Thursday, June 7, 2012

On This Day In Aussie History 7th of 6th

I have been having the most fun exploring new links and pages, finding all sorts of goodies to tickle my own fancy then sharing the quirky bits with you.
Cos Aussie history is not boring, despite the best efforts of some academics, media and a few teachers who deem our past as nothing of worth.
We have bizarre, funny, strange, gruesome, hilarious, outrageous and almost unbelievable events in our short (compared to others countries) history that have shaped this nation and we should damn well take pride in our quirky past.
Because it's our past and while, we might have a lot to own up to, we also have a lot to brag about.

Seems our heritage are under threat from several sources -
First the Zig Zag railway is to be closed up *sob* and
Puffing Billy was whacked with a great tree.
and will we see these heritage beer labels back in production?

First off the blocks today is the pupping of infamous historical figure Sir Redmond Barry in 1813.
But before you curse him for hanging Ned remember - this well-read chappy lent a large number of his personal tomes to the Dunolly Public Library, which probably kept someone awake late at night reading under the bedclothes with a torch.
Or not.

On this day in 1971 a momentous change took place - Station Street in Thornbury was renamed....
Station Street.
According to my copy of Morgan's Official Street Directory (37th edition Large Scale) Station Street was lengthed, straightened and took over a number of shorter streets.
Yes, you were completely thrilled with that tidbit, weren't you?

Rusalka Week begins today, with Slavic mythology stating that Rusalki are female ghosts/mermaids/sirens/nymphs/demons who climb from their watery homes and swing in the trees.
Somewhat like the screeching inebriated females on a Saturday night in Melbourne...

Australia II, the yacht that won us the right to stay up with our then-PM calling grumpy bosses "bums" was christened by Eileen Bond in 1982. (some sites state 6th others the 7th).

Forgotten place today is...(drum roll)
Tommy Best's Ford. (No, not the motor car, a crossing place at a creek).
It's in the area now known as Branxholme, but who was Tommy Best?
I'm glad you asked as I've hunted him down for you - Edward Henty (him what settled the Portland area before any white folk were supposed to be in Victoria) employed Tommy Best as a blacksmith, aged 16.
Smithing work must have paid well as Tommy eventually bought the Traveller's Rest Inn near a crossing of the Arrandoovong Creek (sans Rusalki), which then became known as Tommy Best's Ford, before he went on to buy Arrandoovong Homestead.
For the full history of the beautiful home, Tommy Best and others click HERE.

 This may or may not be an image of rampaging Rusalki.


  1. Never knew there was a zig-zag railway. Now that you've told me about it, I'll miss it. :(

    Redmond Barry, I think, had a lot to do with the state library, didn't he? I agree with him. Ned was a loser and a prat. But Barry did not give him a fair trial. Very naughty.

    You have an old street directory. I'm so jealous I'm adding the site thereof to my favourites bar. [Do I sound like an IT expert yet?]

  2. I lurve old street directories, there is so much to be discovered in them lol.
    Yes, Barry was big on libraries...he was big on begatting children out of wedlock, too, but he loved his books ;)
    Yes, you sound so IT-y, excellent!

  3. I was very sad to hear about the Zig Zag railway. The town of Lithgow is very concerned at its loss. It was on my list to see.


  4. We can only hope the funds come through at some future date for this fabulous railway and we can appreciate the historical engineering again.

  5. I loved the Zig Zag railway. Humph. History as she was taught to me was beyond dull. History as she happened? Quite the opposite.

  6. Exactly, EC, history is a living, breathing entity made by living, breathing people - how can they make it sooooooo boring that no one wants to hear about it?!

  7. .... about time that Thornbury featured in the history books!