Crimping? A crime that has disappeared?

Charles Ferguson saw the construction of a sailor’s home as the solution to “a vast amount of evil, [as] it is well known that the crimping system is in full bloom here [Melbourne].” Ferguson’s proposal received support from various wealthy Melburnians as well as the Victorian Government that provided Crown lands upon which the home was to be built. Alfred Smith who designed major public buildings such as the Bank of Victoria, the Supreme Court of Victoria,

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Mrs Purnell’s Hotel – a small feminist statement of the 1860s

” It may not seem it, but the modest façade of Mrs Purnell’s Hotel at 12 Bourke St is a symbol of one man’s failure and his wife’s strength in providing financial security for herself and her family.

” It represents the outcomes of their failed family life. When this photograph from the Royal Historical Society’s images collection was taken in about 1868, Margaret Purnell had just become the licensee and Thomas Purnell had been gone from the scene for four years,

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QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET: NOW IT’S PODS!

The next stage in the seemingly endless attempt to rob the Queen Victoria Market of its character and role as a traditional fresh food market has surfaced. Following the approval of a 21 storey building at 432-450 Queen Street, the City of Melbourne has applied to Heritage Victoria to use half the historic 1878 fruit and vegetable sheds (A-E) for hospitality, loading docks and a fenced-off area
for storage. Further, the application requests the addition of modified shipping containers or ‘pods’ 2.4m wide by 2.6m high and either 3m or 6m long ‘painted monochromatically in one of three colours: cream,

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The real ‘history war’ is the attack on our archives and libraries

This article, by Michelle Arrow and Frank Bongiorno was published as an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16 September 2022.

When Labor won the May 2022 federal election, it promised to end the climate wars. A decade of policy inertia had left Australia lagging on the urgent transition to clean energy. Yet while the Morrison government dragged its feet on climate, it was energetically reviving the history wars. For Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott and their ministers,

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RHSV Congratulates Minister for Planning on Melbourne Heritage Amendment

On Friday, 9th September 2022, the Hon. Lizzie Blandthorn, MP, Minister for Planning, approved Planning Amendment C387, extending the Heritage Overlay to protect 121 individual buildings and five (5) precincts. Of these sites, roughly one third date from before 1914, somewhat over a third date from 1914-45, and somewhat less than a third date from 1945-75.

For the past five years, the RHSV has been calling for a review of protections in Melbourne.

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GERTRUDE ST REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE

In a last ditch chance to secure a better outcome regarding the Besen Gertrude redevelopment at 1-9 Gertrude Street Fitzroy, a group of residents has appealed to the federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tania Plibersek. Although planning approval has been granted for the proposed development as required under Victorian legislation, the residents are arguing that the development will have an adverse impact on the World Heritage Environment Area surrounding the Royal Exhibition Building (REB) and Carlton Gardens.

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RHSV closed for National Day of Mourning and AFL Grand Final public holidays

The RHSV will be closed on Thursday 22nd September for our National Day of Mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.  The RHSV will also be closed on Friday 23rd of September for the public holiday before the AFL Grand Final.
Statement on Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022

The Council of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and our many members extend our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family and the members of the British nation and the Commonwealth.

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ONCE AN ANCIENT WATERFALL

Inspired by a photograph taken in 1906 from one of the tallest buildings in Melbourne at the time – the nine-storey Commercial Travellers Club – Cheryl Griffin has described the history of the Yarra River’s Turning Basin for the latest edition of CBD News. 

“Although it is hard to imagine the landscape before white settlement, it was once a fertile wetland and for many thousands of years and countless generations of Wurundjeri people it was a hunting and fishing ground,

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RHSV CONDEMNS DECISION TO DEMOLISH EDWARDIAN COTTAGE LINKED TO BALLARAT’S CHINESE HISTORY

The RHSV joins the Chinese Community of Ballarat, local historical societies and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in calling urgently for the Ballarat Council to reverse the decision to demolish a historic cottage that played a central role in the town’s history. This 1906 classic Edwardian cottage was home to the family of Chinese goldmine manager James Wong Chung continuously until 2008. It played a role in Chinese life and stands as a witness to the participation of Chinese Australians in the Goldfields.

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FIGHT TO SAVE ROYAL STANDARD HOTEL

The RHSV is currently awaiting the publication of the final planning application for the development of the Royal Standard Hotel. As we so far know, it involves “partial demolition” in order to construct residential apartments and “a ground level restaurant”. We are very much concerned for the future of this iconic 1865 hotel, remarkably intact and still functioning. The City of Melbourne has a shocking record in allowing the demolition of historic hotels, most recently in granting a permit to demolish the 1864 Great Western Hotel,

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RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

Back in 1878 Melbourne’s docks were under siege by the Melbourne Harbour Trust itself. Desperate to widen the Yarra so that it could handle bigger ships the Harbour Trust brought in heavies to destroy a privately owned dry dock which stood in their way. The ‘ battle of the docks’ attracted 1500 onlookers before police broke up the fight and arrested 6 Harbour Trust employees. The physical battle then became a media war between Wright and Orr which owned the dry dock and the Harbour Trust – 

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GOOD NEWS FOR HISTORIC JOHN CURTIN HOTEL

The threat of redevelopment of the historic John Curtin Hotel in Carlton has eased after Heritage Victoria announced on 25 July that the Curtin has been recommended for inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register due to its ‘state level significance’.

Concern about the future of the John Curtin Hotel arose when it was announced in February that the hotel was up for sale and that its lease would not be renewed when it expires in November.

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MAJOR VICTORY IN SAFEGUARDING THE ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING & CARLTON GARDENS WORLD HERITAGE SITE

The RHSV congratulates the Minister for Planning, the Honourable Lizzie Blandthorn, MP, on her decision to extend the protected area (the World Heritage Environs Area or WHEA) around the Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens World Heritage Site. This represents a major step forward in our campaign to implement better protection of Melbourne’s only World Heritage Site.

In 2004, when Australia sought World Heritage listing for the Exhibition Building site, it promised a buffer zone around the Carlton Gardens,

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A DOMESTIC REMNANT DWARFED BY THE CITY

Cheryl Griffin’s latest article in CBD News has just hit the streets. Cheryl takes us on a journey inspired by a photograph from the 1930s of a very modest, rather sad, little house found in Franklin Street. The land was first bought by John O’Shanassy, later Sir John, Premier of Victoria.

“For some time, this house was reputed to have been the home of Melbourne’s first mayor, Henry Condell, a theory dispelled around the time the photograph was taken,

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PROPAGANDA OFFENSIVE UNDERMINES CULTURAL HERITAGE OF QVM

28 June 2022. In response to the City of Melbourne’s latest undermining of the cultural heritage of the Queen Victoria Market, Charles Sowerwine, Chair of the RHSV Heritage Committee, released the following statement.

“The CEO of the Queen Victoria Market, Stan Liacos, has been on a propaganda offensive, presenting a warm fuzzy on change at the Queen Victoria Market. As CEO, Stan has driven the process of change currently engulfing the market, change based on the proposals Robert Doyle made nine years ago,

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