Monday, 7 September 2009

Underneath the arches: a weeklong focus


Between the end of WW1 and the start of the Depression, working-class families in the inner city did it tough. Life was constrained, both mentally and physically. The extension of the tramway line in the early '20s opened up employment, just as it opened up movement from suburb to suburb. This viaduct became a physical symbol of unity as it wound along the bays and through the spurs. The arches were welcomed into the working class sporting life of the municipality. Whereas to the east of the city thorough-bred horse racing, golf and sailing prospered, here in the inner-west preferences veered towards pigeons, greyhounds and harness racing.

The original tramway viaduct now carries the Lite Rail over Jubilee Park and the Johnson Street Canal.

14 comments:

J Bar said...

I've wanted to photograph these for a while but couldn't figure out a good angle to capture them at their best. These are great shots Julie.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Leif Hagen said...

How many arches in a row? Do you really know?

brattcat said...

Really interesting history and shots. Is there anything living in that canal?

Joan Elizabeth said...

Having lived down that way I am familiar with the top shot but have never noticed the canal ... nice shot.

Julie said...

Joan, the canal if further over towards what is now The Crescent. It runs beside the Rozelle tramways sheds. Harold Park has built up and over a swathe of it. It disappears up toward Parramatta Road near Booth Street Annandale.

BC: The water you see in the canal here is back wash from White Bay which is part of the harbour. I guess this is about 150m in from the bay. I guess it is clean enough but I saw nothing much in it. Would only be baby fishies: nothing dangerous.

Leif: No idea how many arhes in a row. There are two sections of arches, one to take the rail over the low areas of Blackwattle Bay (ie through Wentworth Park) then it goes through a tunnel to take it under Glebe Point Road (which is one the spur) and the second set of arches to take the rail over this lowlands (which is over parklands variously named Jubilee Park, Bicentennial Park and Federal Park.

I think you will all enjoy tomorrow's photo of how one of the arches has been transformed.

Hilda said...

"a physical symbol of unity"
I like that!

Vogon Poet said...

Like the story and the interpretation of the impact on everyday life. The viaduct is massive but graceful and your first photo is perfect. I see under an arch something colorful, but probably we'll learn about this tomorrow.

Fiona said...

Love the canal shot, and the unifying effect the viaduct had on the inner west.

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Where you on a boat/bridge when you took the second shot? I'm already excited what you're gonna come up with tomorrow! I guess there is so much to explore under the viaduct.

Jacob said...

Lovely photos! I think you showed us a similar photo to the first one a while back. Interesting history, too!

Julie said...

Yes, I did Jacob. Good memory. That earlier image can be seen as the first entry in Subway and is the stretch of viaduct immediately in front of the Wentworth Park greyhound racing facility, "the Wentie dogs". This section of viaduct is after (west of) the Glebe Point tunnel.

Jacob said...

Thanks, Julie. I just ran into the kitchen and told Lois Anne, "I don't have Alzheimer's! I don't have Alzheimer's!"

Made my day!

Julie said...

Yes, BAP: I was on a bridge when I took that shot of the canal. A small steel pedestrian bridge that you will see on Saturday, I think. Together with the swimming labrador if I can get the light right.

Ming the Merciless said...

This looks a lot like the Roman aqueducts in Western Europe.