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Europe 1998 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇧🇪🇳🇱 Photos from ten years ago

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.

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

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

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Photos from ten years ago

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

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from June 2008

Here’s another in my series of old photos from ten years ago… this time, June 2008.

You might remember that Frank Woodley did TV ads for Metlink, to encourage bus usage. Here’s the cartoon version, on a bus stop.
Metlink Frank Woodley bus promotion, June 2008

Speaking of advertising, I quite liked this ad for the Get Smart movie (originally posted here). Come to think of it, I’ve still never seen the movie.
Get Smart movie advertising, June 2008

Hitachi train, sporting its Comeng-era seat covers
Hitachi train, June 2008

Gambling addiction is a serious problem, but this is still one of my favourite photos: The Machines Will Win. (See also: Part II)
You know in the end the machines will win (1/2)

(For those with short memories, that’s a Metcard machine; the predecessor to Myki, and just as disliked when it first got introduced.)

The signage at Bentleigh station, back when the train times worked.
Bentleigh Station Smartbus signage, June 2008

Punt Road – then, as now, sometimes the buses can’t reach the bus lane because of all the traffic. Hopefully the re-design of this intersection will fix that.
Punt Road, June 2008

The last few photos are from a visit to the Eureka skydeck in late June 2008…
Eureka Skydeck, June 2008

The view of the Westgate Bridge/Kingsway intersection. It conveys the vast amount of space used by motorway interchanges.
Westgate Freeway viewed from the Eureka Skydeck, June 2008

A more youthful looking me, back when I wore a tie, with Government House and The Shrine of Remembrance in the background
At the Eureka Skydeck, June 2008

The city skyline. Note despite the two lanes of traffic across Princes Bridge, the cars were still queuing.
Central Melbourne, viewed from the Eureka Skydeck, June 2008

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from May 2008

Another in my series of old photos from ten years ago, this time from May 2008…

Petrol prices shot up this month. This would be about $2.06 in today’s dollars. More amazing is that just four years earlier, the RACV had predicted prices wouldn’t go above about $1.08.
Petrol prices, May 2008

ACMI has put on a lot of great exhibitions, but this one might have been my favourite: basically the history of video games.
Game On at ACMI, May 2008

A familiar sight: trams queued along Swanston Street
Trams queued up due to a protest, 16/5/2008

…and this is why: a protest by pensioners, including Family First’s Steve Fielding, who joined in taking off his shirt, mimicking a previous protest by cab drivers.
Pensioner protest, protest, 16/5/2008

Flinders Street station: Aftermath of a train surfing incident.
Train surfing incident, Flinders Street Station 18/5/2008

May 2008 was the month of my twenty year school reunion. Here in a terrible old mobile phone photo, a bunch of us nose around the school hall – which hadn’t changed a bit.
20 year reunion, Melbourne High School, 2/5/2008

Siemens trains were utterly filthy for years, so it’s easy to forget this wasn’t always the case. This one looks pretty clean.
Siemens train, May 2008

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from April 2008

It’s the last day of April, so here’s my monthly post of photos from ten years ago.

Early April 2008 seems to have been busy. I had this opinion piece published on the ABC web site, in relation to the then-just published Eddington “East West Link Needs Assessment“:

An unhealthy dose of bitumen for Melbourne

(I’ll fess up: some of the writing style doesn’t look like mine, so I’m betting my PTUA colleagues contributed)

Anyway, the photos. Oh… this isn’t good. On 3rd of April, a tram shunting in Collins Street decided to go both ways at once. (I blogged about it at the time, and there are some better quality photos of it on Vicsig.)
Tram derailment, Collins Street 3/4/2008
Tram derailment, Collins Street 3/4/2008

Quirkly Degraves Street underpass/arcade shop Corky St Clair wasn’t very happy with Yarra Trams after works to build the Flinders Street tram superstop. (Nowadays they’re more concerned with the metro tunnel works impacting the arcade.)
Yarra Trams construction works, April 2008

Melbourne Museum put out a multiple choice quiz… in which all the options were wrong.
Train quiz, April 2008

Fancy some trendy cuisine? This is North Richmond, and I associate this photo with getting a lift in a friend’s car, with ABC Radio National playing, and hearing for the first time the excellent song “Grey in LA” by Loudon Wainwright III.
North Richmond cafe, April 2008

Taxi drivers protesting at Flinders and Swanston Streets — back when they were (rightly) concerned about personal safety, rather than Uber.
Taxi drivers protesting 30/4/2008

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from March 2008

Another in my series of ten year old photos; here’s March 2008.

