xenith: (Eucalypt)

Actually, this one is in Charles St, just around the corner from the Mall. It took me a while to be sure there was actually something there.

Read more... )
xenith: (Blue towers)
Every time I go from home to the city centre, or the other way, I go over Kings Bridge or the overpass that runs beside it, so I have to look at this. Terrible, I know.


Two more photos )
xenith: (Signal hut)
Ghost signs: painted advertising on the sides of buildings. Wikipedia for more information.

I went through my photos to find all the ones I've photographed around Launceston. I'm using a broad definition. Some are new/in good condition. Some are so faded it's hard to tell if they were advertising.

First the location, then a close up of the sign.


Irvine & McEachern, Cascade House

"THE undersigned beg to notify to their friends and the public, that they have this day purchased the Wine, Spirit and Grocery business, lately carried on in Brisbane-street, by the Executor of the late C. J. Irvine" 1868 Advertisement

I'm not sure when they moved to George St, or this buildings was constructed. *searches through advertising* In December 1940 they're advertising Black & White Scotch Whiskey, from Cascade House, 3-7 George St (this building). The previous advertisement I can find is from 1938, and they're located in Cascade House, Charles St

Not unreasonable to guess that's when the sign dates from.

Read more... )
xenith: (Brisbane Hotel)
of Brisbane St, because I found them while looking for something else and therefore have to show off the pretty city.


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xenith: (Eucalypt)
Former Roller World skating centre, Merino St, Launceston.

Back in the 1980s, the roller skating centre was in the city proper--a warehouse on the cnr of Cimitiere & Tamar Sts--and it was where the teenagers went of a weekend. (A large main rink, smaller rink, kiosk, separate room with a wall-screen for films, lots of seats and corners for doing teenagery things in, all in enclosed area.) I'm not when it moved, but in the 1990s, the rink was out at the former Elphin Showgrounds. A smaller complex, without all the extra facilities. Then I assume it moved to the Merino St site when the showgrounds were closed. By this time, roller skating certainly wasn't as popular anymore. Nothing on the internet about the earlier sites, and my memory is mixed up. (There was also an older rink at Elphin, at the Cypress St end, which I seem to remember was operating in the 1970s and is possibly the same one in use in the 1950s. It had a different owner to the Cimitiere St rink, and possibly they were both operating at the same time at one point. Memory is a fuzzy thing.)


Anyway, the Merino St site seems to have closed about 2005. An archived copy of their website was last updated November 24. Then in February 2005, City Mission was looking to buy the site to replace their Youngtown warehouse after it burnt down. The fire at this site was in 2009. That we can't remember this, even though it was just a few years ago, probably shows how roller skating has declined in popularity.

I assume the fire is why the buildings is so well closed up now. No useful broken windows or gaps in the timber to take photos through.

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xenith: (Ensign)
Notorious is a replica of a 15th century Portuguese caravel. They stopped by in Launceston on the way to the Wooden Boat Festival.


This is a rather cool little ship, but even more when you read its story. (Working link for Facebook page.)

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xenith: (Default)
Today I came across this little announcement, and the tone of it caught my attention.


Without wishing to unduly alarm the residents of the low-lying portions of Inveresk, I wish to notify them that both the North and South Esk Rivers are rising very rapidly, and that there is a possibility of Inveresk being flooded this afternoon or tonight.

If there are signs of water going over the embankment, the Post Office Clock will be tolled for half an hour, and residents living on the lower portion of Inveresk are advised to leave their houses immediately the warning is given.

Originally it appeared in a special edition of the Examiner, although I came across it in a little book The Tasmanian Floods 1929, Compiled for the Government of Tasmania by William Judd. The 1929 Flood was the worst natural disaster to hit Launceston. In order to alert residents in threatened areas of the danger, a special one-page issue of the local newspaper (the Examiner) was printed and distributed to all the houses the day before, as in hours before. The above announcement, written by the Mayor, appeared in this issue, along with a request from other residents to provide assistance. The problems of communicating with the masses, before TV and widespread radio.

The book continues with:

It was a pitiless night. The rain was falling in torrents, and a strong wind was blowing, but the first disaster came before mid-night, in the failure of the electric supply, and the plunging of the whole city into Cimmerian darkness.

The flood waters had submerged the local station – later they destroyed it – and had broken down the Hydro-electric mains, so all hope of securing electric light had to be abandoned.

And then the dreaded summons of the alarm bell.

Launceston is proud of its centenary chimes, and of the deep sonorous notes of the big bass bell, on which the hours are struck, but few who heard it slowly tolling in the very early morning hours of the Black Saturday will ever forget the sense of impending disaster that it created, especially when it was joined by the harsh clanging of the fire bell.

He goes on to describe the arrival of volunteers with their cars, and how they waded through water and rain to rescue the residents, and then later in boats. Fascinating details of an event I'd grown up hearing about, and seeing photos from, but never had it brought to life like this little booklet managed.
xenith: (Plane)
Day 1: We arrive!
Day 1: We look at things
Day 2: Morning in Melbourne
Day 2: We look at fishies
Day 2: Transition
Day 2: We look at animals
Day 2: Lights
Day 3: That's this one

Day 3, Home

Thursday morning we had to be done in the hotel foyer, packed and ready to go, at 5 minutes to 6. Yeah, that's what I thought. The hotel shuttle bus picked us up form there, dropped us at the Skybus depot at Southern Cross station and we were taken out to the airport. Exciting, I know.

At the airport, we went to check-in at Qantas but we were booked on JetStar. Oh well.

