Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just another Sunday WTown Pt1

R, we have options this Sunday. Labassa is open today, but the weather looks sunny in the afternoon and the Williamstown Market is happening. Labassa can wait for a rainy day. Agreed. Now, do we take your car and give it a wash in that excellent car wash place in Altona and then go to the WillieTown Market or take the train to Willietown? R got the words right. The train would be more interesting.

Well by car it would have taken about 15 minutes to get there, but it was Sunday, so what better than a relaxed train trip.

Left home at 10.40, too early but you never know what the tram service will be like. Caught the Werrribee train at 11.07 from Flinders Street. Changed to Williamstown shuttle train at 11.30 and a few minutes later we alighted at Williamstown Beach Station and walked to Nelson Place.

Although we had eaten breakfast, it was nearly midday and we were hungry. At my suggestion we had something to eat then and there as the cafes might get really busy later.

A market atmosphere photo. R bought a stir fry sauce and I bought some Turkish Delight. We also bought a cold jam doughnut for the usurious price of $2.50 each. They were horrible.

The Sunday market is not what it was. There used be many more stalls and I can recall a band playing in the rotunda, rather than a single musician.

One of Williamstown housing commission flat blocks. The views from there over the bay towards the city must be spectacular, but there are no balconies, a serious minus. Apparently the poor are prone to jumping off such accessories.

Oh lordy, The Town Fryer. How droll.

Distressed buildings, I like.

A drinking fountain and even though the weather was cool, it was being well used.

There isn't really a high point in Williamstown. It is very flat, so I am not sure if this church is Catholic or Protestant.

The city. I could see the very top of our building.

Major roundabout with a nice repro lamp.

An automatic tidal gauge, moved here from its original pier location.

There is one monster shop that goes back for miles and it is absolutely full of stuff. It is truly amazing. If you stretched out their shelving for wanky new age cds and dvds, it would run for miles. While it does have some interesting items, as I said to R as we exited, there was little in there to get my chakras excited.

More later. (Note to self. I had to revert to old Blogger to write this post. Created in the old blogger and then switching to the new, the layout is as I wanted)


  1. Why did you switch back to the new if the old works better? I ask myself this.
    This looks like it was such a nice day. Are you guys going into fall down or winter?

  2. What is it that is advertised as opening soon (on the billboard on the distressed building in the sixth photo)?

  3. Anonymous9:56 am

    Ah Williamstown! Have you ever taken the ferry there? It's lovely on a nice day. It's a shame the market has gone down. I loved going there. Your lunch looks delicious! V.

  4. Anonymous12:03 pm

    aaw your poor unexcited Chakras


  5. I enjoyed the photos, do you know about the old mortuary in Ann Street? It was built by convicts in 1859 and stood at Gem pier until moved to Ann Street in 1873 (more discreet location). Prior to it being built there was a law compelling local pub owners to make their cellars available for the parking of corpses.

    The market is mainly crafts and poorly attended. I don't know why they persist with it (except as a boost to local cafes), no one wants to buy crafts: knitted golliwogs and things.

    Unlike St Kilda Williamstown was always a cheap place to live, until "views" became popular everywhere in 1980. Attempts have been made to sell the Housing Commision flats to private enterprise; the land now is probably the most expensive around the entire bay area. None of these attempts have really been serious, it's more like some state tory flying a kite to test public reaction and the reaction has always been hostile.

    That joint claiming to be the best fish and chip shop is being mighty cheeky, "Mussels" over the road in Nelson Place is the best in Melbourne. Mine Host is a crazy man but his little birdie cutiepie staff cook up a mean scallop. Try the little courtyard out the back, complete with ancient dunny.

    The billboard in photo six is outside the old Customs House. The building has been tried for many enterprises, all failed. I'll be passing there later today and will find out what's "opening Soon" if no one else knows.


  6. I'm surprised by the lack of graffiti especially on the old tidal gauge given it's lovely flat walls.

  7. I remember going to the Williemarkets a few years back and coming home with all manner of goodies.... Still have a small framed seaside print hidden in storage somewhere.

  8. Getting on for winter Rubye. There are things I like about the new blogger but photo placement isn't one of them and for some reason, I ran out of page!

    Victor, there is an obscured banner with giftware for sale, something World it is called and I think closing down sale. The billboard is Custom's Wharf Galleria, opening soon.