ACMI’s Game On exhibition had some great old games to play. Here’s son#1 Isaac playing Pong.
Playing Pong at ACMI, March 2008

…but it was the 80s-era arcade machines that I really enjoyed the most, re-living my teenage years. (I’m still tempted to buy an old machine.)
Playing video games at ACMI, March 2008

The old post office in Emirates House, off Collins Street. Queue out the door again. Sigh.
Long queue at the post office, March 2008

Speaking of a queue out the door, 4/3/2008 was not a good afternoon for then train operator Connex. This is at South Yarra. Note the bloke with a Harry Potter book.
South Yarra Station, 4/3/2008
South Yarra Station, 4/3/2008

The 401 shuttle from North Melbourne to Melbourne University was announced in October 2007, and started service in this month, in March 2008. It quickly became one of Melbourne’s busiest bus routes, with about a million boardings per year.
Melbourne University 401 shuttle bus, March 2008

North Melbourne station (as of 2018, to be renamed West Melbourne in the next year or so). You can see in the background that construction of the new concourse was just getting started.
North Melbourne Station, March 2008

The outbound bus stops outside QV have been very busy at peak times for many years. This is before current operator Transdev took over from Ventura/National Bus. Note the parking sign – outside peak times, some of the bus stops are re-purposed for private vehicle parking, even those right in front of the bus shelters — surely a slap in the face for waiting bus passengers. Not sure that’s ever been fixed.
QV bus stop, March 2008

How long until the train? Sometimes you just want to sit.
Waiting for the train, March 2008

I think I took this photo because it was at a station that is not in Zone 2, at least not only in Zone 2. From the cream paint, I think it might be the pre-level-crossing removal Ormond station, which is in the zone 1+2 overlap. No GPS record on the phone photos from back then.
This station is in Zone 2? March 2008

Launch of the first wind-powered tram, 28/3/2008. In the crowd I can see the then-CEO of Yarra Trams, Dennis Cliche, and several journos, as well as Gavin Jennings, then State Environment Minister. More recently it was announced that all of Melbourne’s trams will be powered by solar by the end of 2018.
Launch of wind-powered tram 28/3/2008
Launch of wind-powered tram 28/3/2008

Trains bank up at Richmond station, well before it got weather protection right along the platforms.
Richmond station, March 2008

Richmond station from above, snapped from a brother-in-law’s then flat. Nice view, especially if you’re a trainspotter. There were some evening shots as well, but they’re all blurry – the old Nokia 6230i didn’t do at all well in low light.
Richmond Station, 28/3/2008
Richmond Station, 28/3/2008

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Photos from ten years ago

Old photos from February 2008

Ten years ago I was surviving (somehow) with no hot water, after the water heater packed-up. The solar system I had installed to replace it is, thankfully, still going nicely.

Anyway, it’s the last day of Feb – just time for some old photos from ten years ago – another in my series of rehashed content looking through the archives.

Firstly though, a sound recording – an automated announcement absolutely delighted to be telling you about Craigieburn.

As blogged at the time, a hairdresser on the train one evening spontaneously gave a girl a haircut.
Haircut on the train, February 2008

February back then meant we’d do a PTUA stall at the Sustainable Living Festival. At the back of the tent you can spot a youthful looking Tony Morton, now PTUA President.
PTUA stall at Federation Square, February 2008

The Southbank skyline hasn’t changed that much, but most of the trams have had a new paintjob since then. At the time the “Obey The Yellow” campaign to keep tram lanes clear of cars was in full swing.
Tram at Federation Square, February 2008

A Saturday afternoon brings out lots of people onto the trains. Even by 2008, it was apparent that Melbourne was transitioning to a big city.
Flinders Street platform 5 on a Saturday afternoon, February 2008

Flinders Street platform 4. It’s unusual to see V/Line departures here; normally they’re over the other side of the station. I’m sure there was a good reason.
Flinders Street platform 4, train to Sale, February 2008

Finally, from my backyard. I found this big scary-looking spider one night getting busy with web construction.
Spider in the backyard, February 2008

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Photos from ten years ago Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from January 2008

Another in my series of ten year old photos.

