A day in Launceston

Recently I travelled to Launceston and ended up with a full day to myself. I spent the whole day walking around the city, going to museums and galleries and looking for things that caught my eye.

Here are some of the things I saw. No explanations, just photos.

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Behind the sunrise

I slept in every day this week and missed all the beautiful orange sunrises that I saw in my social media feeds earlier in the week. I was disappointed because orange skies are my favourite skies and I rarely see them in person. But I only had myself to blame.

I finally decided that, as I  describe myself as someone who walks a bit, maybe missing my morning walks isn’t particularly congruent with who I profess to be. I walk every day, and this week I haven’t.

I went out this morning and, of course, today wasn’t the day for an orange sunrise.

Well, it was orange, it just wasn’t the dramatic orange I was hoping for.

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River Derwent | 26 April 2019 | 7.00am

Not to worry! I was back out doing what I loved and that was the main thing. Not too long after the sun rose, it started to rain. Lightly, at first.

Where I was standing on the beach are some boat sheds, which I sometimes photograph if the light is right. This morning it was, and I took some photos from where I was standing—the usual place I try to photograph them from. I was waiting for the light.

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Waiting for the light

The light hadn’t quite hit the boat sheds when something made me walk along to the other side of them to see if I could get a better angle from there. As I turned around, I saw a rainbow over the beach and realised this was the shot I needed to take: the photograph behind the sunrise.

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Behind the sunrise

By the time I’d clambered over rocks to try and get the right shot, the rain was getting heavier, the wind had come up and it was becoming unpleasant. I took some okay, not great, images of the boat sheds from the other side and decided it was time to go.

A man at the house over the road had been watching me, probably thinking (not unreasonably) that I was mad to be standing around taking photos in this onslaught. “It wasn’t like this when I left home!” I complained, in response to his comment on the “wild and woolly” weather. (Totally off topic, where does that phrase even come from? It makes no sense to me at all.)

I carried on along the street, turned the corner and headed towards home, eager to be warm and dry again.

As I was walking, I looked ahead and saw the most wonderful sight: a modest-looking house sitting on the next corner, shining in the golden light. It looked beautiful! This was really the thing I was meant to see this morning, not the sunrise, not the boat sheds, not the rainbow. This one photograph, of all the ones I captured this morning, made it worth getting wet and almost blown away. I just wish I’d had my camera instead of my phone.

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Friday morning light

When I was taking the photos of the rainbow, I’d been thinking how funny it is that sometimes the thing you really need to be looking for is right behind you. (Does that sound too much like an airline safety briefing?) And, after seeing the house, I realised that if it’s not behind you, it will be somewhere else you didn’t set out to look.

Taroona to Moonah

I’ve been in a heap of fun runs (walks) with catchy names like Point to Pinnacle, City to Casino, City to Surf (okay, I have never participated in that event but I needed three names to emphasise my point).

I always wondered why they didn’t include Taroona to Moonah as such an event. It’s a catchy name AND it rhymes. Win-win!

Unfortunately, the road race organisers have never cottoned on to this one so if I ever wanted to do it, it was going to have to be on my own.

I do like walking and, while the 15 km or so that this walk would be is longer than most of my “long” walks, it’s not a difficult distance for me and I wanted to do it just for the satisfaction of saying I’d walked from ‘Roona to Moonah. So I added it to my list of 19 things I intended to do in 2019 (aka 19 for 2019—I’ve been blogging about it on my personal blog) and there it’s sat since the start of the year.

I was thinking last Saturday night that I really needed to get out and go for a long walk again, take some photos and wander for the sake of wandering. Last time I did that was back in January.  After I hurt my back three weeks ago in an unfortunate incident involving wet stairs and slippy shoes, I’d not been walking a lot and I was starting to feel a bit cabin feverish.

That walk was beckoning. My back was feeling okay and it wasn’t going to be stupid-hot so I decided to do it.

I had no idea how long it would take or even how far it was but I had no expectations. I was just going to walk, take in whatever I wanted on the way and the goal would be simply to get there. Whatever happened after that would be fine.

And that’s exactly how it turned out.

I wandered my usual route along Sandy Bay Road, stopping to photograph some of my favourite places.

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Long Beach Bathing Pavilion | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 7.26 am

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Wrest Point Casino | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 7.48 am

I took a turn along Marieville Esplanade so I could go through Battery Point and pass by other friends I hadn’t seen for a while.

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1 Cromwell Street, Battery Point | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 8.22 am

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Empress Towers | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 8.36 am

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The Silos | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 8.48 am

I stopped briefly at the Supreme Court before heading down to the bottom of Collins Street to take photos for my Hobart Street Corners project.

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Collins & Campbell Street | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 9.24 am

Finally, I turned towards my destination and made my way up Argyle Street.

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282 Argyle Street | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 9.53 am

My journey took me to New Town Road, through New Town and, finally, to Creek Road, the boundary between Hobart and Glenorchy, commonly referred to as the Flannelette Curtain.

