Exploring Melbourne: Under the clocks

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Australia

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne people are vehement about their traditions.  They don’t take kindly to the prospect of losing time-honoured components of the city’s lifestyle.

Flinders Street Station (opened in 1854, current buildings completed 1910) is a traditional city-centre meeting place.  You meet “under the clocks”, in much the same way that New Yorkers meet at the clock in Grand Central Station.

The clocks are an array of clock-faces above the station’s main entrance, giving the times of imminent departures on the various lines served.

From the 1860s until 1983 a man with a pole moved the clock fingers as each train left to show the following departure time.

One day the clocks at the Flinders Street entrance were taken down ready for the installation of digital displays.

The following day the decision was announced to restore them – such was the public outcry about their removal.

Ever since the clocks that everyone meets under have been computer-controlled;  the man with the pole is long since retired and everybody’s happy.

Update:  Flinders Street Station has hidden architectural treasures, including a much loved and long neglected ballroom, part of the Victoria Railways Institute:  http://blogs.cv.vic.gov.au/flinders-street-station/2012/10/30/the-flinders-street-station-ballroom-a-coveted-space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *