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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: benalla (4)

Benalla building update

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
28 October 2013
Comments
Comments (2)

Back in 2010, we blogged a game of 'then and now' on a road trip to Benalla using historical photographs of the town from Collections Online.

Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel This photograph in our collection was originally documented as as 'Negative - Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel, September 1921' (MM 6159)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We thought we'd identified the location of this 'hotel' that was surrounded by floodwaters in 1921, but a few knowledgeable commenters pointed out that the flooded building in question was actually the Bank of New South Wales. Recently John Duncan-Watt sent through more information and a beautiful picture of the building in 1914.

Bank of New South Wales, Benalla John's photograph of the Bank of New South Wales, Benalla, 1914.
Source: John Duncan-Watt
 

John can even identify the people in this photograph because he's related to them. He says, it shows his "great-grandfather Thomas Lambert standing in front of this building, as this was his posting as a Manager with the Bank of NSW. Standing with him on the road and on the upstairs verandah are his wife Emily (nee Brodie) and adult children and a recent addition to the family - Sidney Paul Frederick Morris who married Thomas Lambert's daughter, Laura Irene Lambert." 

Historical photograph, people on verandah Detail of John's photograph showing Mrs Emily Lambert, her adult children and her son-in-law on the upstairs verandah of the Bank of NSW, Benalla.
Source: John Duncan-Watt

Men standing outside building The trio of dapper gentlemen by the steps of the Bank of NSW includes John's great-grandfather Thomas Lambert.
Source: John Duncan-Watt
 

John's photograph shows detail of the building that our own copy hadn't recorded, including the name of the bank on its parapet. We're very grateful that John and the other commenters revealed the true identity of the building and we'll correct our records accordingly.

Having our collections online and accessible means we can tap in to the Victorian community's knowledge of their own stories, people and places, and we're always pleased when someone takes the time to augment the information we have on our collections. Our Historypin channel is proving particularly fruitful for updating photograph locations.  

Benalla: then and now

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
15 December 2010
Comments
Comments (15)

On our recent trip to Benalla Art Gallery, Nicole and I took the chance to track down some of the town's historic buildings that appear in Collections Online. We wanted to see how they had fared over the years.

The State Electricity Commission (SEC) building was flanked by some impressive automobiles back in 1948:

State Electricity Commission, Benalla Glass Negative - State Electricity Commission, Benalla, Victoria, 9 August 1948 (MM 011402)
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We spotted it on Main Street now housing a second-hand bookstore. A local helpfully shouted, "that's the SEC building!" at us from his ute as he drove by.

Benalla SEC building Benalla SEC building in 2010.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

This hotel was a little bit harder to find because it looks quite different these days.

Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel Negative - Floodwaters around a Benalla hotel, September 1921 (MM 6159).
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We spotted it near the railway station. The friendly owner confirmed that it's the same building pictured in the 1921 photograph, but it had a significant facelift following a fire not long after that picture was taken. The basic bones of the building are still there, even though its iron lace verandahs are long gone.

Victoria Hotel in Benalla in 2010. Victoria Hotel in Benalla in 2010.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We ran out of time before we could locate the Farmers Arms Hotel, but I've since found a recent picture of it on flickr that shows it too has lost its decorative iron lace but is otherwise much the same.

Farmers Arms Hotel, Benalla A bullock team and car outside the Farmers Arms Hotel, Benalla, pre-1940 (MM 001773).
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We'd love to hear any stories about these buildings from Benalla locals. Anyone know the character leading the bullock train?

UPDATE: Several excellent commenters have identified the building as the Bank of New South Wales, not a hotel. More info on the Benalla building update post from October 2013.

Links:

Collections Online: search for Benalla

Ancestral Power opens in Benalla

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
8 December 2010
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Comments (0)

A crew from MV spent much of last week in bushranger country in the town of Benalla in Victoria's north, readying the exhibition Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic: Arnhem Land paintings and objects from the Donald Thomson Collection for its opening on Saturday 4 December.

The exhibition, curated by Lindy Allen, was first shown at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne in 2009. This showing at the Benalla Art Gallery is the first stop on a tour that will include other galleries in regional Victoria plus the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

Installing Ancestral Power The exhibition crew carefully cover a display of objects with a protective case.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The exhibition features large bark paintings by Yolngu people that were collected in the 1930s and 40s by Donald Thomson. They capture the sacred patterns, known as minytji, that were painted onto the bodies of ancestors in creation times. The same destictive designs were painted onto ceremonial objects also.

Nicole and I were there to interview Lindy about the exhibition for an upcoming Ancestral Power website, but it was a rare treat for us webteam staff to see an exhibition being installed, too.

Lindy Allen preparing for interview Lindy Allen preparing for her video interview about the works in Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Benalla is well worth a visit to see this amazing show. Admission is free and it will be on display until 30 January 2011.

Links:

Ancestral Power and the Aesthetic MV News story

Benalla Art Gallery

A plague of locusts

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
7 December 2010
Comments
Comments (0)

You've probably heard reports that northern Victorian farmers are losing whole crops to armies of marching hoppers and that locusts are on their way into Melbourne. The species in question is the Australian Plague Locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, which belongs to the short-horned grasshoppers (family Acrididae). High rainfall over past months has created a bounty of lush green growth for the locusts to eat, allowing them to breed to plague conditions.

‘Locust’ is used to describe grasshoppers that can swarm in huge numbers. Most grasshoppers are solitary and the Australian Plague Locust generally shuns company too. But something interesting happens when their numbers build up: they enter what is known as a gregarious phase and their behaviour changes profoundly.

Juvenile locusts aggregate in ‘hopper bands’ that march across pasture, devouring everything in their wake. The adults travel vast distances in flying swarms that can be kilometres wide. A swarm that covers just one square kilometre can eat ten tonnes of vegetation in one day.

locust swarm Band of nymphs moving through pasture, as seen from the air.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We spotted locusts on a recent trip to Benalla; they were all over the town, hopping and flying over roads and gardens in low numbers.

locust This locust was sunning itself on the footpath of the main street in Benalla.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In some species – such as the Desert Locust found in Africa, the Middle East and Asia – the gregarious phase displays very different colours and body form to the solitary phase. Not so with the Australian Plague Locust; the two phases look pretty similar, especially when they’re dry specimens and their colours have faded, such as those in our entomology collection.

pinned grasshoppers Plague locusts in the Museum Victoria Entomology Collection.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Links:

Australian Plague Locust Commission

DPI Victoria locust information

DPI NSW locust image gallery

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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