.[7] Lassiter's was originally owned by Jack Lassiter (Alan Hopgood) when it first began appearing in Neighbours.[18] On behalf of The Daniels Corporation, Rosemary Daniels (Joy Chambers) purchased the hotel in 1987.[18][35] To this day, the Corporation holds a majority share interest in Lassiter's,[35] and Rosemary's nephew Paul Robinson owns a majority share on the hotel.[36]

In early 2010, the hotel was one of the many sets which underwent a makeover. A new black, orange and silver logo was introduced and the courtyard updated. A new mezzanine level, which contains a dining area, was added to the hotel.[34] The mezzanine later became the focal point of Neighbours' 6000th episode and viewers saw Paul pushed from it by an unknown assailant.[37] Real-life applications for jobs at Lassiter's have been sent in from members of the public, including one woman who sent in a full CV applying for a job on reception.[10] In 2013, the top floors of Lassiter's are turned into The Eclipse Apartments and Paul moves into the penthouse apartment.[38] In the "Hotel Death Trap Week" storyline that aired in April 2016, an explosion rips through the hotel, destroying it and causing the deaths of Josh (Harley Bonner) and Doug Willis (Terence Donovan).[39][40]

Ramsay Street[edit]

Ramsay Street is the residential cul-de-sac where many of the characters of Neighbours have lived over the years. The street was named after Jack Ramsay, the grandfather of original character Max Ramsay (Francis Bell).[41] The street has only featured six houses on-screen, and the numbers of the houses go from 22 to 32. Ramsay Street is in fact the end of a long road and the rest of the street's numbers are on the other side of a main road that bisects it.[41] Pin Oak Court, in Vermont South, is the real life cul-de-sac that doubles for Ramsay Street.[42][43] Neighbours has been filmed in Pin Oak Court since the series began in 1985 and it has since become popular with tourists.[44]

Rebecchi Law[edit]

Rebecchi Law (previously Daniels Corporation and Home James Office, Erinsborough Medical Centre, Tim Collins and Associates, Rebecchi Cammeniti, Rebecchi Legal and Rebecchi Kapoor Law) was originally a florist shop when the Lassiter's complex first opened. It is later turned into an office for the Daniels Corporation when they begin managing the hotel. Helen Daniels' (Anne Haddy) chauffeur business Home James also starts operating from there. The office is stopped being used by Lassiter's in 1994. Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher) takes it over and turns it into his medical practice.[18] Four years later physiotherapist Ruth Wilkinson (Ailsa Piper) takes over the over half of the office for her business. Karl leaves in 2006 and his office is taken over by Rosetta Cammeniti (Natalie Saleeba) and then by Charlotte Stone (Rachel Gordon). It then becomes part of the law practice, Tim Collins and Associates.[18]

The company had taken over half of the office in 2004, with lawyer Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) moving in. Rosetta regains the office from Charlotte and she and Toadie remain there until they both quit the firm. They later set up their own company and buy the premises. Rebecca Napier (Jane Hall) and Samantha Fitzgerald (Simone Buchanan) are also employed there. The firm is renamed Rebecchi Legal in 2008 and Toadfish remains the only employee.[7] He later forms a partnership with Ajay Kapoor (Sachin Joab) and the firm is called Rebecchi Kapoor Law.[45] Following Ajay's departure, Toadie runs the offices on his own.[46]

The Waterhole[edit]

