My Photo Gallery
A collection of photographs taken during the period of my childhood. They depict a place almost unrecognizable from the Richmond and City areas we live in today. Because of technology, affluence, population growth and social change, Richmond has changed in ways beyond our imagining.
Photos taken in RICHMOND
A 1950s photograph. The photographer would have been standing out front of the Royal Oak Hotel. The E.S.&A Bank is on the right. On the left of Bridge Road was a string of retail shops, whereas the right side featured numerous service providers and trade shops.
Image of the factory on the Burnley and Palmer Streets corner. It was a lively business with the constant movements of arriving milk tankers and departing ice-cream delivery vans. On one occasion, a serious leak of ammonia from the refrigeration plant tainted the air, causing a panic among residents who scurried about, shutting doors and windows.
There always seemed something open, desolate and unimaginative about this Church Street corner, compared to Bride Road and Swan Street. This was how it appeared in the middle 1950s. Of the traffic signals, the left side features traffic lights, whereas the rotating pointer is on the right side. This was often the case on street corners in those times.
This Coroboree Tree had held great significance to the aboriginal people who had lived in this riverside setting, later to become Burnley Park. Ceremonies, especially at night, would be held by the light of a fire; the aborigines celebrating as to their customs. The tree had been a huge River Gum, a eucalyptus commonly found along river banks.
Photo probably dates from the late 1920s. It shows the Kennon Tannery in River Street, Richmond. The main thoroughfare leading to the bridge is Bridge Road and the long building this side of Bridge Road is the Cable Tram plant. At the upper right side of the photo is former Richmond race track.
Photos near NEWPORT AND WILLIAMSTOWN
My family made numerous trips to Newport to visit my grandmother. The family car would pass D24, then down by the West Melbourne tip, a confronting and unforgettable experience. The sights and smells of rusting ships and machinery at the Maribyrnong River never failed to amaze.
Prior to the construction of the Westgate Bridge, a steam powered punt operated as a vehicular ferry, connecting Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne to a spot close by the coal-fired Newport power station. It used chains to draw itself back and forwards across the river. The endless rattling of the chains produced a unique sound.
These days, the Timeball Tower is without its circular extension. It exists in its original form as the time-keeping semaphore. The purpose was to set an accurate time, mainly for ships and the many ships officers between Williamstown and Melbourne City would watch for the ball to be raised and released at 1pm, the signal for them to set their own onboard chronometers. Once this era had passed, the circular extension was added, and the tower served as a lighthouse at Hobson’s Bay.
In my childhood, the entire structure was painted white.
Photos within the City of MELBOURNE
An aerial view of the zone around Princes Bridge, Melbourne. The photo was probably taken around 1960. It predates the construction of the Hamer Hall, State Theatre and the National Gallery of Victoria. Instead, it shows the triangular expanse of land that was Worth’s Circus and the three fountains that occupy the space now taken by the Hamer Hall. Importantly, the area which is today’s Federation Square is unrecognisable in this image.
In the days when Princess Bridge station was a low-rise structure. Photo most likely taken around 1960. This intersection had to be Melbourne’s busiest and most chaotic crossing.
A Christmas feature within the City of Melbourne was the giant Santa, displayed each year above the awning of the Foy and Gibson’s store on the corner of Swanston and Burke Streets. It was part of Melbourne, like the Myer window Christmas display.
Richmond and my City of Melbourne have changed beyond recognition, much of the change attributable to the waves of new Australians who brought their culture and work ethic to make a better community.