Industrial history

Quarries and a nature reserve in Yarraville

We walk from the West Gate bridge north up Hyde Street. Ahead of us, to the right are the big white drums of yet another refinery, Mobil this time (Caltex and Shell are  behind us, in Newport.)  Opposite Mobil is a Singaporean power company. There’s industry all the way up this road, and signage warning of hazards of various kinds. Not really a place that you’d expect to find a nature reserve.

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The West Gate Bridge disaster

I walk north from Newport, up Douglas Parade towards the West Gate Freeway. I am heading towards the West Gate Bridge, one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and impressive landmarks, and the essential conduit for traffic over the Yarra, linking the two sides of the city. It’s also the site of Melbourne’s worst industrial disaster.

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Death and resurrection, Newport

 

I find cemeteries fascinating. Every gravestone is a mini-narrative – a person’s life story in its most concise form, often no more than dates of birth and death and perhaps the name of a spouse or relative. If you are a writer looking for inspiration you could do worse than wander around a cemetery and let the tombstones be triggers for your imagination. Continue reading

Changing spaces in Williamstown

The first walk begins here, on 14 June 2014, on Gem Pier at Williamstown, surrounded by water. It’s a breezy day and lots of yachts are out on the bay, the wind bellying their spinnakers, while others are berthed at the yacht clubs. It’s a picturesque sight and across the bay is a fine view of the city of Melbourne.

I won’t be heading into those skyscrapers though, either by water or land. The idea is to walk clockwise around Melbourne in a big circle, in a series of walks through the suburbs, over a period of about a year, or as long as it takes. Continue reading