History articles

“Youth and Beauty meet at River Festival”

“Youth and Beauty meet at River Festival”

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria So ran the headline in The Herald newspaper, reporting on a day when the Yarra River was “aglow with colour and life”.  It was Derby Day, Saturday, October 30, 1920. The world had begun to emerge from the sombre years of World War One followed

Singing their songs at the Central Telegraph Office, Elizabeth St, early 1920s

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria You see before you a group of telegraph dispatch operators at the Central Telegraph Office at Elizabeth St, taken in the early 1920s before its removal to Post Office Place.  These highly skilled clerks were responsible for the telegraphs that sang their songs (apologies to

St Francis – a church among the gum trees

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria There isn’t a sheep (or two), nor is there a kangaroo in this image, but there are gum trees and plenty of other shrubs and trees! These remind us that there was a time when central Melbourne had not been completely stripped of its “forest

Bourke St at the turn of the 20th century

By Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria This sweeping view up Bourke St was taken from the General Post Office (GPO) Tower around the turn of the 20th century and is one of the many images that capture the changing face of the CBD in the Royal Historical Society’s collection. The photographer, Henry

An early Melbourne home in Bourke St west

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria Dilapidated, abandoned and unfit for human habitation, this decaying single-storeyed building was photographed in August 1915 just prior to its demolition.  Located in Bourke St west not far from the corner of William St, it was one of the few buildings left standing from the

Jungle atmosphere in the heart of Melbourne

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria When I first saw this atmospheric image of the Old National Herbarium at Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens, I was taken back to a time in the 1970s when I was fortunate enough to visit the ancient city of Palenque on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early one morning

The parade that almost didn’t happen

By Dr Cheryl Griffin – Royal Historical Society of Victoria To celebrate Victoria’s centenary in 1934, well-known philanthropist, businessman and he of Cherry Ripe fame, Sir Macpherson Robertson, sponsored a trail-blazing air race from Mildenhall RAF Base in East Anglia to Melbourne.  It was promoted as “The World’s Greatest Air Race” and there was plenty

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