Sunday, November 02, 2014

Luna Park and Little Jo

Bone Doctor was cycling around the bay in a completive ride. She, Sister and Little Jo had stayed the night before. Sister wisely decided to find something to do while we took Little Jo to Luna Park. The first visit to Luna Park is a rite of passage for Victorian children.

It was a warm day and I checked Tram Hunter for an appropriate tram. There is a good one, a 3A, a big one and with air con and not far behind a 16 that would also deliver us, but it will be crowded. As it was, we were early at the tram stop and caught the 16 which wasn't too crowded.

Many years ago we took Hippy Niece to Luna Park but I can't remember much about it. I can also remember being at Luna Park after a gay Pride March when it was turned into a party venue. It was the first and probably the only time in my life where I saw or will see women use men's urinals, and they did so with some panache and no embarrassment. Oh dear, old man memories but fortunately the lighting was dim.

Little Jo was kept away from tv and devices when she was young. In the long run it seemed to make no difference. She is addicted to tv and 'google', which only The Highrise has and google is not available on computers or phones at her home. I told Sister, for goodness sake, tell her about computers and google, before she looks like a total idiot in front of everyone at school. But I am only a dumb older brother who knows nothing of child raising.


We alighted from the tram a stop early and had a look at the Esplanade Market. No, it is not a real person.


Entry is free into Luna Park, making these historic turnstiles redundant but how good that they have been preserved.


The carousel. Isn't it great. The horses go up and down too.


Little Jo may have been a bit old for this ride. It cost us about $60 for three adult and three child tickets, so Little Jo was walking the park first before selecting her three rides.


It is just a cafe within and I think dodgem cars underneath. Dodgem cars no longer have poles that run around the electrified chicken wire overhead. What a shame. I used to enjoy seeing the sparks. Accidental inclusion of a man with interesting looks and a nice grin.


The lads coming down, and then going up and then down and then up but not in any obvious planned sequence or degree.


It wasn't a good idea to play the ball in the clown mouth first as we then had to carry a fluffy toy around with us.


Little Jo did not select this ride. It looked quite extreme to me. I was waiting while she and R were on the ferris wheel, and waiting and waiting. After the ferris wheel we had a snack and a drink. They day was quite warm.



The Scenic railway always elicits lots of screams. The girls can scream quite loudly too. The ride is very old and has a brake person riding between the two joined carriages. Good heavens. It's a dark skinned woman. How could she possibly have the strength to operate a brake lever? And what would a person born on the sub continent possibly know about the Scenic Railway?


This swinging boat looks fairly harmless. I will take Little Jo on this one. It was awful. As it reached each end of the swing, it was the feeling you get when a lift stops, magnified by 100. "Andrew, I am going to be sick. I want to get off". It was a mistake to eat before this ride. Fortunately she wasn't. No, I wasn't clutching Little Jo's arm in terror. I was trying to comfort her but feeling rather uncomfortable myself.


Littele Jo's third and much tamer choice was the carousel, to R's relief. The carousel is the largest and most elaborate in the Southern Hemisphere. It was made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in German Town, Philadelphia in 1913. The organ part was made in Limonair, Paris in 1909. It was made for the White City Amusement Park in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney in 1913 and in 1923 was bought by Melbourne's Luna Park. By the 1980s it was a wreck and had been painted many times. The original paintwork was found and recreated when it underwent a complete rebuild in the late 1990s and the organ part was restored in 2007. Money well spent, I am sure you will agree. My photos don't do it justice. It is a wonderous piece of art and machinery.


Ah, here is one of those decorated elephants that were seen around town a year or so ago. It looks a little the worse for wear.



We left the park and naturally needed an icecream to go with the already bought bag of fairy floss that Little Jo was going to try and hide from her mummy. It seemed like Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo would now be staying for dinner, so we bought a roast chicken at the supermarket and as we walked out, a cool breeze had arrived. Instead of using the arcard to exit, we used a mural covered alley. Little Jo told me I did not know where I was going. Twenty minutes later as we stepped off the tram and waited for the traffic lights, it actually felt quite cold. Such is Melbourne.

