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.

Spy on the bookies - Margaret's Story


As a little girl, Margaret used to stay at her Aunty Hilda's house at 41 Hoddle Street, just near the corner of Elizabeth Street. The house was pulled down when her aunty died in 1963. At night, Margaret used to look down on the intersection of Albert and Hoddle Streets from the upstairs bedroom and be dazzled by the lights of the traffic.

When Margaret was eight or nine, her Aunty Hilda would get her to sell her leftover newspapers to the shops of Victoria Street. The newspapers were used by the shop owners to wrap their goods. Margaret would sell them just near the North Richmond train station.

Aunty Hilda's house had an eight-foot back fence and Margaret used to spy through the cracks at the bookies doing business in the laneway behind the house. She was thrilled by the nefarious business and scared that she'd get caught spying on them.

When the Queen visited Melbourne in the early 1950s Margaret watched her drive past from her Aunty Hilda's fence on Hoddle Street.

Image courtesy of the State Library Victoria: www.slv.vic.gov.au
Date(s): [ca. 1860-ca. 1890]
Creator: Godfrey, W. P., (William Purves Race), 1907-1983, compiler.
Copyright status: This work is out of copyright; No copyright restrictions apply.