Photos from May 2004

Another in my series of photos from ten years ago.

The Nylex sign worked for years, inspiring Paul Kelly’s song Leaps And Bounds. I caught it at 11 degrees (and in the month of May, too), as in the lyrics of that song. In 2005-06 they tried to get it working with an upgrade, but seem to have given up now.
Eleven degrees

I took the kids down to Port Melbourne one day to see the Rainbow Warrior (the second one), Greenpeace’s ship which was visiting. I don’t think we actually had a look on board — from memory it was quite busy, and we hadn’t booked. But it was good fun to look around the pier.
Rainbow Warrior, Port Melbourne, May 2004

2004 was the year we got the XBox. One of the initial games I got for it was Midway Arcade Treasures, which included my old favourite Gauntlet. I’d have to say that arcade games aren’t well-suited to modern console controllers, which are no good for mashing the buttons (high-speed repeatedly presses) — particularly a problem in games like Joust, which was also included. For a while the kids enjoyed playing Gauntlet with me.
Playing Gauntlet on the XBox, May 2004

People who haven’t had kids in the last decade or two might not know about indoor playgrounds. I might be wrong, but they seemed to take off in the late-90s, and by 2004 there were lots of them. This is one in Moorabbin. Like all of them, they’re quite fun (even for the adults, sometimes) if not too busy, but when they get crowded, they’re just a feral cacophony of noise. If they’re not too crowded, sometimes adults can enjoy the facilities — in this picture you can also see my stepfather Peter and his daughter Emma sliding down.
Indoor playground, May 2004

I think Tony had let me know this was there — the then Tattersalls office on Dandenong Road had a giant electronic billboard, but on this day it was obviously faulty. In the background is one for the trainspotters: a Comeng train in the M>Train colours (matching the M>Tram scheme seen last month).
Tattersalls head office, faulty electronic billboard, May 2004

Some of my photos from April 2004 – You won’t BELIEVE how similar everything was #clickbait

Continuing my series of posting ten-year-old photos, I was struck by the fact that many of the photos from April 2004 show some things have changed very little.

Traffic in Collins Street, creeping into the tram lanes. Just recently more visible dividers have been added… I suspect they help, but don’t completely prevent cars on the tracks.
Tram in traffic, Collins Street approaching Spring Street (March 2004)

Spirit of Tasmania, seen from South Melbourne Beach. Looking closely, it might be Spirit of Tasmania II. According to Wikipedia, it seems both I and II were built in 1998, and originally served connecting Greece with Italy, though it seems II was involved in a fatal accident in 1999, some years before being brought to Australia.
Spirit of Tasmania, from South Melbourne Beach (March 2004)

Who remembers the M>Tram livery? A little garish perhaps, but in some ways not so different to the new PTV livery. And I did like the “Moving Melbourne” slogan.
Tram at terminus of Route 1 South Melbourne, in M>Tram colours (March 2004)

Flinders Street Station, as seen from Southbank. Thanks to height limits around Swanston Street, I’m not even sure the skyline from this angle has changed very much.
Flinders Street Station, from Southbank (March 2004)

Interior of a Hitachi train — odds on it’s one of those scrapped in the mid-2000s, as only about 7 are still around (and not in service at present). Obviously this wasn’t a busy service — the timestamp says it was 9:14am on Wednesday 14th April 2004.
Hitachi train interior (March 2004)

Being interviewed for ABC TV News on 18th April — this was the day Connex took over the entire metropolitan rail network.
Daniel being interviewed for ABC TV News, 18/4/2004

…unfortunately the Connex banner at Caulfield decided to rebel against its new overlords.
"Welcome to nnex" - Connex takes over from M>Train, 18/4/2004

Traffic in Collins Street near Swanston Street. Yep, not changed much. If you want to move quickly in this area, don’t bring a motor vehicle.
Traffic in Collins St, near Swanston St (March 2004)

Rainbow

Sorry, no time to do a proper blog post, so here’s a photo of a rainbow I snapped in Bentleigh on Monday, as dark clouds loomed:

Rainbow over Bentleigh

Photos from March 2004

Continuing my series of ten year old photos

The serene setting of Caulfield South Primary School, where my kids went. Like many schools of that era, the original main building is lovely, and conceals the portable classrooms out the back.
Caulfield South Primary School (March 2004)

The old Elizabeth Street tram stop on Collins Street, westbound. It’s not hard to see why they’ve rebuilt these stops into platform stops, for safety and to speed up loading, as well as providing accessible stops — though some of the old safety zones still exist, particularly on William Street and Latrobe Street.
Collins Street at Elizabeth Street, tram stop (March 2004)

Still one of my best photos of Punt Road traffic, taken from Richmond Station above. Also a reminder that they often call for road expansion to help freight move more efficiently, but the bulk of traffic on the road is single-person cars.
Punt Road traffic (March 2004)

Trams queued at the Swanston Street superstop outside Flinders Street Station. Despite it being almost five years since privatisation, there were still quite a few trams in The Met green livery, though at the front of the queue is one in the M>Tram colours… M>Tram by this point had actually pulled out, and in April would be taken over by Yarra Trams.
Trams queued in Swanston Street at Flinders Street (March 2004)

A monolith of art deco in the foreground, while in the background is Michael Schumacher on the big Bourke/Swanston billboard, advertising the Grand Prix or mobile phones or something. Further back a building is under construction — it might be the BHP Billiton headquarters on Lonsdale Street? I think this photo was taken out the back of a Collins Street building where I worked at the time.
Melbourne city skyline (March 2004)

My old “bathtub on wheels” Magna in the driveway in Carnegie, the day the out-of-control bush at the front of my house decided to pull down the telephone cable. At least, I think it was the telephone… hopefully not the power.
Cable pulled down by bush (March 2004)

Melbourne city skyline, this time seen from the river. A few buildings going up in the background.
Melbourne city skyline from the river (March 2004)

I posted about this at the time, but down at Southbank for a while was this chalk art of Doctor Who, including portraits of the first eight Doctors. The new series had just been announced, and I think a few weeks later they added Christropher Eccleston to the work.
Doctor Who pavement art, Southbank (March 2004)

Photos from February 2004

For this month, I don’t have very many great photos of interest, but here goes…

We must have been on the way to Marita’s house in Footscray. This is the Footscray Road intersection with Citylink, back when there was a level crossing underneath the tollway, where slow freight trains used to run in and out of the port. Cars, buses and trucks would only occasionally have to stop for the infrequent trains, but when they did, you were often in for a long wait. Eventually they built an overpass further west, relocated the freight line, and removed the level crossing.
Footscray Road westbound, waiting for a freight train (February 2004)
(Hmm, I wonder if building the overpass was seen as essential given Footscray Road’s status as a Westgate alternative route?)

During my time as PTUA President, there were actually very few still photos taken of me. More often it was video for TV. Here is probably the best picture that made it into print, for a Melbourne Times article. It was snapped outside Melbourne Town Hall, in a slight drizzle, back in the days when I wore a tie to work. The article itself, written by Walkley Award-winner Ingrid Svendsen, was a wide-ranging one on the removal of Short Term Tickets, privatisation (and the new contracts) and the then Labor state government’s reluctance to bring the system back into public ownership.
Daniel pictured in the Melbourne Times (February 2004)

For Jeremy’s 6th birthday, my uncle Kevin had sent a The Bill police man action figure as a present. I was Marita’s idea to snap it in various locations, on patrol. One spot, many years before we got PSOs on patrol at railway stations, was by the railway line near Murrumbeena.
The Bill action figure, guarding our railways

Photos of the rest of this guy’s adventures are here.