23 comments:

  1. That looks like a good day - but an absolutely exhausting one too. And rides do my tummy in rapidly. I will only watch these days. You and R deserve rather a lot of brownie points.
    Loved seeing one of the elephants again - battered or not.

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    1. EC, I think I am getting too old for rides now. Maybe the carousel and ferris wheel are my standard. Yes, it was a surprise to come across the elephant.

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  2. Well that was interesting. I never knew that White City in Rushcutters Bay - just down the hill from where I live - once housed an amusement park.

    I have only ever known White City as the home of tennis in this state until the late 1990s when it was replaced by a new centre at Olympic Park for the the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In the meantime one section of White City was purchased by my old school - Sydney Grammar - to extend the school's adjacent sporting complex and the remainder of the old site has been mostly unused whilst negotiations proceed to develop it as a new home for the Hakoah Club.

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    1. Victor, when I read about the history of the carousel, I wondered why we don't hear of tennis being played at White City anymore. Now I know. I've also just had a crash course in the word Hakoah. The government sold off valuable public land then. I don't like that much.

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  3. Andrew, it was definitely interesting day for all of you. all theme park looks nice. You are right about knowledge about computers now is necessary to use new technology in my point of you your sister's behaviour is unacceptable and what's more it is harmful for her daughter,

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    1. Gosia, she does know how to use a computer or tablet, but there are some basics she should know.

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  4. Luna Park is just for fun, that says it all.
    I agree with Little Jo some rides make me feel sick, and some should only be done on a empty tummy.
    Merle.................

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    1. It was fun Merle. Sometimes I think it might be worse on an empty stomach, but if the worst happens, an empty stomach is preferable.

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  5. I love old carousels. To look at, not to ride on because when riding one can't properly appreciate the colours and art work. I've never been to Luna Park, not in Melbourne or Sydney. We don't have anything like it here in Adelaide.

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    1. River, you did have that pretty awful thing at Glenelg, but it has gone. It is a wonder that one place like Luna Park wasn't retained.

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  6. I agree that Little Jo needs to know about TV and computers, google etc, or she won't know what the other kids are all talking about at school and many schools now use quite a few computer programs in the lessons.

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    1. River, it runs through my head like this. Little Jo says to another kid that she doesn't have google at home and the kid laughs at her and tells her she is stupid, then tells everyone else.

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    2. That's pretty much what I meant, but you put it more bluntly.

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  7. Such fun to be had. Been there only once when I was 16, a long time ago.

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    1. Wasn't it such a delightful place for teenagers WA. Mind back then, the staff were pretty dodgy. Not so now.

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  8. I've never been to Luna Park!!

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    1. Fen, there will he a nephew for you to take at some point in the future.

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    2. A niece and a nephew, yes!!

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    3. Yes, very remiss of me.

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  9. I agree with you about the TV and computers. Tim was raised with limited television; and now he watches A LOT.

    I personally don't think it's harmful for a child to be kept from it. I just don't really see any benefits from the deprivation.

    I liked reading about your Luna Park adventures.

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    1. Dina, sometimes I think the reverse happens when you deprive a child of something. Once they find it, they become heavier users. Lucky that Tim likes tv, or your blog would be much reduced from what it is.

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  10. How good is it that entrance to Luna Park is free, not much is these days! I guess you make up for it once inside. What a fun time you had, I recognize that 'harmless' swinging boat, if it's the same as our Adventure World ride it's called 'the Bounty' and is a KILLER :) The carousel looks divine, have always loved them. The no computer thing is a little like the no sweeties thing.. when they make contact with either it's ... overload, making up for lost time. I think a little here and there along the line makes them less exciting oui!

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    1. Grace, they make up for it with the price of the rides. I think that is what the ride is called here too. Little Jo told me the name three times and it would not stick in my head. I think you are right about computers. I little along the way would be better.

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