Times were propitious for the partners. With Victoria being proclaimed an independent Colony of New South Wales and fresh gold discoveries bringing waves of immigrants, public and private building boomed.
The two principal newspapers published in Melbourne at this time were The Argus and The Age, but the partners’ sales of these journals were not great. The bulk of their business lay in British publications such as The Illustrated London News, The Home News, Lloyd’s, Reynolds Magazines, Dublin"s Weekly Freeman, and the European Mail.
As was to be expected, in a colonial community eager for news from Home, there was strong competition among the various newsagents to offer the issues of latest date, and the arrival of a ship was an event for the whole of Melbourne Town. The first contact with a ship arriving in the Bay was made by the lookout men in the semaphore station. As soon as they could read her signals, a messenger was despatched post haste to the hill still known as the "Flagstaff Gardens" where the flag indicating her Departure Port was hoisted for all to read.
When Gotch saw the red and white flag, indicating the ship was from London, he would rush by hansom cab to Sandridge (Port Melbourne) seize his parcel of papers and magazines and race his rivals back to town.
During 1854 a railway – the first in the Colony – was laid from Melbourne to Sandridge by the Melbourne and Hobson’s Bay Railway Company, and the hansom cab races began to become a memory of days gone past. The partners had achieved a measure of prosperity and in 1856 a move was made to Temple Court, in Collins Street and the growth of Gordon and Gotch began.
Over the next 100 years, Gordon and Gotch survived two world wars, and the Great Depression. The company grew across Australia, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Papua New Guinea.