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Canberra in the 80s. Then and now.

By 23 June 2011 83

bus interchange

Threepaws has sent in these pictures of Canberra in the 80s. Your correspondent has then spent part of this morning running around Canberra trying to match the shots. I’ve monochromed to match where appropriate. Above is the old bus interchange administration centre where one could seek guidance and assistance on buses and even buy tickets.

And here it is today:

bus interchange


london circuit then

And here’s the view down London Circuit.

london circuit now


old bus interchange

The trees have grown.

new bus interchange


Civic Cinema

Civic Cinemas has become ActewAGL House.

ACTEWAGL house


the private bin

The garish Private Bin/Waffles combo has become the much more subdued ICBM/North.

ICBM


City Walk

And City Walk is more subdued too.

city walk

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83 Responses to Canberra in the 80s. Then and now.
#1
red_dog11:40 am, 23 Jun 11

Thanks. I remember the ACTION control tower and the Woolies near the merry-go-round too.

#2
steveu11:52 am, 23 Jun 11

Good work – but Im not going to thank you for making me feel old! =D
Should be a great project for someone if they have 80′s and 70′s photos and matching them up with today.

#3
Gantz11:53 am, 23 Jun 11

What is the story behind the Cop cars with the looks to be shot out windows?

#4
rescuedg11:55 am, 23 Jun 11

What was going on in the first photo? Both the police car and the van behind it seemed to have smashed windows but no one is around.

#5
vg11:58 am, 23 Jun 11

Gantz said :

What is the story behind the Cop cars with the looks to be shot out windows?

City siege in 87 or 88 from memory

#6
audioangel12:02 pm, 23 Jun 11

Ah the old Action tower! That was the meeting place for so long! Im too young to remember there being a woolies near the merry go round though!

Awesome work! id love to see more comparison pics. Especially around the newly redeveloped civic

#7
Thumper12:03 pm, 23 Jun 11

I’d forgotten about the ACTION control tower.

Excellent photos.

#8
Holden Caulfield12:07 pm, 23 Jun 11

Five stars to Threepaws, thanks for sending these in.

#9
dpm12:11 pm, 23 Jun 11

Hmmm, the ‘new’ Civic actually looks more sterile than in the 80′s. Kinda sad indication of progress really.
I like the pertrol price in teh background! Is that 28.9? Sigh… Those were the days!

#10
AG Canberra12:14 pm, 23 Jun 11

The first shot is after the seige in the gun shop that used to be upstairs in the Sydney building. He hung out the window and took pot shots at the coppers for an afternoon…was quite exciting for Canberra in the early 80′s.

#11
Boring_Name12:14 pm, 23 Jun 11

This is great! I’m not old enough to remember these, so it’s really interesting for me to see some of these pictures. Especially the old Action buses…

It would be great if this project could expand somehow. I’m sure some of the other members have some old snaps of Canberra stashed away somewhere. I’ll can harass my folks for some, but I was reared in the Western Creek area, so there won’t be many shots of the city I’m afraid.

#12
KB197112:16 pm, 23 Jun 11

Gantz said :

What is the story behind the Cop cars with the looks to be shot out windows?

Someone was gipped on their bus ticket………..

#13
Skidd Marx12:31 pm, 23 Jun 11

Some of those pics look more 70′s than 80′s, especially the Civic Cinemas one.

I’ve seen these pics before somewhere – maybe the NLA website?

#14
cmdwedge12:47 pm, 23 Jun 11

Petrol is 28.9c/L. GOOD GOD.

#15
Thumper12:59 pm, 23 Jun 11

Some of those pics look more 70?s than 80?s, especially the Civic Cinemas one,/i>

Agreed. That one looks late 70s going on the clothes and hairstyles. Although it could be very early 80s.

I remember Prouds but can’t recall what they actually sold.

#16
ABC1291:03 pm, 23 Jun 11

cmdwedge said :

Petrol is 28.9c/L. GOOD GOD.

And Leaded!

#17
knuckles1:12 pm, 23 Jun 11

I remember as a kid, whenever mum took us shopping on Saturday morning, we would have lunch in the public cafeteria in the old Woolies across from the merry-go-round. Always got a pie with chips and a milkshake.

#18
vg1:17 pm, 23 Jun 11

Thumper said :

Some of those pics look more 70?s than 80?s, especially the Civic Cinemas one,/i>

Agreed. That one looks late 70s going on the clothes and hairstyles. Although it could be very early 80s.

I remember Prouds but can’t recall what they actually sold.

The same thing they sell now, jewellery

#19
KB19711:29 pm, 23 Jun 11

ABC129 said :

cmdwedge said :

Petrol is 28.9c/L. GOOD GOD.

And Leaded!

Correction “super”. There was regular as well in those days & you ran whichever fuel compared to the compression ratio of your vehicle. Super was the dear stuff.

I can remember my Dad buying a Tattlotto ticket from a little round stad-alone newsagency (?) shop thing right opposite where Sizzle Bento is now?? Anyone remember one of these in the city?

The reason I remember because you could not get Tatslotto tickets on the Sapphire Coast & it was a novelty to buy them up in Canberra when we used to visit.

