Tonight (Friday) is Open Studio night at the Nicholas Building near Flinders Street Station where jewellers, artists and designers will be demonstrating their craft and selling their works. The night market at the Vic Market starts on Wednesday and continues on Wednesdays throughout the summer. There are fetes at Viewbank and Clifton Hill Primary Schools, sundry fairs in North Melbourne and South Yarra, a special new fair at Magnolia Square in East Malvern, and the Melbourne Craft Mafia Christmas Bazaar in Prahran. Details at Fairs & Fetes in Melbourne.
Tonight you can swing under the stars with the Monash Big Band, this weekend there is a jazz festival at the Collingwood Children’s Farm and later in the week the Women’s Jazz Festival begins. Detail at Jazz in Melbourne.
“I notice you have added to your home page that White Hat is ‘Informed, Intelligent, Independent (and sometimes) Irreverent. As a South African ex-pat can I add one more word – Intertaining! Any other RSA readers out there?
“I refer to your listing of Carols by Candlelight which says ‘As society has become more secularised, so has this event and in recent years it has become more of a commercial vehicle to promote TV 'personalities' of limited talent singing shopping carols with only occasional reminders of the spiritual significance of the festival, We would not normally feature a two hat event, but Carols by Candlelight still holds nostalgic connotations for most Melbournians.’ How can you expect people to advertise on your site if you are going to write such tripe as this!
Well JH, we do say that we are Independent and don’t just mindlessly reproduce press releases. As to advertising, I would point out the model used by our local paper. The main articles are written by people who appear to be unreconstructed Marxists whose main theme is the evil deeds of landlords, property developers and real estate agents. And who pays their wages? The landlords, property developers and real estate agents who provide 90% of the income of the paper through their advertising. The two sit happily side by side and the system has worked well for years so I’m sure the same model can work for White Hat.
“. . where do we catch the fairy from St Kilda to Williamstown? . .
We also received this personal note which readers may find interesting.
“thanks sooo much for recharging my phone. sorry for the phone calls in the middle of the night. you loose track of time at schoolies and none of us could figure out how to work a public phone. my phone had run out of money cos my best friend couldn’t come cos her dad wouldn’t let her and said she could have a special hol with friends instead. sooo cruel!! anyway i walked around the streets with the phone on so lucy could hear what it was like and sort of feel she was part there and then the phone ran out and i rang you. pleeese dont tell dad. im back at work next week and will pay you back. schoolies isn’t evil like they say on tele. its just a lot of people having a groovy time and its pretty safe and ive met this really cool guy whos not like anyone i know back in melb. ill tell you about him when I get home. thanks again – gotta party!
This weekend is the Croydon Main Street Carnival. In Footscray & Maribyrnong is the Big West Biennial Arts Festival. They were going to hold it every year but thought that ‘Biennial’ made it sound really classy. There is a Vietnamese Festival at Collingwood to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon resulting in a large immigration of Vietnamese to Australia. Details at Community Festivals in Melbourne. The 9th Annual Monbulk Music Festival (formerly known as Monbulk Jazz & Blues Festival) has been cancelled through lack of sponsorship and the Meredith Music Festival is completely sold out.
Next Friday is a Kriskindl market and children’s activities at Maling Road in Canterbury. Starting on Sunday week there are a series of free children’s concerts and activities at Fed Square. Details at Children's & Family Activities in Melbourne.
“JUST LOVED your mini quiz for Martina - so simple I knew the answers and had a good laugh as well! Where did you get such a great sense of humour, keep up the good work,
“Dear White Hat, I couldn't resist answering your mini-quiz, it was sooooo much easier than the usual one:
- Where is the Johnston Street Fiesta to be held? The little-known Johnston Street Fiesta is of course held in that small section of Rome known as L’Australia piccola (or Little Australia), a small community of people who migrated from Abbotsford and Collingwood back to their parents’ homeland, and renamed one of the streets to remind them of our wide brown land.
- Who wrote the autobiography of Sir John Monash? Obviously a trick question – only Sir John Monash could write his own autobiography…although there was a rumour that John Batman was his ghost writer – apparently Batman’s ghost appeared to Monash during the long lonely candle-lit nights with quill in hand.
- Robert Russell was an architect who proposed a smaller street grid before Hoddle’s grander one. Robert Russell also designed St James Old Cathedral. Who is Russell Street named after? Russell Street is actually named after my great-great Uncle, Russell Smithers, who worked on building the roads in and around Melbourne, and was drawn and quartered after being caught carving his name into too many of the bluestone blocks. His mates all lobbied to have his memory honoured after he died. You can still see his carvings if you look very carefully at the remaining bluestone gutters around the city.
- Who is the Queen Victoria Market named after? Mary Elizabeth Anne Victoria Greenland, the fourth cousin twice removed of Queen Victoria, and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria’s mother.
- What language is spoken in Broadmeadows? Strine, of course! You probably won’t get far if you Google my answers - you will just have to take my word for it.
We should point out that Russell Street was a trick question. It was actually named after Earl Russell of England.
