Film Review – Never Too Late

The film I watched at the Roseville cinemas was called ‘Never Too Late’. It is an Australian movie set in a retirement home which houses old war veterans. The actors are mostly Australian but also includes American James Cromwell (playing Jack  Bronson) and British actor Dennis Waterman (Jeremiah).

The movie I went to see

The Plot

An old Vietnam war veteran (Bronson) wants to propose to Norma, who he hadn’t seen for years. Norma thought he had been lost in the war and had gone on to marry someone else.  Now many years after her husband passed away, the two are briefly reunited in a nursing home. Norma is payed by Jackie Weaver, who seems to be in just about every Australian movie or series I watch. That said she is a bloody good actress.

The problem is that Norma is showing early stages of dementia and has been moved to another home so Bronson needs to propose to her while she still remembers him. He tries alone to get out of the nursing home but soon realises he needs help. It just so happens that three of his old comrades are also locked up in the same nursing home and together they devise a plan to break out.

Cromwell’s character is a bit like Steve McQueen’s in ‘The Great Escape‘, trying all ways to escape only to be caught and then held under increasingly stricter conditions.

The four Vietnam war heroes are famous for escaping from a prisoner of war camp. But that was a long time ago and they have learnt that the Hogan Hills Retirement Home is now their new prison. It turns out that all four of the ex-comrades have a good reason to escape the nursing home from hell and they all need to do it before it’s too late. After years apart the old soldiers teach each other that it’s never too late to realise your dreams.

Critique/Conclusions

I will not pretend that this is a great film and that it deserves all kinds of awards. But it is enjoyable and easy to watch despite the fact that it covers some very serious older age issues like dementia, cancer and even death. The film manages to cleverly treat these important matters with enough humour that it would be difficult for anyone not to enjoy – even for those facing similar problems in their family.

I was one of only five watching it and managed to bring the average audience age down to, I would say, about 75. The older viewers certainly seemed to enjoy it, laughing at all the old-age affliction related jokes.

On a five star rating system I would give the movie 3.5 out of 5 and can recommend it as an easy to watch comedy. I suppose it is a bit of a romantic comedy too, with a touch of sadness thrown in. You could even call it a feel good movie.

One last point. The whole concept of the film is based around these old people being held prisoner. Not even being allowed out to visit loved ones etc… That would have seemed a little too unbelievable until recently wouldn’t it? Food for thought perhaps…

The Roseville Cinema

Today I went to check out one of the wonderful old fashioned cinemas that still seem to be surviving here in Australia. The one I went to see is the Roseville Cinemas in the suburb of Roseville north of the city.

Right on the Pacific Highway, north out of Sydney

Historical Cinema Buildings

One thing I noticed very early on here is the relatively high number of old art deco style cinemas that still exist in Australia. I have photographed a few and put them in previous posts. There is something I really like about them. I suppose it’s because they take me back to when I was young and there were still plenty of old style cinema buildings in the UK. This basically includes anything that is not one of these new multiplex, multi-screen modern buildings. But most of all it’s those original Art Deco style cinemas…

Roseville Cinema, Roseville

I had seen this place on several occasions while driving north out of Sydney. It sits right on the (old) main road called the Pacific Highway (or the A1).

The wonderful Roseville Cinema

History

The building was originally constructed in the early 1900’s by Kuring-Gai council as a town Hall for the area. It was used for local dances and meetings. In 1919 after the First World War, it was renamed Traynor’s Picture Palace. The golden age of cinema was about to take off.

In 1936 the building was renovated into the beautiful Art Deco style with a seating capacity of over 500 people. In 1995 it was converted to a twin cinema. More recently in 2011 the ageing film projectors were replaced with state-of-the-art digital technology. Since the art deco renovation it has remained a family owned business. In the early 70’s it was owned by Hans van Pinxteren and his family have been running it for two generations.

Classic Interior

Here you can see the classic interior. Anyone old enough to remember the independent cinemas before the age of the multi-screens will recognise this kind of cinema foyer.