Exterior of The Waterhole as it appeared in 2007–2014

The Waterhole (previously Chez Chez, Lou's Place, Scarlet Bar and Charlie's) is a bar and restaurant that has always been a focal point of Neighbours. It has provided many characters with employment.[47] From 1985 to 1994, The Waterhole was the official Lassiter's Hotel bar and was run by Madge Bishop (Anne Charleston).[7][47] A gas leak in the basement caused an explosion, which destroyed the pub and injured Stephen Gottlieb (Lochie Daddo). The Waterhole was rebuilt and purchased by Cheryl Stark (Caroline Gillmer). Cheryl renamed the pub Chez Chez and it became an independent business.[7][47] Lou Carpenter inherited the pub after Cheryl died and he called it Lou's Place. Max Hoyland (Stephen Lovatt) bought into the business in 2002. Two years later Lou's Place was set on fire and burnt to the ground by Paul Robinson. A new bar was then built on the site.[7] Max purchased the pub with his sister Izzy (Natalie Bassingthwaighte) and they turned it into a "groovy wine bar" called Scarlet Bar.[48] Of the new look TV Week said "the vibe is a good deal more hip here than the previous and very traditional watering hole, Lou's Place."[48] An office was also built into the bar.[48]

Izzy later sold her half of the bar to Max and he gave it to Stephanie Scully. Steph revamped the bar in 2007 and named it Charlie's after her son.[49] In late 2008, the bar was brought by Elle Robinson (Pippa Black) and run by Rebecca Robinson (Jane Hall).[50] Many singers and bands performed guest appearances in the bar, including Kate Ceberano and Ben Lee.[51][52] In 2012, it was revealed on screen that Celeste McIntyre (Cassandra Magrath) was managing Charlie's.[53] Celeste hires Kate Ramsay (Ashleigh Brewer) to replace her, while Natasha Williams (Valentina Novakovic) is employed as a barmaid and waitress.[53] A few months later, Paul and Andrew Robinson (Jordan Smith) become the new co-owners of the bar.[54] In 2013, Sheila Canning (Colette Mann) is hired as a barmaid and later becomes the new manager.[55] In 2014, the set underwent a makeover and the bar reverted to its first name, The Waterhole.[49] The bar has "an industrial ambiance using natural timber and patina'd steel". A garden courtyard provides extra light.[49] The revamp was unveiled on-screen later that year.[49] A statement from Neighbours said the name was "a nod to Neighbours' long and colourful history while ensuring the series maintains a contemporary feel."[49]

A writer for Inside Soap thought Chez Chez was an inappropriate name for a pub, saying "If Cheryl Stark's Chez Chez had been a fabulous bar in Paris, then perhaps the dodgy French pun would have worked. But considering it was a run-down pub in Melbourne run by the most gaudily dressed woman in the Southern Hemisphere, it didn't really come off, did it?"[56] On 10 June 2003, Joe Roberts of the Daily Mirror reported soap fans had voted Lou's Place one of the best television pubs of all time, while Toadfish Rebecchi (Ryan Moloney) was voted the best television pub goer.[57] In 2008, the pub was named one of the top ten television pubs and bars by Anna Pickard of The Guardian. She said "Although the Coffee House in Neighbours was arguably more important to the residents of Ramsay Street, Lou's gets included by dint of having the most rubbish name for a TV pub ever. Although it's not called that any more. It's probably called something immeasurably better now like The Place That Serves Beer.[58] In September 2014, a Soap World columnist praised the name change, saying "the rebranding of the pub with the iconic 'Waterhole' moniker has been a great move."[59]

The 82[edit]

The 82 is a bar and diner in a static W-class Melbourne tram.[60][61] The show acquired tram 907 in October 2018, and announced it would form a new set.[61][62] It will not be a working tram, and has been permanently welded down on the show's backlot.[63] On-screen, the tram is delivered to Erinsborough after Karl Kennedy's (Alan Fletcher) sister buys it for him as a gift. He plans for it to become "a point of interest" in a part of the neighbourhood which is undergoing a regeneration. Other characters become involved in the storyline as they help refurbish the tram.[61]

Other locations[edit]

