Sunday, January 19, 2014

glutton for punishment


A second trip to the Palace cinemas at Balwyn. I know, why? But then… why not. Inside Llewyn Davis was on there and I really wanted to see it. The heatwave is over, but the inside of buildings are still disgustingly overheated. I wanted to take the Brompton somewhere new it hadn’t seen before and hear some interesting tales from my early life, as well as some important transport history which doubles as economic or social or urban or just plain history.

Balwyn is on the old Outer Circle Railway, much of which (the bits they couldn't do anything else with) has been turned into park/ bike path. You can find out heaps more about the Outer Circle really easily than I can tell you here or frankly than I want to be bothered telling you. Suffice it to say it was a huge white elephant of a railway line that was built in the early 1890s and it ran for a couple of years with very few passengers.


This is the old APM building. There used to be a tiny bit of railway line that was kept to service the paper mill here but it is gone now. That building is a modernist masterpiece btw.

This is the Kew Fire Station or perhaps the East Kew Fire Station, I was once walked home from school by a girl who lived here (I guess her father was a fireman). Long story. I think I just told it then though.
This is where the railway line hit Harp Road Kew. Now strangely what must once have been a railway bridge is now just a cutting with a wall across it, and it has been uselessly thus for the last hundred and twenty five years presumably. 
  The Dunning timber yard was here for a long time and this is its last little relic, the old briquette dispensary. My family lived in Kew from when I was two to when I was seven and I do remember coming up to this little building in the early 1970s with my father to buy briquettes from the machine.
 If you squint you can see Bernie Briquette under the paint and rust.

 When you get bored you can always enjoy the bike path hieroglyphs

The Palace at Balwyn by the way was being run by two teenagers who got the job that day. Inside Llewyn Davis was in Cinema 5 and when I finally got up there (after being kept in two queues for too long) everyone was waiting to go in because this sign was out the front:
After a while it became clear that in fact there was no cleaning going on and that the pre-movie ads were starting so we all went in and the funny thing was the cinema was actually filthy with bottles, napkins and other rubbish everywhere.

The film was great but that's a given. Brompton didn't mind waiting outside because it had had such an exciting trip there, and the trip back to look forward to.

2 comments:

AB said...


Bicycling is fun! A very interesting excursion.
That path looks very Malvern Star friendly, to boot. Sounds like every day is surprise day at that cinema.

Guy Morton said...

You should have come and said hello.