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Cool Urban Relics of Canberra

By Thumper 1 February 2011 40

Cool Urban Relics of Canberra

As suggested by Roadrage, and inspired by JB’s photo of the archaic VW sign embedded in the pavement on Mort Street, I would like to find out what other interesting, yet probably insignificant urban relics lie around this ever so young city of ours.

For instance, at the northern end of Lonsdale Street there is the name GIRRAWEEN ST stamped into the concrete gutter. On the other side I think it says RAWEEN or something similar as someone has obviously repaired the gutter at some stage.

So far I’ve seen a suggestion for the old Starlight Drive in Sign.

So Rioters, what other cool urban relics exist?

And if you have photos, then please submit them.

What’s Your opinion?


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Cool Urban Relics of Canberra
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Skidd Marx 9:46 am 05 Sep 12

Solidarity said :

I wonder if you can get the audio track out of it?

The archives website actually has the transcripts of the original audio tracks used in the talking mushrooms. I’ve read them and they’re amazingly dour.

RadioVK 8:51 pm 04 Sep 12

Deref said :

I wonder what happened to that excellent model of Canberra that used to be at the Planning Exhibition in Commonwealth Park before the vandals in the ACT grubbyment destroyed it (the Planning Exhibition, not the model I hope).

The planning exhibition is still there on Regatta Pt. It’s now called the National Capital Exhibition, but it still has the model of Canberra (two even).

I remember the old one I think you might be thinking of. It was right inside the entrance, and had LED lighting set into the model that was synchronised with an audio track. But that would have been a long time ago now. The new models have a complete audio visual presentation with images projected onto the model, and fiber optic street lights and so on. It’s worth a trip out there for a look.

The other thing I can suggest is the old railway easment behind the CIT campus in Reid. It’s between Amaroo st and the back of the campus. I remember reading somewhere that it’s a remanant of Canberra’s first railway, built to transport materials between the old brickworks and the some of the first suburbs to be built in Canberra.

Skidbladnir 7:24 pm 04 Sep 12

SnapperJack said :

Halfway up Urambi Hill, Kambah is the remnants of a former fence and gate from when the area was pastoral land pre-development.

(That would be the Boundary Wall remnant I mentioned earlier)

Woody Mann-Caruso 7:04 pm 04 Sep 12

Was going to suggest Old Queanbeyan Road, but see it’s been swallowed by by the DFO complex. Oh well. It was here, and it looked like this, and it was very, very cool.

HenryBG 6:56 pm 04 Sep 12

Postalgeek said :

aussielyn said :

The forest of trees on Canberra Ave from Mill Creek Bridge to McMillan Cres is the last remaining tree screen planted to hide the Narrabundah Prefabs from visitors. In the 1960s, keyhole cull de sacs were built and besser block & brick houses were constructed. It was common to hide workers’ housing from public view. This forest was planted in about 1950. The track is a cool place on a hot summer day.

I love that track and always incorporated it into my jogs when I lived in Narrabundah. Easy to imagine you were somewhere far away on that track.

Actually, I agree with this one – it’s like walking into another world.

c_c 6:54 pm 04 Sep 12

c_c said :

?? ?? ???

hm? Looks like RiotACT doesn’t support Russian. That should read ‘you’re welcome’ in Russian.

c_c 6:53 pm 04 Sep 12

SnapperJack said :

Halfway up Urambi Hill, Kambah is the remnants of a former fence and gate from when the area was pastoral land pre-development.

Not to mention the dry stone wall on both sides of Athlon Dr opposite Tuggeranong Pool which used to mark the division between I believe the Lanyon property and Yarralumla.

c_c 6:46 pm 04 Sep 12

Oh, and of course the infamous railway bridge in Arnott St, Hume.

?? ?? ???

c_c 6:41 pm 04 Sep 12

It’s not a single relic, but a bunch of relics at a lot of ACT Public Schools built up to the early 1980s. Before Canberra had gas lines, the schools used underground oil tanks to fuel the boilers for water and heating. Except for where they’ve been removed recently (like at Canberra College, Woden), they were left in situ when gas was connected.