    V, see part 2. The lunch was nice and the coffee good. Just half a foccacia each.

    Fen, whatever they are. They sound like something to bang together.

    RH, I understand the same happened in the city with bodies been kept in hotel cellars. You are right about the market. No one would really go there for it now.

    It might be cheaper to knock the flats down and rebuild. I understand some Tory has the go ahead for a highrise nearby. I forget the detail. I think we have had very ordinary fish and chips at that place a few years ago.

    Quite so Jah Teh. It was full of rubbish inside though and stank.

  9. Kath, to my embarrassment I too have a framed seaside print under my bed. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

  10. Opening Soon
    Customs Wharf Galleria
    Spacious rooms available to individual tenants.

    Oh my goodness, Arty!


    Maybe they're intending a Chapel Street Bazaar. It's been tried before and didn't work.
    Nelson Place is not Chapel Street; no tattoos or metal piercings around here, more of a Camberwell consciousness.

    A grab for the Willy Commission flats does indeed involve demolition.

    Whenever I see parkland or public buildings like this with a nice view I smile to think how it must grieve old moneybags, "Good heavens, the possibilities!"

    They've been gnashing their teeth for years over the Willy flats. The poor aren't the only crowd on valium.

  11. I keep driving past the Williamstown turn off on my way into town and wondered what its like - must make a visit now

  12. Williamstown is very conservative, very family; a visible lack of funk.

  13. I think you are right about the Galleria RH and about it being a conservative place, but fairly left in voting patterns.

    You should MC. Go with someone, have some wine and lunch outdoors in the winter sunshine. I am surprised you have been or been taken there already.

  14. I just switched to the new blogger.. and I think I will have to do as you have done here and revert to post.
    Love the pictures here Andrew. The food is making me hungry on my night shift break :)

  15. In twenty years Williamstown has attracted people on good incomes, there's plenty of Greens voters among them for sure. I know the residents generally are big on environmental issues anyway (which means their OWN environment of course, but in the end if concern over property values prevents some ugly building going up then well and good). This electorate of Gellibrand is safe Labor anyway because it includes some of the poorest parts of Melbourne.

    Port Melbourne (Melbourne Ports) is safe Labor too. That's hard to work out because the entire electorate has been jazzed up. Maybe tradition overwhelms everything, even new affluence.

    Williamstown had three train stations: North Williamstown, Williamstown Beach, and Williamstown. The train terminates at Williamstown Beach now, Williamstown station is gone but the tracks were still there a few years ago, I walked along them. On a grassed area at the city side of North Williamstown station there's a sad little plaque remembering the deaths two primary schoolkids, brother and sister, killed at the crossing. I think it was more than twenty years ago now but I remember being in the kitchen here when I heard about it, just on dark

    If you go to Williamstown by car you can drive south down Nelson Place and along where it continues as Battery Road, passing the Titanic Theatre Restaurant on the right whose proprietor likes to stand around dressed as a sea captain and whose wife died mysteriously. It's a dull few minutes but you'll emerge at Point Gellibrand; magnificent view, and site of an early graveyard, bones dug up years ago and planted elsewhere. The original Timeball Tower is there as well.

    Newport station (Mason Street side) is worth a look as well. The walls have bas relief sculptures of screwbolts, tools etc, reflecting Newport's industrial heritage. Just up Mason Street there's a very good St Vinnies selling furniture and further along there's a pleasant new cafe at the edge of the park. You might like to try it.

    Across the road is PizzaTrain Cafe. I'm a regular there. Pop in if you see me (I'm sure you can't wait).

  16. Cazzie, we will have to change to the new one eventually, hopefully once they iron the bugs out.

    Well RH, Melb Ports still has its housing commission residents, its artistic types, its musicians, people like me who votes green and preferences Labor, and a very large Jewish population to vote for our Jewish local member, who is not such a bad bloke really. It is becoming tight now though.

    Those three stations are still there, but I think the train did go further around towards a pier.

    I've seen the other parts including the time ball tower.

    I will have to take a look at the outside of Newport Station. It sounds interesting.

  17. I know you'd never miss anything; my little travelogue was for those not acquainted with the area.
    Plus I wanted to slip in the bit about the proprietor of the Titanic Restaurant, dressed as a cruise ship captain. I consider his strange presence - standing outside his premises different times of the day - a curiousity worth viewing.

  18. Titanic Restaurant is a weird place. I am surprised it survives.