Photo 1

That's a JetStar plane, but not ours.

More )
xenith: (Brisbane Hotel)
Continuing with Victorian-era Launceston from the other day, but I'll start with something other than a photo. I shall start with a print from the State Library of Victoria of the exhibition buildings stretching back into the city park.

The Tasmanian International Exhibition in Launceston opened in 1891 (because everyone else is having International Exhibition and we have to get in before Hobart.) There's a bit more about it here, but note the attendance figures given there: 262,000 visitors, for a new city of 17,000 people.

Hobart's International Exhibition was held a couple of years later, in 1894/1895. You can see their exhibition building. There, over the back. It's obvious one you find it. Closer view :) It's not there now. All gone. Of course, Launceston's main building still exists.

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xenith: (Brisbane Hotel)
Let's see if I can get this to work.

So Launceston, main urban centre in northern Tasmania, population somewhere between 80-110,000 depending on how you measure it (city council says 100,000). Wikipedia would have it as 17th on the list of Largest cities in Australia, so I guess that makes it one of the larger regional cities. Huh.

Launceston benefited from the mining boom of the last 19th century, and officially became a city on 1st January, 1889. Most of the city's large public buildings date from this period, and many commercial buildings were constructed and developed. Successive decades didn't bring the development pressures of larger/faster growing cities, so much of the boom-time architecture remains. (The city's motto is "Progress with Prudence" after all.) The city centre, above the lower level, is predominantly late-Victorian facades, and the grand old buildings the city streets.

Top - Brisbane St

So this is Launceston as a late-Victorian boom city.

xenith: (Default)
Another photo, of the other side of the river.

Which, a century ago, looked like this. Minor difference :)

The second image is the better one, but I can't find a simple way to link to it. A bit earlier and not as busy, so the customs house is easy to see.

Typical waterfront, with warehouses and taverns. In the modern photo, there's an empty block just to right of the red brick building, which IIRC was the location of a particularly popular pub, but I cannot remember the name to look it up.
xenith: (Default)
This might be of interest people who don't know about it (which is probably most people on the planet).

This is the Town Square, in the centre of Launceston, in Cornwall, in the UK, near the River Tamar. (Nothing interesting about that particular image, except it was easy to use, because I borrowed it from Wikipedia Commons).

But back in 1758 the town was the birthplace of Philip Gidley King, who was governor of NSW from about 1800-1806, at the time when it was decided that the latest attempt at a settlement in northern Van Diemen's Land needed a name. So in honour of King, the city-to-be was named Launceston, on the River Tamar, in the county of Cornwall. (Although we don't use counties now, but the name hangs about in various places.)

Which is this place. Ten times the population of its namesake, and probably one-tenth the age.

The tendency of British settlers to recycle familiar place names is well known, but I think they outdid themselves just a touch there. (Interesting anecdote on the Wikipedia page about the fountain being misdirected. I haven't heard that before, but the fountain did come from France (from the World Exhibition in Paris IIRC) so it's possible.

There used to be a closer connection between the two places, gift exchanges, visits by each mayor (or whatever the correct title is). I have read a note from the UK dignitary claiming that Tasmanian city is the daughter city of its UK namesake so Melbourne must be the grand-daughter city.
xenith: (Steps)
You're seen this before. Wait! No. you haven't. I haven't seen it quite like this.

Reading the Examiner today, it seems the Bureau of Met guys were expecting a 1 in 50 year flood (water levels were similar to that of a 1969 flood, until just before the city) which I guess explains the evacuation warnings, but then the Meander didn't flood so the flows in the South Esk had somewhere to go .

(See the South Esk starts up in the north east, curls around and comes in to the meet the Tamar from the west, so most of the rivers in the north/north east/northern Midlands flow into it, except the North Esk with flows straight into the Tamar just above that junction (and it is on the plain where the three rivers meet that our little city lies) So the rain from any and all of that area comes rushing down to this one point. The Meander comes in from the west, and it didn't rain as much out there.)


So here it our lovely river in all its spectacular, almost-50-year-flood level glory. Also rainbow water.

(Insert usual grumble about still photos reduced to web size not being worth putting up. Maybe you can imagine yourself as being equally reduced in size?)

Enter )
xenith: (Steps)
I went into town to have a look at the Tamar River. It had obviously dropped from its peak (at 8 am, three hours earlier, but the debris marked where it had been.

Photo 2

The thing that struck me was the lack of boats.

I can't just post one. )
xenith: (Steps)
I went up to the Gorge to see if the South Esk was in flood, and it was. So I took photos. Strange, I know :)

It did occur to me that I only ever post photos of the Gorge when it's in flood but apparently not: usual summer view. Of course it is more interesting in all its swirling, crashing, booming glory, even in mid-January.


A handful more )
xenith: (Brisbane Hotel)
I uploaded these photos last year and haven't done anything with them so....


Now as I've probably said before, Launceston likes to pass itself as a respectable late Victorian city, and we don't talk about the older days, do we?

Obviously that's different these days, and of course the older buildings are there, if not always obvious. There's St Johns church, the synagogue and some pubs. (Looks at that combination and laughs.) A couple of public buildings, but I really haven't done much on Launceston, have I?

I shall do something about that, one day. )

Brisbane St

Jul. 4th, 2010 11:02 pm
xenith: (Default)
I don't seem to post many photos of Launceston, so a few photos of Brisbane St, the central city street, that I took a few months back on a Friday. Just before noon, actually. The town clock was striking 11.45 :)

Brisbane Mall

Starting at Brisbane Mall

See more, that'd be three more )


xenith: (Default)

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