I was in Moonah. I’d done it! If I’d wanted to I could have turned back and gone home again having checked off this mission.

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Main Road & Creek Road | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 10.35 am

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I made it!

I didn’t want to though. I was way past ready for breakfast and headed to a coffee shop so I could sit down for a break and think about what I wanted to do now I’d reached my destination. It was starting to get warmer than I was feeling comfortable with and I hadn’t dressed for burny sun so I didn’t feel like being out much longer.

I decided I’d at least walk to the end of Moonah, which ended up being a trek through Derwent Park and into Glenorchy itself.

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The Carlyle Hotel, Corner of Main Road & Tregear St | Sunday 17 March 2019 | 11.56 am

I hadn’t planned on that, but I reached a bus stop with 10 minutes to wait before the next bus back to town so I figured I might as well walk to the next one, forgetting that on this route the bus stops are a lot further apart than they are on my bus route.

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Howard Road & Main Road Glenorchy from the bus stop | Sunday 17 March 2019 |12.07 pm

Not to worry, I made it in time and after over 16.5 km (I turned the tracker off when I got to the coffee shop but I reckon I would have walked about another 2 km after that) and five and a half hours, I was heading back home with a thing crossed off my 19 for 2019 list, tired but satisfied.

There are some things in the Moonah area that I wanted to check out but they weren’t the purpose of the walk and I can go back and do them another time. By bus, I think.

waterfront mornings

Some mornings are so beautiful it’s very difficult to go into work. On mornings like this, I like to go for a walk around the waterfront before dragging myself into the office.

Last Friday was one such day. Conveniently, I had my camera with me.

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Victoria Dock | Friday 15 March 2019 | 8.26 am

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The Waterfront from MACq 01 | Friday 15 March 2019 | 8.28 am

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Davey Street | Friday 15 March 2019 | 8.34 am

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Marine Board Building | Friday 15 March 2019 | 8.37 am

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Marine Board Building | Friday 15 March 2019 | 8.42 am

The last photo is the only one without a crane in it.

hobart street corners

On 21 February 2018, I was walking down Collins Street on the way to work. A route I often took. While I was waiting for the lights to change to cross Murray Street I pulled out my phone and took a photo from the corner looking back down Murray Street.

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Murray & Collins Street | Wednesday 21 February 2018 | 8.48 am

A few people around me started looking down the street I’d just photographed to see what had got my attention. Nothing had. It was just a photo for no reason other than to capture what that street corner had looked like at 8.48 am on Wednesday 21 February 2018.

I posted it on instagram with that explanation as a caption and didn’t think much more about it.

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The original instagram post

Two days later, I posted a picture of a different street corner and it occurred to me that this could be a fun project: to document the most normal everyday scenes with no aim in mind other than to capture what this moment was like on that corner. I wrote a blog post about it and started posting views of different street corners on instagram almost every day using the hashtags #streetsofhobart and #hobartstreetcorners.

At the start of this year, I decided that the project really had a life of its own so I set up a new instagram account especially for these photos, @hobartstreetcorners, which you can find here.

I thought I should take a photo of the same corner at the same time exactly 12 months later to commemorate the anniversary of the project but I didn’t remember what the original date had been. By the time I looked at the photo to check, it was the day after, so I had missed the opportunity.

I did the next best thing. I went there that day and tried my best to recreate the photo from the exact spot I’d been in the first time. I think I did it pretty well in the end.

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Murray & Collins Street | Friday 22 February 2019 | 9.46 am

As well as the instagram account, I am working on a new blog, The Streets of Hobart, which I’m intending to put all of the street corner photos from 2018 onto, eventually, but at the moment I’m just trying to keep 2019 up to date. It’s very much a work in progress. Do go and check it out though.

collins & elizabeth street

This site, on the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets in Hobart, has been home to several different buildings, the first of which was one of the earliest pubs in Hobart. According to Colin Dennison in the book Here’s Cheers, it opened in 1819 as the New Inn Verandah House, a name which was changed in 1820 to the Crooked Billett-New Inn.

In 1883, the owner of the building traded it for another pub in a deal with the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land, which demolished most of the building to build a bank on the corner. The billiard room of the old pub was retained and formed part of the Ship Hotel, which is still operating today.

The Bank of Van Diemen’s Land building was designed by the colonial architect Henry Hunter, who is responsible for many of Hobart’s well-known buildings including the Town Hall, St David’s Cathedral and the former AMP building on the diagonally opposite corner of Elizabeth and Collins Street, as well as many churches across Tasmania.

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Bank of Van Diemen’s Land circa 1885 | Tasmanian Archives & Heritage | PH30-1-9922

It was constructed in 1883 and the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land operated there until 3 August 1891, when it closed down suddenly, without notice. The bank had been established in 1823 but collapsed in 1891, when mineral prices collapsed, leaving mining operations unable to service their loans. (Source: The Companion to Tasmanian History, Banking & Finance).

