Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Carlton North, the more i learn about you, the more i love you

So, on Saturday last i was wheeling through my neighbourhood of Carlton North, i dont know many neighbours and it's not exactly 'da hood', and i spotted some locals, and they were looking very enthuastic.

On closer inspection it turned out to be the local historic society and they were spreading the love, through knowledge and tours, i was all ears, this was the hope i was looking for, and it was pretty much on my doorstep

So yesterday i went on 2 walking tours of Carlton North and the funny thing i learnt was, there are other's other there that share my enthuasim for the area, most of these enthuaists had grey hair, beige clothes, there was no Nirvana t-shirts, but i guess you cant always win and some enthuasim is better than nothing.

What i didn't see
 Some interesting things i learnt on the tours were:
  • Curtain square used to be a blue stone quarry
  • The Lee st school used to be a low security prison, originall built for 60 prisoners, which housed 360 prisoners
  • The Lee St prison later became a Asylum while the Asylum in Arrarat was being built
  • The Lee St, Asylum burns down and they turn it into a school (a prison for small people)
  • The streets around the park on Rathdown st were the first in Australia to have 'traffic easing' measures to protect little people going to school, some didn't like it, it took 3 years for this idea to be copied throughout the land.

  • Back in the 60's, when the car was god, people kept crashing into the front of shop veranda's, the council would be notified and then they would come out and take the veranda's out! Cars were king!
  • Outside restaurant dining was against the law until the 1970's
  • Some of the houses were built next to factories/places of work, that were around the corner, business owners were literally right next door from their business.
Got milk?
  • Every area had a creamery, so the locals could get their billy of milk, some areas had more than one creamery, and as you can imagine, walking in you best Sunday shoes wasn't a good idea, any day.

  • Princess park was a human waste dumping ground, it used to be called 'Smell-bourne', one Colingwood supporter pointed out it got so bad, they put the Carlton football team pitch there, boom!!
Carlton's number 1 supporter
  • When bodies were removed from the Vic Markets ground during it's construction, they were planting the tree line avenue in Royal parade, rather than bring the bodies up to the Melbourne grave yard, they got chucked in the newly dug holes for the tree line avenue
Robert Hoddle
  • One of the early heroes of Melbourne was Robert Hoddle, he wanted Melbourne to look great, he laid out the plan for Carlton, north and South, St Kilda road, Royal parade.
  • Robert Hoddle, left Australia in disgrace after being sacked by the property speculators, they weren't making as much money as they would have liked, he loved this place so much, he came back, with his head between his knees
Robert Hoddle laid out Melbourne's wide streets in 1837

  • Before he got the sack by Melbourne's property speculators, he did lay out the city grid, Carlton, royal parade and St Kilda road among other things, he wanted Melbourne to be beautiful
Rathdown st, cable tram
  • There used to be a tram, on Rathdown st, running down the centre, the building that housed the steam engine that pulled the tram is still at the top of the street
  • Rathdown st used to be an 8 lane highway, to cross the street was to take your life in your hands
Traffic Islands, trees in the middle of the street!
  • It was so bad they had to put traffic islands in as a to break up the crossing
  • There were so many accidents on the Rathdown st highway, tow trucks were parked there waiting for a job
  • Locals were paid to tip off the panel beaters of crashes on Rathdown st and the prospect of work
And bike paths too!!
  • Carlton North has some Californian, Howard Lawson style bungalows, but not developed by Howard Lawson up on Pidgin st.
  • The Avenue on Pidgin st was specified by John Pidgin, palm trees at the side
  • The st that runs up the side of the Cemetery up to Sydney road used to be a goats path
  • Aboriginals have been in Carlton for 40,000 years
  • Aboriginals were run off the land, to make way for sheep
  • If the aboriginals came past boundary road, they were captured and taken far far away north and released there
  • Aboriginals got a good look at how the white prisoners were being treated by their fellow countrymen and took the hint to stay out of the way
  • The road the side of the Cemetery by Princess park that runs up to Sydney road was originally a goats path

I met a guy that told me how himself and his brother used to like squealing the tires of his dads car around the corner from a bookie that was operation in the lane way, beside a pub, if they were taking bets inside the pub, the publican could lose his licence, so after the squealing of tires, the bookies bag was thrown over the fence, he told me it was a wonder he wasn't beaten up

  • People dug for gold in Royal park
  • It was the Unions that saved North Carlton, for a house to be demolished, they first needed to turn off the gas, the unions refused to do so
  • It was intended to build commission flats as per Carlton, the whole way up North Carlton and that would put an end to slum anti social behaviour
  • Some TV personality i think from 'Hey hey its Saturday' bought a house and was told he couldn't paint it, he had to keep the original finish, which wasn't to be painted so he sold it in a fit, much to the relief of local residents
  • When Princess hill was initially being developed,you had to submit the plans for the houses you wanted to build, before you could buy the land the plans had to be approved.
  • Princess hill was considered the bush, some business relocated their workshops there and were built before any of the houses that you can see in the area.
And that's what i learnt on the walking tour's last Sunday.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...