Classic old style foyer.
Fabulous old style ticket booth and “candy bar”

Once inside one of the two screens I spotted a few things you don’t see any more in the modern cinemas.

Old Art Deco detail
The old projector windows

Then I noticed something in the corner I had never seen before. Check this out…

I have never ever seen anything like this.
Inside the ‘Baby’s Crying Room’
‘Baby’s Crying Room’ from the outside

An amazing little room eh?  Can anybody tell me, were these a common feature in old cinemas? Because they weren’t in the ones I used to go to.

Bar Area

This place also has a bar area! Sadly not used much these days but I am sure it will be again soon.

Upstairs bar area – not in use much these days sadly
The movie I went to see

What of the future?

All in all this is a real gem of a place and I hope it manages to stay open in these crazy times. I really can’t see how they can keep going as things are. There were only four other people watching the movie with me. I think a similar amount in the other screen.

How can they survive like that? Are the film distributors hardly charging them for the movies or what?

Hopefully they can all ride the current crisis out and survive. And I hope to visit as many as I can…

Screen 2 at The Roseville Cinema
In need of a lick of paint but who cares? That’s part of the charm (for now!)

Film Review – Trolls World Tour

Ok, I know what your thinking. But it was raining and blowing a near hurricane here in Sydney so we decided to go to the cinema and left the choice of movie up to our six year old boy. There was very little to choose from in fairness but he plumbed for Trolls World Tour.

Apparently this is the second movie in the Trolls franchise by the DreamWorks Animation company. Who knew? Not me. But the very fact that it was made by DreamWorks almost guaranteed that it was going to be good fun.

And so it was.

Generally movies made by companies like DreamWorks appeal to almost any age. Gone are the days of the old Disney animated movies made just (or at least mainly) for children. These days you can be sure that an animated film by either DreamWorks, Illumination (there is a new Minions movie out soon by the way) or Pixar will have enough for parents as well as the kids.
This was the case for Trolls World Tour. As usual the creative talent behind these modern animation films added their own adult sense of humour. It was funny enough to keep this old dad awake and my son enjoyed it far more than I thought he might. Which just goes to show…What do I know eh?

Basic Plot.
Colourful Pop trolls realise that the world is made up of six different types of trolls. Each with their own style of music. There’s country Trolls, Techno-trolls, Funk trolls, Classical trolls, Hard Rock trolls and themselves – the Pop music trolls.

Each tribe of trolls owns their own musical string but the Hard Rock Trolls are invading all the other territories, stealing all the strings as they go. Queen Barb (of the Rock tribe) knows that if they can get all the strings they can unite all trolls as one under Rock! Once the have all six strings they will be able to make some kind of super guitar like instrument and blast out the ultimate power chord. Which…. Spoiler ALERT (see below)! 

Queen Poppy of the Pop tribe takes their string and heads off to unite all the other tribes taking Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake) with her. And that’s kind of it really. Timberlake is also one of the movie’s producers so there are plenty of daft pop song montages. But none of it is taken too seriously so it is mostly funny. 

What does that ultimate power chord do then?

Well the ultimate power chord changes anyone in hearing range into a hard rock zombie. Wicked eh?

Critique…

Overall it was an easy, watchable, 3 out of 5. Just about. Good fun for the kids and enough comical music stuff for the adults. The whole pace of the movie is spot on and the use of well known pop songs is mostly funny.

The one thing that annoyed me – and this is just a personal thing – was that one of the main characters is voiced by James Corden. I just can’t stand that bloke. Even the sound of his voice. Even typing this… Must stop!!!

That aside however…take your young kids to see this movie.

Birthday Party, Halloween and the Rocks Brewing Company

A busy Halloween day 2020: Dani went to a friends birthday party in the morning then attended a Halloween festival in the rain. Meanwhile his old dad sampled a few beers at the Rocks Brewing Company…

Halloween Day – Birthday Party

One of Dani’s school mates had a birthday party in an amusement arcade. It is located in an odd area of Sydney called Alexandria, which has all sorts of businesses old and new. It’s a weird almost surreal area but there’s plenty going on there. This particular amusement arcade was in a section called Entertainment Square. The amusement arcade is open to anyone but they also organise parties for kids who each get a kind of ‘access all areas’ pass/ticket so they can play on as many games as they like. That’s basically like honey to a bee, or shit to a fly, for kids of that age. Of course they all loved it.

