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Tour of Historical Trades Hall followed by more labour history in the Curtin Hotel

March 7 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm


In 2023 we organised a tour of Trades Hall and everyone on the tour said it was exceptional and that Antony Moore, the guide, was worth bottling.

So, in 2024, we’ll be hosting another tour with Antony but with a great addition.  From 2pm – 3:30pm you’ll be touring Trades Hall with Antony and then we’ll skip over the road to the Curtin Hotel where so much labour history played out and, over a drink, David Cragg, will enlighten us with this additional labour history.

Our Heritage Committee, under Charles Sowerwine, successfully lobbied to save this historic pub from the threat of redevelopment. There was a great upswelling of community concern, opposition from heritage organisations and concerted trade union action which culminated in a 10-year contract for the management of the John Curtin Hotel so it will continue as a pub and music venue.

During those lost COVID years the Victorian Trades Hall underwent a massive renovation which focused on not just the building but the vital cultural heritage that lives within its walls. Photos and text courtesy of architects, Lovell Chen’s, website: “The Trades Hall, on the corner of Victoria and Lygon streets in Melbourne, is one of the world’s oldest trade union buildings. It has been the home of trade unionism in the state of Victoria since 1874, and is associated with the history of the Australian Labor Party and with events significant to the whole country. In 2016, we completed a condition survey and Conservation Management Plan, considering the whole of the much-expanded complex. A grant application for state funding through the Living Heritage Program was successfully made for implementation of conservation and refurbishment works to key public spaces, the portico and the roof. The Victorian Trades Hall Council also funded works from its own resources (and individual union contributions), which were carried out at the same time.

“The Trades Hall was constructed in ten stages, the most significant of which occurred between 1876 and 1925. It is principally recognisable for its imposing two-storey Classical/Renaissance Revival facade, which has been extended relatively consistently as each new wing has been added. The earliest section (1874) is at the southern end of the site, directly behind the present Victoria Street entry building (1925). The original architects were Joseph Reed (1822-1890) and Frederick Barnes (c.1823-1883), of Reed and Barnes, designers of much of Melbourne’s grand 19th century architectural heritage, including the Royal Exhibition Building.

“Stage 1 of the project was completed in 2019. Stage 2 in 2022. Stage 3 has commenced.

“Victorian Architecture Award 2020 : Heritage Architecture – conservation
Property Council of Australia : Innovation & Excellence Awards 2022 : Best Heritage Development (Stages 1+ 2)”

Your guide will be Antony Moore who is a long-time union official with the Vehicle Division of the AMWU. Unfortunately, with the closing of Australia’s car manufacturing plants, Antony no longer had a role, however, for the past 6 years, from the very start, he has been heavily involved in the renovations at Trades Hall – working alongside archaeologists, conservators and many other experts who have ensured that this important building and its cultural heritage are preserved. Antony is a passionate amateur historian and advocate for the building and its cultural heritage.

And our second guide for the Curtin Hotel is David Cragg, Labour History Melbourne Vice President, former Trades Hall Assistant Secretary, a Life Member of the ALP, a Trustee of the Victorian Trades Hall & Literary Institute and all-round labour history raconteur.

Your ticket money will be donated to the Victorian Trades Hall for their work on stage 3 of the renovation.

You will be sent an automatic confirmation email once you book – if this doesn’t appear in your in-box please check your Spam Mail or Junk Mail folders as automatically-generated emails often go astray.

Because this tour is limited to 20 persons we do limit it to RHSV financial members only. Please be aware that tour participants will be walking up and down flights of stairs – it is not a fully accessible tour. Ticket price includes a drink at the Curtin Hotel.


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March 7
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Victorian Trades Hall
54 Victoria Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 Australia
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