Old photos from September 2008

How can it be October already?

It’s still September in some timezones, so here’s my regular post of photos from ten years ago, covering September 2008.

 

At Richmond station, I was probably trying to take a photo to help publicise the PTUA’s discount yearly tickets – but couldn’t get the ticket itself quite into focus on the old camera.
Richmond station, September 2008

Also at Richmond, one of those days when the glorious sunshine meant it didn’t matter half the platforms had no weather cover. Since then the platform shelters have been extended all the way along.
Richmond station, September 2008

As early as 2008, there were protests against the proposed road tunnel under Royal Park – what became the East West Link. This photo taken on my old mobile phone of the time, outside Docklands stadium where a corporate do. The tunnel had been proposed in the Eddington Study, released a few months earlier.
Protest against what would become East West Link, September 2008

A rather better photo taken by Cory Baudman, who clearly had a much better camera. I’m ranting into the microphone, but holding the loudspeaker is the late Julianne Bell from Protectors of Public Lands. I can also see Greens Upper House member Colleen Hartland in the crowd. (More photos)
Protest33

Two people showing things you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) do while driving. Note the clean wall of the Siemens trains – I guess this was before the period when they were regularly covered with tags.
Two things you can't do while driving, September 2008

As blogged at the time, some genius remodelled the street in 2008 such that the taxi rank was split into two, forcing taxis out into traffic to move up the queue. It was fixed sometime later.
Bentleigh station taxi rank, September 2008

Also in this month, my old car (a 1993 Magna) got taken away for scrap. Allegedly the engine was destined for the Sudan to work a pump in a village somewhere. Cool.
The old car gets taken away, September 2008

I believe it was also ten years since the last time I went to the Melbourne Show. Here are some of the pop culture show bags on sale at the time.
Melbourne Show, September 2008

This view over the Showgrounds also shows the city skyline in the background. Rather fewer skyscrapers than now.
Melbourne Show, September 2008

Younger son Jeremy riding the train home from the Show with one of his new acquisitions. That day also prompted a blog post about the lax attitude of Connex towards ticket checks.
Coming home from the Melbourne Show, September 2008

At Flinders Street station, then train operator Connex installed the first information centre. On the opening day I was there talking to a senior Connex manager (from memory it was then-CEO Bruce Hughes) when some footy fans asked us how to get to AFL Park (in Waverley). Thankfully we gave them the right directions. The centre itself got rebranded when Metro took over in 2009.
Connex information centre at Flinders Street Station, September 2008

Old photos from Europe 20 years ago

Normally each month I post photos from ten years earlier.

I noticed that it’s twenty years since my 1998 trip to Europe. This was the first trip I blogged in excruciating unnecessary detail – and I’m glad I did, as I’ve been rereading the posts, reliving the trip.

I’ve taken the opportunity to re-scan some of the better photos and update the blog posts, and here they are in a post of their own.

2/9/1998: arriving in London for the first time, I suddenly felt like I was from some hick town. The place was just so busy. This is outside Victoria Station.
London Victoria, 2/9/1998

3/9/1998: Exploring Chichester near my grandparents’ place
Chichester, England, 3/9/1998

4/9/1998: Arundel Castle, which is probably not even in the top ten British castles… but frankly if you’ve never seen a castle before, is damn impressive.
Arundel Castle, England, 4/9/1998

6/9/1998: On a train from my grandparents’ place near Bognor Regis, heading towards London. The photo was taken using a timer and placing the camera on the window ledge opposite. Does that mean it was a selfie, before anybody called them selfies?
On a train from Bognor to London, 6/9/1998

Later the same day, in York.
Bootham Bar, York, 6/9/1998

York. Another selfie. Camera on a bollard.
Exploring York, 6/9/1998

7/9/1998: Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle, 7/9/1998

Edinburgh looking down at the railway station.
View from Edinburgh Castle, 8/9/1998

10/9/1998: Near Plockton, Scotland. Camera on a rock.
Plockton, Scotland, 10/9/1998

Plockton. It’s that kind of town.
Cow walking down the street in Plockton, Scotland, 10/9/1998

Near Plockton. Yes, there is a railway somewhere in there.
Near Plockton, Scotland, 10/9/1998

The view of Plockton from across the water. Pretty scenic!
Plockton, Scotland, 10/9/1998

11/9/1998: Doctor Who was on its long (1989 to 2005) hiatus back then, but so it was very nice to find this Police Box in Earls Court, London.
Police Box at Earls Court, London, 11/9/1998

12/9/1998: The most famous zebra crossing in the world at Abbey Road. Shame I glanced to my left just as my buddy Merlin took the photo… and wouldn’t know until weeks later thanks to it being a film camera.
Abbey Road, 12/9/1998

15/9/1998: We got to Bruges on our trip in 2017, but I’d also made it there with friends back in 1998. From what I saw, it hasn’t changed much!
Bruges, 15/9/1998

16/9/1998: Boarding a high speed train from Brussels to Amsterdam.
Boarding a Thalys train in Brussels, 16/9/1998

18/9/1998: Back in… where is this place again? Once again, the perils of film cameras meant that it would be weeks before noticing that a world famous landmark appeared to be coming out of the top of my head.
Tower Bridge, 18/9/1998

Finally, I’ve posted this before, but here are some video highlights from that trip.

Daniel’s 1998 Europe trip highlights from Daniel Bowen on Vimeo.

If you feel like wasting your time, you can read my twenty year old travel blog here.

