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Sent: Sunday, 8 May 2022, 04:50:28 pm AEST
Subject: Fri.17.12.21 daily digest, part 2
Fri.17.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Letters:
* THAT'S hardly fare, says Tess Ikonomou (HS,15/l2). Ride any bus anywhere and see who taps on. Three out of 10 if you're lucky. And they're the honest folk.
Fri.17.12.21 Melbourne 'Herald Sun'. Flinders St.
MEETING “under the clocks” at Flinders St Station was already a firmly-entrenched Melbourne tradition when this photograph was taken 58 years ago.
Countless courtships began on this iconic spot, and thousands of Victorians will meet loved ones here in the lead-up to this Christmas.
But, as the Herald newspaper reported in 1963, the city’s most popular meeting place was poised for demolition. Flinders St Station was about to be rebuilt - with a new frontage — in a 10-year, £30m plan, equivalent to about $900m today.
The deal included the demolition of the clock tower and the erection of a skyscraper up to 60 storeys high containing a hotel and offices.
“‘Under the clocks’ at Flinders St Station is one spot where people have probably said ‘hello’ more often than on the telephone,” the Herald reported.
“This famous meeting place, this greeting place and place to say goodbye, is given only another 10 years of life under the Railways Department plan announced yesterday to build a new Flinders St Station.
“After 54 years the waiting place can begin to await its own end.”
The French Renaissance-style building with its copper-sheathed dome was ﬁnished in 1910.
“It rose on the site once occupied by another place of bustle, noise and cheer — the old ﬁsh market,” The Herald reported.
“These days more than 200,000 people ﬂood out of the Flinders St main entrance each morning, and flood back at evening peak. In the 20 hours a day the station is open more than 2000 trains come and go.”
The distinctive clocks have been in place even longer than the current main building, with the originals dating back to the 1860s.
A glance through the archives reveals references in The Herald to meeting “under the clocks” at Flinders St Station at least as far back as 1907.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and, despite various refurbishments, the grand dame of Melbourne and its much-loved meeting spot survive largely intact to this day.