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Home Page About Us A Photographic History History 1940-1990
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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

recreation once more. Of course very active bushwalkers join in. Some members show interest when they see a walk programmed for their own locality. Now and then, if en route for a walk, we have been invited into their houses for afternoon tea.

Sometimes a Club member or a visitor will contribute to the interest of the walk by telling a bit of local lore or history. One afternoon at South Richmond I was telling the party a story about the locals during the thirties Depression which concerned the road leading into the now decommissioned electrical power house built in the last decade of Queen Victoria's reign. I was saying how I had once read that the poor would be waiting with sacks to pick up briquettes spilled from trucks slewing around the corners of the roughly paved streets. Lloyd Reynolds, a Club member from way back, broke in saying he used to work at the power station and remembered driving in with his boss engineer who, on seeing the gatherers, stopped the car, got out and officiously ordered the poor away, telling them that the briquettes belonged to the power company. As soon as the street was clear, the boss took a bag out of the boot and got Lloyd to help him gather up what had fallen off the back of a truck for himself.

There have been occasions when, passing some residence, the owners have invited us complete strangers in to look over their premises. One lady thought we must have known something of the very old house she had recently bought and wanted our historical appraisal of it. Another lady living in an Urban Conservation Area showed us over her classified Victorian terrace house. Unfortunately, this lady, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, had picked dishonest workmen, leaving her with a sham reconstruction costing thousands of dollars.

On another walk a rather embarrassing, but at the same time humorous incident occurred. One of our members invited a lady friend along. This friend, who had decided at the last moment to attend, remarked that her daughter was living in Sydney and she hadn't seen her for some time. Now this walk led past a large Victorian mansion that had been classified by the Heritage Commission, but that required a good deal of repair. Because it was set in large, leafy grounds we ventured a little way through the open gateway to get a better view of the old place. There appeared a fellow with a girl walking towards us along the driveway. Our lady visitor got a terrible shock. The girl was the daughter who was supposed to be in Sydney, and both of them burst out in an explosion of tears and laughter. It was an incredible one-in-a-million chance meeting! The chap, an artist, had a studio in the house, and he showed us over the mansion. The tenants of the building, he explained, were having to