Grease Monkeys
  • The Back Lane Bar is a bar in the city frequented by the younger Ramsay Street residents. In early 2017, Tyler Brennan (Travis Burns) is briefly employed there as a barman.[64] Leo Tanaka (Tim Kano) and Roxy Willis (Zima Anderson) buy the bar in 2019 with Vance Abernethy (Conrad Coleby) also briefly holding a stake in the bar too.[65]
  • Erinsborough Backpackers (also the Men's Shed) was the original home of the Blokes Club, which was set up by Zeke Kinski (Matthew Werkmeister) and Declan Napier (Erin Mullally). In 2017, Leo Tanaka (Tim Kano), with the help of Tim Collins (Ben Anderson), buys the Men's Shed and converts it into the Erinsborough Backpackers hostel. A storyline airing that same year saw David Tanaka (Takaya Honda) and Piper Willis (Mavournee Hazel) injured when a ute crashes into the building.[66]
  • Erinsborough Community Centre is the local community centre, which is formed when the Erinsborough police station is closed.[67]
  • The Erinsborough Police Station is where the Erinsborough Metropolitan Police work.[17] Many characters have been seen at the station, whether it is being arrested for a crime, visiting a friend or defending a client. In 2010, the station set underwent a significant revamp, with a large exterior, several interior rooms and office spaces added.[17] The police station closed in 2012 and the building became the Erinsborough Community Centre.[67] However, a year later, the Victoria Police purchase the Erinsborough News building and created a new Erinsborough Police Station.[68]
  • The Flametree Retreat (also Erins Burrow Motel and Robinsons) is a health and wellbeing centre owned by Stephanie Scully (Carla Bonner) and Lyn Scully (Janet Andrewartha).[69] It was formerly a motel owned by Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) and Steph.[70] The motel also had a restaurant called Flametree.[71]
  • Goodwood Women's Prison is the local female detention centre where prisoners are either remanded awaiting trial or arraigned following sentencing.
  • Grease Monkeys is a fast food restaurant, which many characters have dined in since 1999.[7] The restaurant is located across the street from Carpenter's Mechanics. It was opened by Portia Grant (Sue Ingleton), and later managed by Madge (Anne Charleston) and Harold Bishop (Ian Smith).[18]
  • The Handywoman (also Carpenter's Cars, Erinsborough Motors and Dial-A-Kyle) is an independent builders yard run by Amy Williams (Zoe Cramond).[72] The site was previously used for Lou Carpenter's (Tom Oliver) used car business, Carpenter's Cars, which he opened in 1992 and sold three years later.[73] In 2010, during a revamp of the sets, a used car yard was re-added next to the garage.[17] On-screen, Lou buys the car yard, naming it Erinsborough Motors.[74] He later sells his stock to help pay his debts, but he keeps the land and briefly becomes a silent partner in Kyle Canning's (Chris Milligan) handyman business, which is named Dial-A-Kyle.[75] The storyline was named one the "Top 20 Aussie Soap Moments of 2011" by Channel 5.[75] Kyle later sells the business to Amy, who renames it The Handywoman.[72]
  • Sonya's Nursery (also the Community Gardens) is owned and run by Sonya Mitchell (Eve Morey).[76] Sonya gave up her job as a guide dog trainer to purchase the land, which was once the community gardens, and turn it into a garden nursery. Morey told Inside Soap in 2011 that Sonya just wants to "plant beautiful things and watch them grow."[76]
  • The Power Hour Shed is a gym co-owned by Mishti Sharma (Scarlet Vas) and Aaron Brennan (Matt Wilson).[77][78]
  • Warrinor Prison is the local male detention centre.

Former locations[edit]

Surrounding suburbs[edit]

Reception[edit]

A reporter for the Sunday Mail thought it was safer for the characters to stay in the suburb, commenting, "Whenever any Ramsay Street residents leave the cosy confines of Erinsborough, something bad always happens to them."[95] When Erinsborough was entered into a "Most Liveable Suburb" competition, a Coventry Telegraph reporter scoffed at the idea, saying "Sure, if you can stand the frequent adultery, family feuds, drug abuse, kidnapping, deaths, health scares, hit-and-runs, financial ruin and marital breakdowns, then the sunny climate at least is rather agreeable."[96]

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