“Mr White Hat
I just read your newsletter number 151 (Nov 18th) and read with interest some history on the tourism efforts of Melton and Rockbank. Having lived there for 28 years it was interesting to read something that I had never heard of before! The area of Rockbank is so named because it is located on a volcanic rock plain which is very high in nutrients allowing numerous vineyards to establish themselves along the Melton Hwy (eg: Witchmount Winery and Galli Estate). It also means that the ground is naturally very, very rocky. Caroline Springs is a Delfin estate and was built on a plain that was predominantly rock and I watched much of the excavation of the area as I drove to and from work every day. All of the waterways in Caroline Springs are man-made by Delfin. I haven't been able to find any information on a Mr George Caroline or a business in the Melton area that made truck springs.
Kind regards Kerri”
“Just wondering if you have forgotten about the Rockbank Lion Park...or perhaps, like me, your parents preferred rock and thistle parks. Thanks for your newsletter.
A new comprehensive exhibition based around the wonderful Victorian era design work of William Morris and friends opens this weekend at the museum. There is no extra charge for this exhibition but the small museum entry charge applies (free for kids). Details at Melbourne Museum.
If you are looking for a theme for your Christmas decorations, wrapping, gifts etc you could do worse than choose a William Morris theme. I have some relatively cheap Dover books of William Morris designs and I imagine they are still in print, and you should be able to track down William Morris wrapping paper. Facsimiles of his beautifully designed and illustrated books make a great present. Place a few candles around the room, bring out those lace doilies you got as a wedding present (or was that your first marriage?), put on a recording of quality Victorian parlour music and you can create an understated reminder of Christmas past – at least until the children arrive.
We are planning a new page on our site where markets can advertise for stallholders and where stallholders can spruik their services to market organisers. If you would like more information, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A new farmers market is due to open at Gasworks Park in Port Melbourne in January. Details at Farmers' Markets in Victoria.
Some people speak about the arts and entertainment spectrum in terms of high art and low art, but I don’t find that very useful. I prefer to think of the spectrum running from deep to shallow. It’s great fun to spend time splashing around at the shallow end and life would be unbalanced if we didn’t do that for some of the time. In the shallows there are lots of people trying to make simple things look really difficult, while towards the deep end there are people making difficult and important things look quite simple and effortless.
Even though it’s good clean fun down the shallow end, its getting more crowded and pretentious. Writers of school curricula have shoaled there and are feeding voraciously. Further up the food chain lecturers are fiercely protecting their territory in the shallows from rival predators.
This has left a lot more space towards the deep end and if you are interested in following the career of some talented Melbournians and listening to some great music we suggest you keep an eye and an ear on The Benaud Trio. This classical trio loves cricket and so named themselves after Richie Benaud. They are unpretentious with none of the histrionics you’ll see at the shallow end, and highly talented. I think you would get much satisfaction following their career over the years. They have a free concert coming up at BMW Edge on 14 December together with the similarly talented Tailem Quartet making the difficult look easy. See Classical Music in Melbourne. We will be there. You might also enjoy their publicity photograph.
This weekend the Archibald Prize finalists go on display at the Arts Centre. There is also a free public talk by one of the artists on Sunday. Details at George Adams Gallery. The College of the Arts have their graduate exhibition. Details at Exhibitions in Melbourne. The Victorian Artists Society has their Artist of the Year exhibition. I always find it interesting to go to the Artists Society website to see which colours they think work well together: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~vicart/page6.htm#exhibitions
This weekend you can choose from the Spring Harvest Festival at Werribee Park, the Queenscliff Music Festival, a Day on the Green at Mount Martha a Medieval Fayre and Tourney at Berwick and the Drysdale Community Christmas Festival. Go to our home page and under Victoria – events choose this weekend from the drop down menu. The following weekend is open weekend at the Poenies of Romswood and the Dennis Walter Carols by the Bay in Geelong.
How well do you know Melbourne?
First to last week’s quiz.
In the past decade, Melbourne has seen some major revitalisation of its built heritage – thanks Steve, thanks Jeff. However, not all Melbourne projects were ever finished and others have been removed, so here are a few questions about Melbourne’s missing heritage.
- In the 1950s school children were encouraged to form a mile of pennies (copper coins) which were contributed for a landmark building. What was that Building?
- By about 1913 (I’m sure someone will give me the correct date) all private tram systems were taken over by the state government. Since that time many tram lines were torn up. Name a street (or two) where trams no longer run.
- What part of Melbourne’s Parliament House was never built?
- Melbourne has several corridors once used for public transport but now gradually being redeveloped. What were these corridors called?
- And for the sake of Martina (see Mini Quiz above) a dead easy question. Name an election promise (or two) relating to Melbourne in the last 20 years that was never been delivered on.
We had a number of answers so here is a quick summary.
Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.
We had so many responses to broken election promises that I may just forward them to the political parties concerned.
Now to this week’s quiz
Some simple (or are they?) questions about Melbourne and colour.
- What colour is our state flower?
- What colour is ‘The Tan’?
- At major events we often see crowds waving green and gold flags representing Australia. When the troops returned from the first and second world wars Melbournians waved Australian flags in the street and draped them from their windows. What was the predominant colour of those flags?
- Vienna has the beautiful Blue Danube? What does Melbourne have?