I can also remember the first time I came to Canberra, coming down the Monaro Hwy & there being paddocks where Richardson/Chisholm/Gilmour is today. The next visit it was full of roads & within a year it was built out.

That was when it used to take 4 hours to drive to Canberra in the truck as the roads were so bad & the trains used to run to Bombala.

#20
AG Canberra1:30 pm, 23 Jun 11

Ah Civic in the 80′s:

Pandora’s (jolly jugs on a Thursday), Knights (all underage drinkers), Jaggers, Mooseheads and the Bin? The Liquid Lounge (or what ever it was called then) where no jeans were allowed?

Hot dogs from the carts out side the nightclubs or chips and gravy from Chicken Gourmet.

When cabbies were all retired public servants and you could actually get one after midnight on a Sat night.

When the merry-go-round was pretty much the same as it is now.

When we all banked at Civic Permanent or the Canberra Building Society.

When the Doug Anthony All-Stars busked each lunchtime near the merry-go-round.

When the Canberra Festival included a big street parade and a sideshow alley on the carpark where Myer now is.

Good times.

#21
OzChick1:33 pm, 23 Jun 11

audioangel said :

Ah the old Action tower! That was the meeting place for so long! Im too young to remember there being a woolies near the merry go round though!

Yeah! My friends and I used to use that clock as our Civic meeting point. “Meet you at [insert time] under the Civic clock!”

#22
OzChick1:36 pm, 23 Jun 11

knuckles said :

I remember as a kid, whenever mum took us shopping on Saturday morning, we would have lunch in the public cafeteria in the old Woolies across from the merry-go-round. Always got a pie with chips and a milkshake.

My mum used to take us out to that cafeteria in Kmart at Belconnen Mall. Anyone remember the name of that place? They used to sell jelly with whipped cream.

#23
Very Busy1:52 pm, 23 Jun 11

KB1971 said :

ABC129 said :

cmdwedge said :

Petrol is 28.9c/L. GOOD GOD.

And Leaded!

Correction “super”. There was regular as well in those days

It was actually called “standard”

#24
amaroovian2:03 pm, 23 Jun 11

cmdwedge said :

Petrol is 28.9c/L. GOOD GOD.

Ahhh, so that’s where the petrol station was. After the great hailstorm of Feb 2007, everyone working in 10 Mort St was sent home because of the petrol smell/fumes that went through the air conditioning because the basement was completely flooded and the petrol in the soil was apparently seeping out somehow. Old timers told me there had been a petrol station nearby but invariably they argued about whether it was on the actual corner or up around the spot where 14 Mort St is now, roughly next to the old Canberra Times building.

#25
2.02:07 pm, 23 Jun 11

OzChick said :

knuckles said :

I remember as a kid, whenever mum took us shopping on Saturday morning, we would have lunch in the public cafeteria in the old Woolies across from the merry-go-round. Always got a pie with chips and a milkshake.

My mum used to take us out to that cafeteria in Kmart at Belconnen Mall. Anyone remember the name of that place? They used to sell jelly with whipped cream.

It was Holleys’ (I think) My parents used to take me there on a weekend too :)

#26
braddonboy2:29 pm, 23 Jun 11

There used to be a Coles store next to Prouds with wooden counters running the length of the floor (along with people behind them to serve) and a lolly section up the back.

#27
dpm2:31 pm, 23 Jun 11

amaroovian said :

cmdwedge said :

Petrol is 28.9c/L. GOOD GOD.

Ahhh, so that’s where the petrol station was. After the great hailstorm of Feb 2007, everyone working in 10 Mort St was sent home because of the petrol smell/fumes that went through the air conditioning because the basement was completely flooded and the petrol in the soil was apparently seeping out somehow. Old timers told me there had been a petrol station nearby but invariably they argued about whether it was on the actual corner or up around the spot where 14 Mort St is now, roughly next to the old Canberra Times building.

The underground 10 Mort carpark is built basically where the underground petrol tanks were. However, they’d been leaking into nearby soil for years. I believe the ground under the Cinemas on the other side of the road was affected, or believed to be at one point in time….

#28
threepaws2:36 pm, 23 Jun 11

I can’t take credit for these photos, they just came to me in an email, origin unknown.

Sorry JB, I should have actually written something instead of just forwarding you the email!

Now, I’m sure I have some of my own 80′s photos lying around…

#29
tonkatuff822:36 pm, 23 Jun 11

Excellent work!

#30
Wily_Bear2:40 pm, 23 Jun 11

2.0 said :

OzChick said :

knuckles said :

I remember as a kid, whenever mum took us shopping on Saturday morning, we would have lunch in the public cafeteria in the old Woolies across from the merry-go-round. Always got a pie with chips and a milkshake.

My mum used to take us out to that cafeteria in Kmart at Belconnen Mall. Anyone remember the name of that place? They used to sell jelly with whipped cream.

It was Holleys’ (I think) My parents used to take me there on a weekend too :)

You’re right, it was Holly’s, and my husband is often heard to speak of their banana splits in hushed and awed tones. Apparently, he has never tasted their equal in all his travels

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