Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Once you get your bearings, it’s easy to navigate Melbourne using the extensive tram sevice. A direct tram into the city ran just behind our hotel, and then a free service runs round the Central Business District (the heart of Melbourne)

Having ridden round most of the circuit we stopped off at Russell Street to visit the Old Melbourne Gaol, the final stop for 135 criminals.

Thanks to the Victorian art of phrenology, the museum is brought to life by the actual faces of those hanged within the walls of this prison, preserved when casts were taken of their heads for further study after death.

The prison was modelled on Pentonville Prison and the view down the remaining cell block will look familiar to anyone who has seen Porridge or any other traditional British prison in a drama.

Many of the cells contain the death mask and information about a particular prisoner. Among these is Frederick Bailey Deeming, when the body of his second wife was found under the hearthstone of his Melbourne residence further investigation in England unearthed the remains of his first wife and four children in a previous dwelling in Liverpool. The crimes were considered so evil at the time that he became suspected of being Jack the Ripper.

“From the outset a suspicion of insanity is almost suggested and a tinge of the Whitechapel murders is hinted. The body hacked and mangled, the cool manner in which the cementing was carried out, the taking a house etc, the laborious obliteration of all traces of the crime – all these things suggest the malevolence and craft which can scarcely accompany the sane murderer, no matter how callous and brutal.”

Most notorious of course is Ned Kelly, outlaw and Australian folk-hero. Famous for his armoured shootout at the Glenrowan Inn, Kelly was arrested after suffering injuries to his unarmoured legs and reunited with his mother (already an inmate at the Melbourne Gaol).

Ned was declared outlaw after the shooting of three policemen who were searching for him after a dubious report of the wounding of another officer, he followed this up with two bank robberies which probably boosted his folk-hero status as along with the money taken he also burned all the mortgage deeds.

Edward Kelly was hanged on 11th November 1880 for the murder of Constable Lonagan (one of the three policemen), his final words were reported to be “Such is life”

Arrived in Melbourne after a short flight from Sydney, managed to find our way out of the airport and for convenience got a taxi to the Bayview on the Park hotel.

When we booked, it had said twin/double room, which I had taken to mean one or the other. The reality was that it meant our room had twin double beds, possibly the most comfortable bed Ive ever slept in with the thickest pillows I’ve ever used!! (I was tempted to buy a suitcase to smuggle a couple of them out.)

The view out over Albert Park and the Melbourne Grand Prix circuit would have been great was it not obscured by trees, so we decided to perambulate along St Kilda beach and back along the “famous” Fitzroy Street (Judging by the number of bars and nghtclubs along here I’d guess infamous is more likely)