Meanwhile…

Parents could leave their kids and collect them later. The best part was that just around the corner was this place…. The Rocks Brewing Company brewery and tap house…

They had 15 beers on tap. Over half are their own while the others are brews from their partner brewery in Portland, Maine, USA (a place called Shipyard Brewing). I tried a few from each brewery and I have to say they have some excellent beers. Far more to my taste than most that were on offer at the Stone & Wood brewery in Byron Bay (see here).

I couldn’t leave without buying a six pack of their excellent Hangman pale ale. This is not only a tasty beer it comes in one of the best designed cans. In fact all their brews are marketed in a similar way. The mural in the toilet area clearly shows the artistic method of selling their wares. In this portion there’s the Hangman with other beers like Convict and Butcher.

Mural in the toilets!?

Hangman Pale Ale by Rocks Brewing Company, Sydney. A great can design if a little eerie… but it got me thinking (see below)

Halloween Washout

Later in the day we went to a Halloween festival in the entertainment zone near the Sydney cricket ground. It was raining but there were still plenty of people, naturally mainly families with young kids. Most were in Halloween costumes. There was a fun fair which even had some of those scary looking ‘Laughing Clown’ games – just like the one we saw in the old Railway Museum in Broken Hill (see here for that post). There were also several ‘trick or treat’ stations so the kids could (kind of) do a bit of trick or treating. But it wasn’t exactly trick or treat… So, after we left for home and just as it was going dark, we stopped off in a street where we had seem plenty of Halloween decorations. Then it really rained! But there were still a few kids out so we did a bit of trick or treating and got soaked. We could have been trick or treating in the UK. I was expecting it to be too warm this Halloween but there you go…The main thing was that Dani was happy.

Interesting Facts:

The last person to be hanged in Australia was a bloke called Ronald Ryan, back in 1967. He was in Pentridge prison in Coburg, Victoria (which was closed in 1997) serving an eight year sentence for robbing butcher’s shops of all places. The meat trade must have been good in those days as he had to blow up the butcher shop safes to get their money. In prison he met a fellow convict and between them they made an escape attempt. During the escape Ryan shot and killed one of the prison officers who was chasing them. He was recaptured in Sydney and extradited back to the state of Victoria where he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. 

Following the hanging there were protests by those opposed to capital punishment. By 1985 the death sentence was abolished. Thankfully times really have changed for the better in the state of Victoria. Now you can be arrested there for not wearing a face mask or going for a walk in the park!!  Try protesting against that and… Yep, you get arrested!

The Fascinating ‘Ghost Town’ of Silverton

Part One (probably)

The welcome sign says it all…

Quick History…

The small town of Silverton lies just 24km northwest of Broken Hill. It was the original ‘Silver Town’ when deposits were discovered back in 1881. By 1885 the town’s population peaked at around 3000. As the silver and other metal ores quickly became exhausted, and huge metal deposits were discovered in Broken Hill, Silverton declined as fast as it grew.  By 1888 the town’s population was down to 1700 and by 1901 it was 286.

Now only about 40 people live in Silverton and it survives as a thriving tourist village with a mix of old historic buildings and modern art galleries – But still with the odd functioning business…

The Silverton Hotel.

When people talk about “iconic” places and buildings in Australia they always mention the  likes of the opera house in Sydney.  As I have said before I don’t like that word “iconic” but as far as I am concerned you can forget the opera house and the harbour bridge. For me this is what it’s all about. The Silverton Hotel. This place is truly iconic!

A True Icon. The Silverton Hotel

The one problem is that people park their bloody cars right in front of it so getting a clean shot is hard work at this time of day. Maybe they should keep the front of the hotel clear of cars? Yeah; that would be a good idea…

The bar inside the Silverton Hotel

The stage at the rear of the hotel.

