Month: October 2014

Architecture and peanut butter

Leaving Tottenham behind us, we head north up Ashley Street, making our way between warehouses, storage places, supermarkets, smash repair shops and quiet residential streets until we arrive at Ballarat Road. Here we reach the site of one of Melbourne’s best examples of modern architecture, the ETA peanut butter factory, designed by Frederick Romberg. This building, long neglected, has now been partially reconstructed. Continue reading

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A peek inside The Grand Theatre, Footscray

A few weeks ago I walked past the exterior of the old Grand Theatre in Paisley Street and wondered what it looked like inside. Thanks to a reader, Cr Nam Quach, I was introduced to the owner, Footscray businessman Peter Ki, who kindly allowed me inside for a look around and to take some photographs. Continue reading

White City ticket

A flutter on the monkeys

There’s nothing left of White City, the greyhound racing track of Tottenham. I know, because I walked along Sunshine Road looking for it. I wish it was otherwise, but there’s no trace. An Olex cable factory stands at the place where local race-lovers gathered three times a week to watch, cheer, and gamble.

And what were they betting on? Greyhounds. Whippets. Goats. Foot races. And monkey jockeys. Continue reading

James Flood’s exclusive limousines

We head west, the Whitten Oval at our backs, and walk along Sunshine Road into West Footscray. The name Sunshine Road suggests a rustic fairytale, but the reality is industrial – a railway track on one side, factories, old mills and warehouses on the other.

I like this kind of landscape, especially when you come across old painted signage like this, visible from Stradbrooke St, which reads ‘James Flood Pty Ltd’ in cursive script. Though defaced by tags, it’s a beautiful piece of work. I had never heard of James Flood. But in his day, his cars broke speed records, raced aeroplanes. Now that Australian car making is all but dead, it’s worth remembering him.

Continue reading