When true love ruled The Block!
Long before Blockheads arrived, Charming Street was building a romance
There might have been fierce competition on The Block this year, but it wasn’t always that way.
Back in the 1970s when she was growing up in what would become Eliza and Liberty’s House 5, young Leanne Schier met Ian Chudleigh who lived around the corner in the house Kyle and Leslie would one day take over as House 1.
Leanne pictured above grew up in Eliza and Liberty's Block House 5, married Ian also pictured, who grew up in Kyle and Leslie's Block House 1. Leanne and Ian now Grandparents visited their childhood homes at The Block filming this season.
Introduced by their close friend mums Rita and Joyce, they were classmates at the nearby Moorabbin West primary school, then becoming friends, mixing at the various neighbourhood family gatherings organised by the parents on the friendly suburban street.
And as the years passed and the couple grew up, they knew they were destined to be more than just friends from the same street.
Introduced by their close friend mums Rita and Joyce, they were classmates at the nearby Moorabbin West primary school.
By the time they were teenagers, they were girlfriend and boyfriend, then in 1982 they married and now, living just a few kilometers from where it all began, they’re the proud parents of two daughters and grandparents to two granddaughters.
“It was a great place to grow up, we all knew each other and we were always getting
together and having occasional sleepovers in the different houses with our friends,” Leanne Says.
“We would race our billy carts down the streets, play “Pole-to-pole” golf around the block, it was just a lot of fun,” remembers Ian.
In the summer holidays, the neighbourhood kids would get dropped off or ride bikes together to Brighton Beach Baths or Turner Rd Pool, spending the days outside and having fun, said Leanne.
Already well connected to the area – nearby Oswald Thomas street is named after Ian’s grandfather, the man who came up with the idea of naming Charming Street and the nearby Prince Street so the block would have a “Prince Charming” intersection – getting married just seemed perfectly logical.
“Until we married just up the road at St Davids Church, we lived in our family homes in Charming St. It was lovely that all the neighbours came to wave us off from home and wish us well” Leanne said.
As a plumber, Ian has worked in every one of The Block houses and remembers well when the various additions and changes were made through the years.
Watching the latest transformations has been bittersweet, admits Ian’s sister Sue, who visited The Block during construction with her Mum Joyce.
“My Mum was in our house for 45 years and Leanne’s mum was in theirs for 55, they were lifelong friends and we all had connections to others in the area too,” Sue says.
“It’s been interesting watching the houses change - my old bedroom in House 1 is gone and there’s a laundry there now! – but it’s great to know they have been brought back to life so wonderfully and will be family homes again”.
“And Leanne’s and my bedroom is now a guest bathroom!” Leanne’s sister Janine added.
Before and After's of houses 1 & 5 on The Block, and no doubt very different to when Leanne and Ian lived in them in the 1970's as children!
“And hopefully another couple of Charming Street kids will fall in love again!” adds Ian.
Thank you to Leanne and Ian for sharing their story with us, it's so nice hearing about the happy memories they have of Charming Street and we can't wait for new families to make new memories in this special little place!
The Block's Winning House 4 is about to be apart of one of Australia's biggest giveaways!
Steph and Gian pictured with winning bidder and buyer Adrian Portelli on Auction Day 2023. Image via @davidcookphotography
Now, the billionaire bidder has confirmed the home will be given away in a competition.
In a post shared on Adrian's promotions and giveaway platform LMCT+ on Saturday, the announcement read: "FIRE UP AUSTRALIA – IT'S OFFICIAL!
"The first Block house we will be giving away to one of our customers will be Steph & Gian's show winning, house number 4"
"The house will come fully furnished. (Wine, dog food and clothing not included*)."Adrian went on to say.
It's not the first time Adrian has given a house away, as in the 2022 season he did the same when he bought Ankur and Sharon's home post-auction for $4.25 million.
Ankur and Sharon's reserve was $4,080,000, so with a purchase price of $4,250,000 they made a profit of $170,000.
Overall Adrian purchased three homes during the 2023 season, for a cool $12.4 million.
In the very next auction after Steph and Gian's, Adrian nabbed House 5 for himself as well.
Adrian earned himself the nickname of "Mr Lambo" last year, when he arrived at Omar and Oz's 2022 auction in a yellow Lamborghini.
This year, he arrived in a less conspicuous hatchback, which had the sticker "My other car is a Lamborghini" slapped on the back.
Adrian Portelli arriving at The Block 2023 auctions in a less conspicuous hatchback, which had the sticker "My other car is a Lamborghini"
Last year, online speculation queried whether Adrian was a legitimate buyer after he drove up the price of Omar and Oz's home, before eventually losing out to Block auction royalty Danny Wallis.
In 2023, Adrian silenced those critics once and for all.
"[I] proved I'm no dummy bidder, and that was the goal for today," he grinned, immediately after the final auction had been wrapped.
Adrian said he was aware House 4 was the favourite.
"I knew everyone was going to come out pretty strong, so that was just a big statement piece, bidding a million dollars over the last bid," he shared.
Steph took to instagram sayong: The King Of The Block