The outside bar

The Silverton Hotel is the last remaining watering hole in the town which once boasted ten hotels/pubs and three breweries. This place has appeared in many movies and commercials. here is a sample of those… A list that will surely keep growing…

Self explanatory…

Here’s something else the bar is famous for. All the jokes, quips and funny comments people have written and hung from the ceiling. Here are a few examples…

There are plenty of anecdotal jokes hanging from the ceiling.

More joke signs…

Dani spotted this one and thought it was hilarious. One of the better ones for sure.

Then there was this one. I have no idea what it means. Not even a clue. Probably an old one that I should know… Does anyone know? If you do know, please share and leave a comment so we can all get it.

Does anyone know what this one means?

History and Old Buildings

There are still plenty of great examples of the history of the place dotted about the old town. At its height this place was a thriving business centre. It once had a stock exchange, four banks, a school, newspaper offices, post office and hospital as well as the aforementioned hotels and breweries. With all the activity and transient miners they also needed a courthouse; and of course a Gaol. The old Gaol is now also the town’s museum and most of the old cells house exhibits. You can easily spend  a full day in here but with a restless six year old? That’s a different story…

The Old Silverton Gaol

Inside the old Gaol / Museum

The old prison toilets

Prison Barber’s shop

Former cells now house exhibits

The one remaining example of a prisoner’s cell

View from behind the old Gaol

More historic buildings

Here are some more examples of the old town’s historic past.

Gaol Museum entrance

Silverton Municipal Chambers

A classic old Silverton house

Old remains are dotted all over the landscape

Many of the houses were literally moved; relocated to Broken Hill by their owners. Hence you do not see an old deserted town full of derelict buildings, but you do see many empty lots.

Former streets now totally empty.

More empty space where houses once stood

The town now boasts plenty of art galleries. We only went in a few but just as in Broken Hill you could easily spend days just checking out the art.

Some old buildings have been given a new lease of life

The artwork extends in to the streets in the form of old classic cars

A curious exhibit in front of one of the many art galleries

Butchers shop

An old house remains in use

Part Two Needed… Maybe More

OK. I know this place is now almost deserted and not many people live and work here. But it is so interesting and we took so many photos that I just want to share it all. So definitely more posts are required….

Part Two will follow soon… then probably Part Three also. Yeah! Why not?

By the way: This place still offers accommodation. If I come back to this part of the world this would be my preference as a place to stay.

A Week without the Dreaded iPad !!

Today marks one week since we allowed Dani access to that bloody iPad.

Addiction…

It’s an addiction. Pure and simple. He can’t seem to function without it. Like the teenagers you see with their mobile hones surgically attached to their arms. OK, I will be the first to admit that it’s fantastic if you have a film loaded and let him watch it in the car if we are travelling for hours. Otherwise we would have to stop every twenty minutes and/or he gets car sickness (same as I did at his age). If he is watching a movie on his beloved iPad (actually his mums) he is fine. It allows me to hit the road and make some distance.

That aside however…

I really hate that iPad. Of course it’s not the fault of a so called ‘inanimate object’. It could just as easily be a Laptop, PC, desktop computer – whatever… But is it really an ‘inanimate object’? I don’t think it is. Certainly the stuff he watches on youtube or he games he plays are anything but inanimate. They are highly interactive and definitely addictive.

There is a documentary out there right now called ‘The Social Dilemma’ which goes into the addictive and deceptive nature of social media. I haven’t watched it yet and don’t really want to. I know the message as I have read a lot about what this film describes.

How did it go?

This is how the week has played out. Every day (after school and even at breakfast time) he almost begs for the iPad. Even for just 20 minutes. Pleeeaaase!!!! But like any alcoholic or drug addict if you give it him for that short period it will be very hard work getting him off it.

My idea is just the good old fashioned one You have to be cruel to be kind. When he is ‘off’ the device he is a nice pleasant little boy. When he is ‘on it’ he is happy and quiet but he will just sit in the corner. The real problem is when you try to take it off him. That half hour slot (or whatever it is) will never be enough. He wants more…and more….

