Monday 4 July 2011

My World Tuesday - Glass Panels.

I was walking through central Melbourne this weekend, having just left a show full of gleaming, and often unaffordable, motor cars. The stands were staffed by iPad wielding pretty young things, with flawless skin and perfect hair, with hands that will probably never be soiled by machine oil, or suffer the indignity of a broken nail. Bright light displays flashed corporate messages. The whole place was a temple to the future – a future that will be bright, sleek and aerodynamic. Well, maybe.
I think it’s safe to say my car mad small person did not notice these things.

On the journey back to the train station we walked over an old railway bridge. For years it had idly spanned the Yarra, its tracks ripped away, its real purpose lost. In recent years it has been resurrected as a foot bridge.

I had never walked over it before, so I was surprised to find clear glass panels along one side, each one was etched with the details of a countries contribution to Australians migrant communities. They were organised alphabetically, and stretched across the whole bridge.

I stopped at the English panel, and was surprised to see that my home county was listed as a major source of migrants. Because the panels were clear you could see the skyline through them, and the names of the migrants floated like ghost names over the present day. It was by no means a sombre place, but it did make me stop and think.

I was struck by the difference between flashy vision of the future at the car show, and the more sober account of the past.

You can find lots of other good things to see here or by clicking on the My World Tuesday button on the RHS of the screen.

You can also see my most recent post on my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of the screen.


  1. great post. a nice way to think of early history, juxtaposed against the bright, shiny world of 'progress'.

  2. Terrific post for the day and I agree with texwis, a great way to think of early history! Hope you week is off to a good start, Stewart!


  3. Those lists of place names are enough to have you break out in a reverie of nostalgia again :-)
    Great juxtaposition with the skycrapers beyond.
    My MWT post is safe this week : nothing to arouse homesickness.

  4. this is a nice memorial - with the names of the past printed on the glass where you see the future....

  5. Thoughtful with great shots Stewart. Glad someone has at last seen sense and made use of the old bridge.

    Trust you to identify one of my butterflies. I do have a tome on butterflies but it is in our other house which we seldom go to. I prefer to stay in the grotty shearers' qtrs. on the farm where my daughter and frown up grandchildren are. Easier for me to look after the Prof and Mr.Alzheimer than stuck up on Mt.Lofty. Unfortunately, taking care of him does not leave me any time for research, so thanks yet again for the identification.

  6. I enjoyed reading about the car show:)
    The glass panel on the bridge is interesting too. Informative photos.

  7. Interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.