Growing up on Punt Road - Sue's Story


My family and I grew up on Punt Road (between Swan Street and the freeway) and our grandmother lived next door so we have many tales and memories:

* Milk was delivered by horse and cart through the 60s. The horse's name was Jedda and my sister and I used to try to wake up early so we could pat the horse. Mum would make us collect its droppings to use as manure!

* Mum used to send us to the yard to read the Nylex clock and then she'd reset every clock in the house to match (clocks weren't reliable back then).

* Back in those days you could actually cross Punt Road to get to the park with just a little care. Believe it or not we did this as kids, to go catching tadpoles in the Botanical Gardens.

* I remember hearing the roar of the crowd at the MCG on Grand Final day and, from our verandah, being able to see the crowds in the top stands. And of course seeing the fireworks every Moomba celebration.

* As a teenager I used to sell newspapers and lollies during the mad rush of the footy crowds through Richmond Station. How quickly we needed to tally the goods and dish out change before they raced off to catch their trains.

* The intersection of Punt Road and Swan Street used to flood in the 70s every time there was a downpour. Once, the high point of the water was at my mid-thigh level. It was so entertaining to watch passengers disembarking from the city tram (which could go no further), removing their shoes and rolling up their pants to wade to the other side.

* I remember countless car crashes as motorists tried to turn right into the Shell garage. It was tow truck driver heaven.

* My sister and I had a bedroom that looked out onto Punt Road – specifically the big park opposite Shell. The traffic hum (not quite noise) would let you know the time of day – and the weather. A swissshhh sound told you it was raining. Didn't want to get out of bed those days. I remember the headlights of the cars made a travelling ripple pattern at the top of the high walls in the bedroom. How they did remains a mystery to me. 

Image credits:
Courtesy of the State Library Victoria:
Milk cart with horses on country road
Date(s): [ca. 1875-ca. 1938]
Creator: Harvey, John Henry 1855-1938 photographer.
Copyright status: This work is out of copyright

No action I can take - Anna's Poem

Casually I round the corner onto Hoddle st
confidently cruise by clifton hill
Im in the right hand lane and I look down the hill
my heart dips,
my stomach rises,
my skull grips
I would take the eastern freeway
all the way to ringwood,
if i could
but the left hand lane 
is a land too far,
and a hope still born,
on the bumper bar of the truck beside me
and a spangaling ribbon of cars in front,
as far as the eye can see,
past collingwood (yay)
east melbourne and richmond hill,
all the way to the MCG.
There is nothing I can do,
no action I can take,
I can only be
a speckle on the road to infinity,
and as they say:
I offer it up,
I submit, I relinquish desire
and in that moment
I am one with the traffic
and the road and the tyre. (rhymes with desire)


Neil's Story

For we former Hampton Park/Dandenong boys, yes, Punt Road was 'the avenue' leading to the MCG, after we got drivers licences and cars (ah yes, in the time before drink driving). It was a 'rite of passage' you could say. We were always intrigued by (but never entered) the brothels at the T-intersection with Brunton Ave.

Also, I once walked up Punt Road from the station to the G for a Scotland vs Australia soccer match – at one of the pubs about halfway up, I poked my nose into the bar, but could find no Aussie fans, only Scottish.