From here on it will be more difficult as he thinks he has done his week’s sentence! How will he cope if we limit his time to say 30 minutes a day? And not even every day (which is my preference). I actually believe a clean break is the only way. We shall see…

Any Ideas?

Does anyone have any good ideas for weening kids off this crap? It would be great to hear form you if you do. Please leave a comment.

Wandering Around the town of Broken Hill – Part 2

Here is part two of our days roaming around Broken Hill. We took in museums, art galleries and checked out sights of general historical interest. There’s plenty more to come too, in future posts…

The Syndicate of Seven

The photograph below shows the sculptures of the guys who basically made BHP and put the town of Broken Hill on the world map. In 1883 seven work-mates each put £70 (seventy pounds) into a joint venture to stake a claim on what became the richest deposit of silver, lead and zinc in the world.

Their names are: David James, James Poole, Charles Rasp, George McCulloch, Philip Charley, George Urquhart, George Lind. These men became known as the Syndicate of Seven and formed what became BHP.

The Syndicate of Seven

The Broken Hill Proprietary company (BHP) was formed in 1885. Although it ceased operations in Broken Hill in 1939 it went on to become BHP Billiton the world’s largest resource company.

Old mine workings. Things like this are dotted all over the place in this area.

Giant Ant sculpture – dedicated to hard working miners everywhere.

Another BHP?

After visiting a few places we stopped for some lunch in the classic Broken Hill Pub (aka BHP). Classic looking from the outside but modernised inside. Broken Hill probably has more pubs per square kilometre than anywhere else I have been so far in Australia. Mining is thirsty work though I suppose…

The Broken Hill Pub – aka BHP hahaa

Railway museum

The original railway station on Sulphide Street has become the town’s railway museum. Enthusiasts could spend a full day in there but a short visit with a six year old was enough for me. There is a charge to enter the museum – I forget how much now; typical – but it is worth it.

Original Sulphide Street Railway Station

Dani on board one of the steam train carraiges.

There are a few examples of old steam engines…

The main thing I wanted to see was the old train that carried passengers on the route we had just travelled. It is called the Silver City Comet. A classy looking art deco design, this train operated from 1937 to 1989 and was Australia’s first air conditioned train. It actually only ever ran the send half of our journey – from Parkes to Broken Hill.

The Silver City Comet

There were also old fairground attractions at the railway museum. This one with the clowns looked particularly spooky…

Vintage fairground game, although this one looks a little scary eh? Straight out of a horror movie in fact…

The Big Picture…

‘The Big Picture’ was painted by a local artist, Peter Anderson (aka ‘Ando’) and is housed in the Silver City Mint and Art Centre. Before you get to see it there is this large painting…

The sign besides this large work of art (above) basically tells you what to expect. “The Big Picture is 82 times larger than this painting.” Indeed it is. It measures 100m wide by 12m high and used 9 tonnes of paint. It is said to be the biggest acrylic painting by a single artist in the world.

Part of The Big Picture

More of The Big Picture

Yet more of The Big Picture

The picture itself is huge but it is made all the more dramatic by the 3-D scenery in the foreground. Very impressive and well worth a visit. This work of art has become the number one tourist attraction in the town. When you see it you soon know why… Again, there was a charge to enter the Big Picture area, and again I forget how much. Suffice to say it is definitely worth the money.

I tried to make a video to capture the full length of The Big Picture but it’s not great. Not to worry….here it is anyway…

 

Around the town of Broken Hill – Part One

We spent a coupe of days in total wandering around the town and its outskirts. Here is part one of a mixed montage of the things we saw and places we visited (in no particular chronological order). The first thing that strikes you about Broken Hill is that the place has so much to offer for such a small town.

Your Usual Tourist Attractions?

Consider the usual touristy things like; museums? Check. Art galleries? Double check! This place has heaps of them and we barely scratched the surface. In fact to see artwork you don’t even have to visit a gallery in Broken Hill. There are plenty of oversized murals painted on the sides of buildings. Many with some real significance either historically or culturally.

A Workers Rights Mural on some backstreet wall

The Ghan Mural – celebrating the famous Ghan outback train, that oddly does not even pass through Broken Hill.

