On the face of it, the Fiesta Bingo Hall in Paisley Street, Footscray is a depressing, semi-derelict edifice, with various small businesses desperately trying to make a go of it at ground floor level. The upper part of the exterior is ruined – the Fiesta Bingo signage seems to get worse every time you look, with bits regularly falling off.
But walk around the back and you find something amazing. Continue reading
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.
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.
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