In late-2007/early-2008 there was a stoush around the banning of bicycles in zone 1 during peak hours. In February 2008 the ban was reversed. Notice that this sign is ambiguous: are the bikes banned on any train that serves zone 1 during peak, or just banned on the part of the trip within zone 1? (It was the latter.)
Suburban train zone 1 bike ban, January 2008

Banksy had visited Melbourne in 2003 and drawn “Little Diver”. Later in 2008 it was destroyed.
"Little Diver" by Banksy, off Flinders Lane, Melbourne, January 2008

The Elizabeth Street tram terminus nearby, still with “The Met” markings, some 8 years after privatisation. The Metcard warning about coins only was introduced after a court case where a passenger claimed it wasn’t common knowledge that you couldn’t pay with notes. Of course nowadays you can’t board (outside the Free Tram Zone) without a pre-loaded Myki card.
Elizabeth Street tram terminus information booth, January 2008

We had a ride on Puffing Billy — come to think of it, this was the last time I went on it. Maybe time for a return visit?
Puffing Billy, January 2008

Crowded at Belgrave when the train got back
Belgrave Station, Puffing Billy, January 2008

Railway staff at Belgrave
Belgrave Station, Puffing Billy, January 2008

More proof (if it’s still needed) that actually it’s possible to carry a fair amount of stuff on public transport if you put your mind to it.
Glenhuntly station, January 2008

The beginning of the end for Dick Smith Electronics? Their Carnegie “Powerhouse” decided to stop selling electronics — at least, electronic components. This trend continued — by 2016 they’d closed their retail stores and the brand name was sold to online retailer Kogan. Jaycar moved into the space, taking over some old Dick Smith stores.
Dick Smith Powerhouse stops selling electronics, January 2008

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Old photos from December 2007

Here’s another in my series of ten year old photos, this time from December 2007.

Rain at Flinders Street Station. This shot captured a particular problem with the drainage which saw water gushing down past the door of this Hitachi train. Hopefully that issue is long since fixed, or at least being resolved in the current renovation.
Flinders Street Station in the rain, December 2007

Ever wondered what’s inside one of those Information totems in Melbourne’s CBD? The answer back then was, not much. Also notable: the Port Phillip Arcade, recently demolished to make way for the Metro tunnel, and the old tram stop, pre-platform superstop.
Information totem outside Flinders Street Station, December 2007

The bike path alongside the railway line between Ormond and McKinnon. Grade separation in this section has put much of the rail line below street level, though just here is a spot where it comes back up to get over the Murray Road drain. I think I took this photo to illustrate the poor council habit of trimming trees to a height that was fine for walkers, but useless for cyclists. They’ve done far better more recently.
Bike path between Ormond and McKinnon stations, December 2007

Definitely not resolved yet: speed restrictions at the Glenhuntly level crossing mean that trains, even expresses, have to slow down to a crawl.
Glenhuntly station train speed restriction, December 2007

This photo was documenting fuel prices of the time. For a while the Peak Oil theory has contended that as oil became harder to find and extract, petrol prices would skyrocket. For whatever reason, that hasn’t happened yet — prices are much the same nowadays. In fact petrol is cheaper in real terms: $1.439 in 2007 dollars was $1.78 in 2016.
Petrol prices, December 2007

Monty Python’s Spamalot at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. At some stage I took my sons along. It wasn’t entirely suitable for children, but I recall they enjoyed it.
Spamalot at Her Majesty's Theatre, December 2007

Christmas morning at the newly completed Southern Cross Station. V/Line and other operators were offering free services, but with very limited services. I’m not even sure if they took bookings or just expected everyone to turn up. This is the departure for Shepparton. Free rides are a nice gesture, but when demand is so heavy, it has to be managed. (Perhaps for V/Line a gold coin donation to charity is more appropriate?)
Crowding on the train to Shepparton, Southern Cross Station, Christmas Day 2007

Things were a little calmer on some of the other platforms.
Southern Cross Station, Christmas Day 2007

A little later on Christmas morning, about 10am, pretty quiet at Melbourne’s busiest street corner.
Outside Flinders Street Station, Christmas Day 2007

…and on the concourse at Flinders Street, which is much the same as it was back then.
Flinders Street Station, Christmas Day 2007

…ditto on the platforms.
Flinders Street Station, Christmas Day 2007