Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Lighting of Flinders Street Station

BAD is in Greenland.

"Dad, why is VR engraved on the teaspoon?"

"It belonged to my mate Victor Richards."

I believed him until one day some years later I learnt it stood for Victorian Railways. It had been 'acquired' by a person unknown.

In the photo below you can see Flinders Street Station illuminated to celebrate 100 years of Victorian Railways in 1954, and also a royal visit. It must have been a huge and expensive job to light it as such, and imagine how much power would have been needed for all those incandescent lamps. Quite impressive for 1954.The station stretches for a full city block, from Swanston Street to Elizabeth Street, and a bit beyond.


I think they station facade was floodlit during a 1980s renovation. The lighting was crude but effective enough, just floodlighting from a distance. The most recent renovation had lighting much improved and I think it looks great. Not Victor Richards but another Victor, Victor in Sydney, who makes frequent flying visits to Melbourne to see performances and art, took a couple of good photos of  the effect of  the most recent lighting job.

You simply must click this link to see the current lighting.

But I am not so keen on the effect when I discovered these photos at the Herald Sun electric newspaper. I hope the coloured lighting is used sparingly, perhaps just for special occasions.



27 comments:

  1. I prefer the 1954 version, very impressive.

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    1. Marie, to people in 1954, it must have looked truly amazing. I can imagine people just staring at it.

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  2. Lovely pictures. I love old train stations. So much character there.

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    1. We agree again :) Victorian railway stations often looked sensational.

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    2. We are all in perfect harmony on that one.

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  3. You are right about both the 1954 version (definitely avant garde at the time) and Victor's stunning photos.
    I suspect the coloured theme is/will be a precial occasions effort. Thanks for the link.

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    1. EC, yes, it seems like it. Aside from testing, I don't think the coloured lights have been turned on at all.

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  4. Great post. A lot of interesting history in it. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  5. El Chi, dvd on its way to you to give you an idea of the book.
    Brought to you by the HighRiser Community Notice Board.

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  6. Oh my gosh, the lighting is beautiful. It looks like a Disney parade (standing in place. Heh.)

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    1. Sandra, you mean the 1954 lighting? Yes, very Disney.

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  7. Makes the old girl so pretty!!!

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    1. Lady J, I love you referring to the station as the old girl. She is such a comforting place.

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  8. Good use of lighting can be spectacular, but bad lighting can completely ruin a building. I've witnessed both.

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    1. Cro, like the parliament of British Columbia's capital city Victoria, lit up with the same style of lighting as was our Flinders Street Station in 1954. Maybe it is better now.

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  9. Victor's photos are very nice, the station looks quite elegant. I agree the coloured lighting isn't so great, but I don't mind the red so much, it's the blue that just looks wrong. The 1954 lighting was lovely.

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    1. River, yes, elegant is a good word. I wasn't even born in 1954, yet I can feel the excitement of the time.

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  10. "How to get on with your Partner and not throw them out of a high rise window".

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    1. Jah Teh, I have no intention of throwing dear R out a window. I am sure you are not suggesting that the almost perfect me would be the one to be thrown.

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    2. That's a book? I'd read that. Just for the laughs of course, since I have no partner.

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  11. Victor's photos are beautiful. It is a beautiful station and I also prefer the 1954 lights.

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    1. Gee Sami, I should have just posted the 1954 lights.

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  12. How pretty it is! :)

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    1. The grand old dame has been facelifted and she is once again very pretty.

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  13. Victor in Sydney's photos are gorgeous! I rather like the new version of the lighting Andrew, LED I'm guessing, but as you say, lovely for special occasions 😉

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.