You can still see the breather pipes and oil filling points in plain view.

At one school, safety inspectors noted the the tank was full of water and emitting petrol fumes. At another, the filling point is in the middle of the quadrangle (where kids could get into it), rather than in a corner behind the boiler room. And at another, the tank was an above ground variety and still contained oil.

Postalgeek 6:32 pm 04 Sep 12

aussielyn said :

The forest of trees on Canberra Ave from Mill Creek Bridge to McMillan Cres is the last remaining tree screen planted to hide the Narrabundah Prefabs from visitors. In the 1960s, keyhole cull de sacs were built and besser block & brick houses were constructed. It was common to hide workers’ housing from public view. This forest was planted in about 1950. The track is a cool place on a hot summer day.

I love that track and always incorporated it into my jogs when I lived in Narrabundah. Easy to imagine you were somewhere far away on that track.

Postalgeek 6:25 pm 04 Sep 12

I’ve always liked the old Strzelecki Crescent bus shelter that actually sits on Stuart St in Griffith.

http://goo.gl/maps/gNIDa

HenryBG 5:18 pm 04 Sep 12

There’s a welded-shut mine entrance on the South-facing side of Mt Ainslie.
Or the Jerrabomberra Avenue dead-end where they chopped it off to come up with a better way to get people off to Cooma.
The old zoo on Mugga Lane.
Some stuff behind Hume, and the disused south branch of the railway line going past it
Underwater roads crossing the lake bed.

SnapperJack 4:14 pm 04 Sep 12

Halfway up Urambi Hill, Kambah is the remnants of a former fence and gate from when the area was pastoral land pre-development.

keepitup 4:06 pm 04 Sep 12

aussielyn said :

The forest of trees on Canberra Ave from Mill Creek Bridge to McMillan Cres is the last remaining tree screen planted to hide the Narrabundah Prefabs from visitors. In the 1960s, keyhole cull de sacs were built and besser block & brick houses were constructed. It was common to hide workers’ housing from public view. This forest was planted in about 1950. The track is a cool place on a hot summer day.

And all those streets with prefabs were simply numbered First St, Second St, Third St etc.

Jungle Jim 3:20 pm 04 Sep 12

johnboy said :

Terminus/Gypsy Mk I

Ah. That was a great bar, from memory. I remember seeing The Living End play a set down there before they hit the big time (at least I think that’s where we were).

Jungle Jim 3:03 pm 04 Sep 12

PM said :

Then there’s the doors which are never open next to The Phoenix, leading to an urban reservoir below…. This post could go on forever.

Isn’t that the old entrance to Asylum?

Skidbladnir 2:53 pm 04 Sep 12

Not quite “urban”, because we built a town centre, carpark, and a lake on top of it, but there’s still the Tuggeranong Boundary Wall remnant, which used to mark the boundary between the Lanyon and Yarralumla properties way back in the ago.

https://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&ll=-35.41191,149.060569&spn=0.006777,0.013894&t=h&z=17

If Mapsearch comes back up, I can find the oldschool maps that show it, but the Remnant is now heritage listed, and people tend to forget what the 1km pile of rocks was for.

PBO 1:24 pm 04 Sep 12

amarooresident3 said :

Thumper said :

Then there’s the doors which are never open next to The Phoenix, leading to an urban reservoir below

Never noticed them. How odd. I’ll wander over and have a look today.

Didn’t those doors lead to what used to be the Terminus? I spent many a drunken night down there.

Terminus is further down, legend has it that there are a couple of entrances to some other stuff under the Melbourne and Sydney buildings that stretch over quite a large area.

Paul0075 1:06 pm 04 Sep 12

As a kid I found these talking toadstools very interesting. I remember seeing them inside everywhere not just in Canberra, including wildlife parks in Sydney too.

I think they’re a fantastic bit of infrastructure, and still very relevant now, if not more so.

Skidd Marx said :

May I add the talking toadstools to this list? One of which is still standing proudly on Vernon Circle after 40 years.

http://www.archives.act.gov.au/home/educational_resource/find_of_the_month

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