This incredible footage showcases Melbourne as it was back in 1931!
This captivating video only runs for around 8 minutes, however if you are short on time, you can skip to the following times within the clip:
- Panoramic view over what is now Federation Square (and beyond) 0:15
- St Kilda Road - virtually unrecognisable without its modern office-blocks and soaring apartment buildings! 0:28
- Princes Bridge with a view now blocked by Federation Square: 0:57
- Collins Street including the Regent Theatre and Town Hall: 1:10
- Parliament House which somehow appears even more impressive and beautiful back then. Also includes a glimpse of The Windsor: 1:37
- Royal Exhibition Buildings: 2:11
- State Library of Victoria: 2:30
- University of Melbourne: 2:55
- Fitzroy Gardens and a glimpse of 1930s fashion: 3:17
- View from the banks of the Yarra (towards what is now the Riverland bar & beyond): 4:27
- Botanical Gardens: 5:11
- Originally a horse track, The Tan's horse riders have since been replaced by joggers and power-walkers: 7.35
Interestingly, the video features the Director of the Botanical Gardens pointing at the Separation Tree (7:00.) This 400 year-old tree marks the spot where Victorians celebrated their independence from NSW in 1850. Last week (Aug 2010) somebody brutally attacked this historic tree with an axe and it is now likely to die: read The Age's article here. I cannot imagine what motivated this attack!
I am also curious as to why the video did not include Flinders Street Station. In 1931 the Station was as much of a Melbourne landmark as it is now, featuring prominently on postcards of this time (such as the one below from 1927.) I am unsure of the provenance of the video - which could shed some light on this matter - but if anyone has any ideas or information please let me know!
I hope you all enjoy this video as much as I did! While much of Melbourne has remained the same, the clip provides a fascinating insight into how it would have felt to be in Melbourne almost 80 years ago. How times have changed!