Sunday, 1 May 2011

Christine’s ideas #2

BANKS and COMMERCE. A great many of the buildings up and down this part of Lipson Street were banks, it was a huge centre of commerce. Looking at this I can see:

  • Mark Lobert’s Gallery was an ANZ bank
  • The Bank of Adelaide across the road
  • SOHO gifts has an old SAFE (which is now their wine cellar) so it must have been a bank at one stage too…
  • the building next to CafeForeYou was also a bank til recently, and possibly also the one on the corner of Lipson and Divett (diagonally opposite the old Wool Stores now the Maritime Museum), there were others too (now gone)

When you consider the huge and frequent number of ships arriving in Port Adelaide bringing goods from around the world, you can understand why these buildings are so solid and why there were so many banks.

TRADE and WEALTH. Exchange from around the world, Newspapers from every corner of the world, entrepreneurs, a forest of masts.

The street level is actually what used to be level one – that’s why you can see so many half covered windows and doors. The street level was built up by ships ballast.

1852. The Gold Rush emptied Port Adelaide of workers.

WAR and the tramp of soldiers’ boots. Boer War… the news of war took six weeks to reach Australia. During the wars the soldiers would travel from around the country to go out in the ships to fight. They would catch the train up to the now non existent Port Adelaide train station, and tramp up Lipson Street to the harbour. There the yatala, a steam boat, took them out to the outer harbour to catch the Sea ship to fight.

MULBERRY. In 1900 a boat called Protector sailed to assist in the Boxer Rebellion in China. Rumour has it that it brought back interesting items from China, possibly the seeds of Mulberry trees which can be found in back yards in homes on the peninsula.

CONTRABAND. Date unknown. Unpacking a crate, a secret panel was found, containing a panel of a mediaval triptych. This painting is now in the Art Gallery.

SOUND of hooves.

  • Horses clip clop, there were hitching posts everywhere
  • and the steady clop of bullocks, carting the Copper mined at Burra.

THEATRE. An English Actor, Coppin, who travelled Australia and was an arts entrepreneur, established a thermopoleum! at Semaphore; and the White Horse Cellar on Black Diamond Corner had a thriving theatre in it, which went broke when everyone went off for the Gold Rush.


LABOR DAY PARADE. Was Huge in the Port. Many floats, people. **

THE SAILMAKERS SHOP. Photographs of Russels and Weman shops. Christine pointed out the poem by Jeff Guess in the “Tales from a Commodious Harbour”

CHANDLERS. Marstons was a grocers on the corner of Lipson and St Vincent – food chandler, very busy store on what is now a vacant lot. Was important supplier to the ships; first shop with electric lamp. One of the services was “refreshement” – bathing? As men who had been on the ship for months… stank!

There were at least Ships chandlers in the area supplying items for the ships including:

  • Ships lights <<
  • Ropes <<
  • Anchors
  • Compasses & Sextants

LADIES. Need more references. A good photo of a group of Ladies ” the Lady Mayoress’s Comfort Fund”

SIGNS and FLAGS. Signs went across the street and people walked “through” them… like the chandler sign at the gallery at 128 Lipson St.

ELEPHANTS. Story of elephant, brought in by sea with Worth’s circus. A funeral director Brenton Harrison recounted the story of the elephant eating a funeral cortage when it was stuck at the lights? Shenanigans, indeed.

MISHAPS and accidents. Overturned carts, dropped goods. Children picking up dropped coal and other things to take home.

MIGRANTS. This needs a whole section on its own.

BUILDINGS going up, coming down, constant change.

IMPORTS and EXPORTS what were they? Coal Copper…

OYSTERS. Apparently there were many oyster beds in the river, but the fire at CSR caused sugar to flow into the river and destroyed them. Shells found in the area show they were unusual fan shape.

UNION. 1926 waterside workers union established. Paul Robeson sang Old Man River. ** ┬áStrikes – talk to Keith Ridgeway.

SPECTACLES. Regattas and Races. People up poles and on crows nest, watching from a height.

CHILDREN. Poor families, and workers, many children; kids scurrying picking up coal and goods where dropped on the street.

Christine’s ideas from yesterday

Project: Port Inhabited.