Friday, September 08, 2006

Bit Interesting Champions

Today I visited Champions, not the gay porn video/dvd seller in Canberra, but the horse racing museum at Fed Square. It was quite interesting and I would say worth the $8 admission. I don't have much interest in horse racing but they did have a John Wren exhibition on for a temporary period.

I have found John Wren very interesting ever since I read Frank Hardy's Power without Glory. Frank Hardy was interesting in himself as was his sister Mary Hardy. Now his grand daughter seems to be everywhere, as Miss Fits, the blogger, Marieke Hardy on ABC tv's Book Club show, writing in The Age newspaper and being heard on the transistor wireless.

Highlights at the horse racing museum for me were a horse's preserved heart, what a monster. A skeleton of a racing horse, the high tech electronic visual stuff, hearing Bill Collins call a horse race, (we are back to Mary Hardy here) and the very, very beautiful old silver cups that had been presented to Melbourne and Caulfield Cup winners.

The John Wren exhibition was not bad, but I learnt nothing I did not already know. There were some old photos I have never seen. Interesting to see a photo of the cyclorama in Richmond. Probably more interesting than riding around and around in circles which is what they did there, with spectators.

I had forgotten that there was a horse racecourse in Richmond, between Bridge Road and Swan Street. Must look at google earth or something later to see what is there now.

This was followed by some shopping at QV, an unrequited search for an icecream at Trampoline, (has it closed?) and coffee outdoors opposite the Town Hall.

Someone very close to me's appointment at St Vincent's Private was obviously taking longer that expected, so I sent an sms that I was going home.


  1. My great uncle used to be a jockey and rode ponies for John Wren. Racing was for the rich, then it was pony racing, greyhounds and pigeons.

  2. As I would have guessed, you have dodgy antecedents. Also guess you inherited a jockey's build.

    I think Wren died in 1959. When would your uncled have ridden for him? Forties?

  3. Champions was my first tourist destination in Melbourne. But thats mostly because I am a horse nut.

  4. He rode for him in the depression, in the forties he was too busy running a baccharat game for visiting yanks.

    And I will have you know I am related to the Earls of Portarlington by marriage. Half of the family is right toffee.

  5. I want to buy a house in Portarlington. Does your fifedom extend to there?

  6. The world is my oyster and I am the pearl.

    (If HE sees that I'll cope a good one)