The sign on the corner opposite the site says that the failure of the bank in 1891 “was a major blow to Tasmania’s economy in general; most of the savings of the past few decades of hard work were lost and the island’s economic fabric and its society would never be the same again”.

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Story of the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land | Collins Street

According to the history of the MBA in Tasmania by Dianne Snowden (Foundations of a Tasmanian Industry), the collapse of the bank created an economic depression and increased poverty and social instability.

As an aside, 1891 was the year Master Builders Association was founded in Tasmania. Dianne Snowden says that the depression caused by the collapse of the bank was the reason for the foundation of the Builders’ and Contractors’ Association, forerunner to the MBA, as cheap unqualified labour was undercutting standards and many builders were on the verge of bankruptcy. The association was formed to develop standard conditions of contract and to protect the interests of its members. I have a personal interest in this because the first president of the association was my great great grandfather, Alfred Dorman, who undertook work for the Marine Board as well as building the Dunalley Pub.

After the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land collapsed, the Union Bank of Australia took over the building. The Union Bank had branches in several states as well as New Zealand, and in 1951 it merged with the Bank of Australasia to become the ANZ Bank.

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The building renamed as the Union Bank 1900s | Tasmanian Archives & Heritage | NS392-1-747

Back to Colin Dennison again, he says in Yesterday’s Hobart Today that the building was acquired by the ES&A Bank (English, Scottish & Australian Bank) in the 1960s when it was demolished and a new bank erected in its place. (Other sources say the building was demolished in 1958.) The ES&A Bank amalgamated with the ANZ Bank in 1970. The photo isn’t dated but I imagine, since it says ANZ, it must have been taken after the 1970 merger. You can see the Ship Hotel on the left of the picture.

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The ANZ bank building | Tasmanian Archives & Heritage | AB713-1-6950

When researching the history of this building I came across a post on ABC Open despairing at the loss of the “magnificent marble and cedar counters” from inside the building, which they reported had been put into landfill. What a shame! This person called the replacement building “an ugly concrete septic tank of a building”. I wonder if they were happy when the ANZ moved out in 2014 and it was demolished in 2017 to make way for a new commercial building.

I haven’t been able to find any photos of it when it was the ANZ bank in recent years, but Google Maps sourced this image from 2015, after the bank had moved out but before any plans for a new building had been made.

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Here, the building is for lease | June 2015 | Source: Google Maps

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Boarded up | November 2017

It stood empty until its demolition, which happened very quickly. It was there one day, a pile of rubble the next.

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All gone | 18 January 2018

It took about 12 months from demolition to the new building being completed.

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The completed building | 7 January 2019

The first tenants for the replacement building were reported this week as including the Police Bank, a dumpling restaurant and a Chinese tea house. It’s good to see the site will continue to be occupied by a bank, maintaining the links to the past use of the site. (It also means the sign across the road (photo above), referring to “the bank opposite” will continue to be accurate!)

There is one more piece to this story and this is the St David’s Park lions. At the Davey Street entrance to the park closest to Salamanca Place are two magnificent sandstone lions. (One is hidden by the plant. Trust me it’s there.)

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St David’s Park | Davey St entrance 

According to the sign in St David’s Park, the lions were carved in a tent on the footpath by Richard Patterson in 1884 for the entrance to the Bank of Van Diemen’s Land building.

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Sign in St David’s Park telling the history of the lions

The ABC tells us that Richard Patterson was a stonemason from the UK, transported to Tasmania in 1844 for burglary. After being granted a ticket of leave in 1850, he developed a reputation of excellence in his craft and worked on Tasmania’s Government House. The lions are described as his most famous and enduring work and it’s been noted that Richard Patterson made them without any model.

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One of the sandstone lions

After the building was demolished, the lions were displayed at Port Arthur under the care of the Tasmanian Government until 1988. I couldn’t find any official information on how this was accomplished, but our ABC Open correspondent tells us that  “an enterprising Italian immigrant salvaged the lions on the back of his truck and took them to Port Arthur”. The official ABC article says that the Tasmanian Government arranged it. The sign goes on to say that the lions were restored as a bicentennial gift to the people of Hobart from the ANZ Banking Group. which erected them in the park jointly with the Hobart Council. Now someone needs to prune the plant that’s obscuring the lion on the left so we see it!

sunday morning

I love walking.

I especially love going on long walks with my camera and taking photos of things that catch my eye.

Today I went for a long walk, which was wonderful. Here are some of the things I saw.

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The view from Alexandra Battery at 7am

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One of my street corner photos: Nicholas Drive & Churchill Avenue, 7.30 am

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A dead tree on Churchill Avenue and the moon

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Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Tasmania

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Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Tasmania

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Old Medical Sciences Building, University of Tasmania

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Agriculture Building, University of Tasmania

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Engineering Building (I think!), University of Tasmania

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Chemistry Building, University of Tasmania

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Last one from the street corners project: Sandy Bay Road & Princes Street, 10.11 am