Old photos from August 2008

Here’s my monthly post of photos from ten years ago.

For a while I was waging war on ghost tram route numbers via this blog post and then this Age article.

Numbers like 7 and 9 were pointless because nobody outside a few gunzels knew them. This was tram route 7 to Malvern Depot.

In 2011, all the obscure route numbers got renumbered to something people can actually understand.

Route 7 followed route 6 as far as Malvern Depot, so today it would be called a 6d.
Tram route 7 in Swanston Street

Here’s route 9 to Thornbury. Today I guess this would now be an 11d.
Tram route 9 in Collins Street

Banksy’s “Little Diver” had appeared in 2003 just off Flinders Lane. The building’s owners put some perspex in an effort to protect it, but it was subsequently destroyed a few months after this photo was taken.
Banksy "Little Diver" picture, Melbourne

Massive Spirit Of Progress poster advertising the Art Deco exhibition at NGV.
Matthew Flinders

Bentleigh station: Some kind of work in preparation for Myki equipment installation. Note the mounting poles. The system eventually got switched-on in Melbourne at the very end of 2009.
Installing Myki equipment at Bentleigh station

Back on the trams, this holding siding had just been built on St Kilda Road. At first, some drivers seemed not to slow down sufficiently, so the trams would lurch in and out of the points. Hopefully they’ve improved since then.
New holding siding, St Kilda Road, August 2008

The same project included this triple track at the corner of Southbank Boulevard, allowing route 1 trams (turning right) to wait for their traffic light without delaying other trams. (Perhaps a cheaper option would have been to fix the traffic light so none of the trams got delayed?)
Then new superstops outside NGV, August 2008

In August 2008 I got my “new” (2000-model) car. First order of the day was to put a PTUA sticker on it, something I did last month with the brand new car that replaced it.
The new car, August 2008, with new sticker

Back in December 2007, we’d gone to Spamalot, the musical. From this photo, it seems I subsequently found a can of Spam commemorating the show, though according to Wikipedia it had closed back in April.
Spamalot spam can, August 2008

Don’t be a jerk

I was looking through some old photos, and found these from November 1996.

I’ve scanned them from the negatives.

As you can see, they provide some good advice…

Don't be a jerk, Barbara Kruger - Melbourne, November 1996

Don't be a jerk, Barbara Kruger - Melbourne, November 1996

(Click on either photo to view it larger in Flickr)

Things to note here:

  • “Don’t be a jerk” is a work by Barbara Kruger, originally from 1984
  • Some of the well-known CBD skyscrapers are visible in the background, but more were to come over the following 22 years!
  • This is snapped from Flinders Street Station looking east across Swanston Street. The old Gas And Fuel building is being demolished to make way for Federation Square
  • In the first photo you can also just see the entrance to the old Princes Bridge station (look for The Met logo), which was also mostly demolished – apart from platform 14. Back then it also had platforms 15 and 16, used by terminating trains from Clifton Hill.
  • Z-class tram in The Met colours – this was before privatisation. Note the “Do not enter” signage on the rear door; these trams ran with seated conductors near the front, and later as driver-only. This particular tram, number 150, came into service in 1980, and is still in service, making it 38 years old.
  • No tram superstop. Just a “Safety zone”
  • I’m not sure what time of day this was. It looks pretty dark and rainy for November, but that’s what the scribbled note on the photo says!

Old photos from July 2008

Another in my series of old photos from ten years ago

Let’s start with Melbourne Central. A few years earlier, the centre and station concourse had been re-developed to better integrate the shops with the station. And by integrate, I mean funnel the passengers through the shopping centre instead of directly out to Swanston Street.

What could possibly make it worse? Closing the entrance from Swanston Street for a movie premiere event (Mamma Mia). 5pm-7pm. Yes, during peak hour.

I have an email from the time that says after “some words with Melbourne Central from ourselves (PTUA) and a journalist” they altered their event so it only blocked Knox Place (which runs east-west from Swanston Street), not the pathway from the corner of Swanston and Latrobe. But honestly, the nerve.
Melbourne Central event to close main station entrance, July 2008

Gathering for a human sign to say “Climate emergency” in the Alexandra Gardens.
Human sign for climate change action, July 2008

Brighton Beach station, with haze over the bay. Note the equipment installed in the sidings; from memory this was for the “Concorde” project on the Comeng trains, to make the two types compatible again after their modification by different train companies earlier in the decade.
Brighton Beach Station, July 2008

I knew Doctor Who had become mainstream when ads started appearing for it on public telephones. This is opposite the GPO – the Angus and Robertson book shop behind the phones has since vanished.
Public telephone ads for Doctor Who, July 2008

New street furniture was installed around my local shopping centre in Centre Road in Bentleigh. Not sure why the green lighting. Maybe the council was expecting visiting aliens.
Bentleigh street furniture, July 2008

The street upgrade also included trees in the parking lane – in principle a good idea, but they managed to chop this bus zone in half. They also messed up the taxi rank near the station.
Bentleigh bus stop, July 2008

Also on Centre Road, the Smartbus sign for westbound buses, and the level crossing – since gone in the 2016 grade separation.
Bentleigh level crossing, July 2008

Over in Edgewater (Maribyrnong), they’d created a new bus route which didn’t even have any bus zones at its stops.
Edgewater (Maribyrnong) bus stop, July 2008

Rail works on the level crossing at Ripponlea.
Rail works at Ripponlea, July 2008