Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A visit to Clayton

I have strong family connections to Clayton. Many of my maternal forebears owned market gardens in the area, also in South Oakleigh, Moorabbin and quite early, Brighton. Many streets have names from my family, such as Cochran Street in Brighton, as I said to Brighton Antique Dealer after we dropped her home last Saturday after dinner. Oddly, Clayton was also the stamping ground of my step mother's partner, and his family was also well known in the area.

But really that is irrelevant to this post. No market gardens in Clayton now. Just houses, lots of houses, as far as the eye can see. I enticed R to go to Clayton to see the new elevated railway track and new station with the promise of lunch somewhere nice and by golly, we found somewhere nice. I was a little concerned that we would not.

We caught the 58 tram to South Yarra Station and then the limited express train to Clayton. The train skips the MATH stations. In reverse order to our travel to Clayton; Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn. It also skipped one or two other stations that are closed as Skyrail construction goes ahead.

We wandered along Clayton Road looking for somewhere to eat. We came across Caffe(sic) Corso and it was not expensive, the food was nice and the coffee brilliant. Service was friendly but thankfully not over the top. I was interested to note they kept tables outside for only coffee and smoking. In our state, there is no smoking in any eating area, inside or out. Sadly this rule killed one of my favourite outdoor coffee places opposite Melbourne Town Hall, which was wonderful for people watching. I see no conspiracy that Starbucks have taken over half the space. I have noted that a venue at the State Library has outdoor smoking and coffee, and presumably no food is to be eaten there.



The station wasn't quite finished but was clearly very functional. There is little beauty in modern Australian railway stations. It is all about function. 



I am not a fan of elevated roads or train tracks, but they are very practical.


One of the old station buildings is still there. See the final piece below. It may well be the building with the fire.


I found the overhead support poles for train electric wires fascinatingly weird. 





I wrote the below back in 2011. 

I was in the State Library of Victoria researching some stuffs in the card index of The Sun News Pictorial and a couple of things jumped out at me as amusing. This is but one.

7th May, 1958, Mrs Norma Bond, a blonde dancer, stops a runaway truck.

It would almost be worth finding the entry in the newspaper to get the full details on that one.

From a history of the Melbourne suburb of Clayton, as I recall it:

Should you miss your train (at Clayton Station) and have to endure a one hour wait, there is a warm fire in the waiting room. It may not be possible to get too close to the fire though as it is often surrounded by dogs. Gee, they don't even have a loo at stations now, let alone a fire, dogs notwithstanding.

From the same book:

The football match between Clayton and Clyde on Crawfords Paddock erupted into chaos when the players in their new bright red jumpers were charged by a bull. They fought each other to take shelter in the dressing room while ladies lifted their skirts and ran into an nearby market garden.What? They grabbed a carrot and threateningly said 'Don't you come near me you big, bad, bull'?

I became so engrossed in my research for stuffs, I forgot the time and three hours had passed. It was more fun than the internet.

26 comments:

  1. I don't think we have any coffee and cigarette areas here. I am pretty certain smoking is banned at any eating and drinking establishments. As well as bus stops (which I doubt is practically enforceable in the suburbs).
    Loved the snippets your reseaching self latched onto. And fondly remember fires in country railway station waiting rooms.

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    1. EC, there are only two coffee and cigarette places we have seen, although we know of another. Yeah, tram stops here, smoking is banned. At times ignored, usually by the mentally unwell. I reckon I might have experienced fires at country railway stations, but I honestly can't remember.

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  2. That book was a real find. Surprised you didn't see if you could buy it on Amazon!

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    1. Marie, I think it might be in a book I have, and I am confusing two different things.

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  3. Drat! No Trove entries for The Sun as yet, except a one-off 1956 special. Interested parties are curious about the powers of this blonde dancer !
    Have yet to grace the new Clayton station with my presence; I agree - not pretty but practical.

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    1. Jayne, meanwhile you are drumming your fingers until your new station opens.

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    2. Nope, Oakleigh station is still standing.
      That horrendous eye sore that was Hughesdale Station is finally GONE!!!
      A pile a steaming horse manure would have been more enjoyable to look at than that monstrosity.

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    3. Ok. I thought you used the very horrid Hughesdale Station.

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  4. I never wander looking for somewhere to eat, I always research online first. :)

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    1. Snoskred, some time ago I learnt that you can over research.

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  5. Clayton, McKinnon, South Oakleigh, Moorabbin and Bentleigh had lots of market gardens until after 1946 when ex-servicemen were looking for plots of land on which to build small homes for their new wives and new babies. The banks would give them low interest loans, but they could only build in certain, distant suburbs. Thus my parents lived from 1948-> in McKinnon and I knew Clayton and South Oakleigh very well.

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    1. Hels, no. Market gardens went on well until the sixties and seventies in those areas. The new housing coexisted with the market gardens.

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  6. Glad to read you had a good time in that beautiful State Library building...

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    1. Jan, as well as being a nice building, it is so good for research.

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  7. Nice to find a cafe (Caffe) with good food and service and not too expensive, makes the day trip worthwhile.

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    1. River, I don't know your equivalent to Clayton, think middle suburb, but it was a bit of a surprise. It is not a great area.

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  8. How homely living back then with the fire at the station, wow - can't imagine that today.

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    1. Margaret, while no fire now, it is a ten minute not 30 minute train service. You can manage to be cold for ten minutes.

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  9. Everything that you discovered at the State Library made me laugh out loud Andrew, things were so much more fun back in the day. I'm hugely bored with the present!

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    1. Grace, I am sure you are not really bored. I must go back to the library and do some more important research.

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  10. That was some fun research Andrew, I also had to laugh, specially at the one of the bull.

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    1. Sami, my grandfather from that area instilled in us a terror of bulls, not a bad thing really.

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  11. Finding a café with great coffee...purrfect:)
    It would be difficult to find a smoking spot in a public area here.

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    1. Sandra, I thought we saw some in NYC, but I am not sure now. Outdoors as long as food is not served. There are some breaches I have noticed.

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  12. I love going for Korean food at Clayton. There seems to be a concentration of those near the railway station.

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    1. Ad Rad, I remember seeing one. I am a bit surprised that it is also a Korean area.

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