Red rattlers - Queenie's Story


When the Queen came out to visit, I saw her on Hoddle Street, near the Darling Gardens, opposite where Wheel and the Wrecker was. She was in an open car and heading, I think, out to Heidelberg. So many memories of Clifton Hill for me.

The night of the killings, one of the girls that died lived in the street that I lived in. Julian Knight lived on the corner of Branston Street and I think it was Gordon Street – my brother lived in that street. It was all around Clifton Hill, in Rushall Crescent, I think that’s where they found him, through the gardens, round the back of the station. That’s where they got him.

I remember the gates that were in Clifton Hill before they changed the roads. I can remember the POWs coming home in the old red rattlers and they were all so thin. And my girlfriend and I stood at the gates and watched them and they were waving to us. And I thought, 'You’re going out to Heidelberg, whether you’ll come home from there, I don’t know.' But they were just skin and bones. I’ll never forget that.

I used to walk from Dundas Street, right down High Street, down the Ruckers Hill, past the Westgarth Theatre, around to Clifton Hill, down to my mother’s, where we lived when we were kids.

Good and bad - Brad's Story


That part of Melbourne, the Clifton Hill end of Hoddle Street, certainly brings back some good and bad memories. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, she and I went past Hoddle Street on the night of the shootings. Probably about 10 minutes before it happened. That’s a fairly sad thing for us.

But a happy memory is standing at the railway gates there and watching the Olympic torch run past in, I think, 2000. Other memories are going to the footy in Clifton Hill, but getting kicked off the train and having to catch the bus, because they were doing rail works.

Another sad thing: the day my son was born, when my wife went into labor, I was driving to work and there was a thing on the radio about someone had been knocked off their motorbike and killed down near the Pioneer cement factory down there. Near the Shell service station. That was the day my son was born. And the guy that got knocked off the motorbike was actually our next-door neighbour. So, some good memories and some terrible memories of Hoddle Street.

Sally-Ann's Story

We have some mad neighbours, a couple who have lived in a decrepit house for the last 35 years and they regularly walk naked down the street pushing a trolley full of bears. They have also befriended me since I gave them a Xmas gift when we first moved in. 

Recently they were given a pug dog named Poppy from some people in Bendigo because the dog was a bit crazy and was being attacked by their other pets. After owning the dog for only one month they asked us to take care of it for a week while they went away and fortunately we said no. The neighbours who took it had a few scenes of chasing this mad dog all around Richmond after it escaped a number of times. Once while being walked it escaped out of its harness because a big dog tried to eat it. A big group of neighbours chased it across Swan Street and into the park and down Swan Street until it got dark and they couldn’t find it anymore.  

Poppy was hit and killed on Punt Road near Swan Street.  

The couple were not in Melbourne for all this chasing of their dog around Richmond and returned early from their holiday to receive a call from the dog crematorium to say that the person who hit their dog had brought it in feeling very shaken. The couple found the details of this person and said they wanted to find out where Poppy was killed on Punt Road. 

On the weekend I saw the couple walking down Swan to Punt Road with some flowers and photo of Poppy to take to her death site.  Even though they are disabled and have no money they bought a gift for the people who hit their dog and the neighbours who cared for her while they were away.  

The couple knocked at our door the day after it happened mumbling over and over that they had some terrible news.  Oh the poor things and poor Poppy!