I saw many while driving around but only photographed a few. I wish I had taken more of an effort to photograph more of the murals. Maybe next time eh? the whole town is like a living open air art gallery…

What’s in a street name?

Any town with the main streets called Chloride Street, Cobalt Street and Sulphide Street has to be worth a visit, right? Most of the town centre streets are named after elements or things related to mining. The main street is called Argent Street. ‘Argent’ being Latin for silver. This place was and is still known as the Silver City.

Here are  a few examples:

Argent Street with Oxide Street

Cobalt and Sulphide Streets

Historic Buildings

Architecture is another thing that this small town has some great examples of. There are plenty of examples of run down miners dwellings that show that not everyone who came here struck it rich. But there are also some grand old buildings in the centre which clearly show that many did.

Trades Hall

The Trades Hall is one of the most important buildings in Broken Hill. It was built and paid for entirely by the people of the town and was a centre of union activity when the workers rights were being fought for.

Old miner’s houses

The old railway station at Sulphide Street

The Imperial Hotel

Town’s Newspaper…

Here is a great name for a newspaper. The ‘Barrier Daily Truth’ no less. The town of Broken Hill is credited with doing more for worker’s rights than anywhere in the country and this newspaper played a large part in that. It was anti-capitalist and pro-union and featured many articles about safety and death in the mines during the early 1900s.

Broken Hill’s only remaining newspaper – The Barrier Daily Truth

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert…

There are plenty of places in the area that have been used as locations for films and/or commercials. Perhaps the most famous is the Palace Hotel on Argent Street. This was the setting for a fair part of a great 1994 Aussie movie, The Adventures of Priscila, Queen of the Desert. I remember seeing it many years ago not long after it was released – which means I would have watched it on VHS (that’s video tape to any youngsters reading – ask your parents).

The Palace Hotel Showroom and stage

Showroom painted ceiling at the Palace Hotel

“Broken Heel”… and the colourful murals at the Palace Hotel

Dani and the Giant High Heel shoe from the movie

I only remember the basic plot and certainly could not remember the places in detail but after watching clips of the movie on youtube later it all came flooding back. But this is now another film I need to watch again having visited some of the locations.

The hotel used to be called Mario’s Palace Hotel and the owner (Mario) even played himself in the movie. The spirit of the film lives on as the place holds regular events on stage. Also every September there is a week long drag queen related carnival called the ‘Broken Heel’ festival.

Not all good news however…

I don’t like doing things like this but I have to report on a place called ‘Outback Pizza’. After being unable to get a table to eat in the Palace Hotel restaurant we decided to get a takeaway pizza and eat it in our motel. I only opened the box when we got back to our room.

One of only two downers on the trip. A shit pizza from ‘Outback Pizza’ on Sulphide Street.

I have to say that it was the shittiest, crappiest pizza I have ever paid for. Just look at it! I actually think that it was one they had left over, standing there for some time and they just heated it up. A little too much!! We were hungry so we gave it a good go but had to throw half  of it away.

This so called “pizza” and the lack of taxis waiting for the arrival of the train are my only two complaints about the our stay in Broken Hill.

Train from Sydney to Broken Hill, Video: Part Four – Parkes to Broken Hill

Parkes to Broken Hill

OK. Let’s start with an apology. Or is it an excuse? You be the judge…

The sun set about an hour before the end of the train journey. Just before we reached the final station before Broken Hill, a place called Menindee.

Obviously I was not going to video my reflection in the darkness of the train window so here is the final video instalment – in as much as sunlight allowed.

 

If you haven’t already read the detailed posts about the journey…
Hopefully these videos will compliment the two part blog post of the journey. You can read part one here and part two here.

Redfern – Through a Wide Angled Lens

Redfern is an inner city suburb just south of the Central Business District (CBD). Redfern station is just over a kilometre from Central station. It used to be associated with the seedy side of Sydney but is one of those areas that has had a resurgence in recent times. I went for a quick stroll around the area with my clapped out mobile phone camera in hand.

Murals in Redfern

Redfern has many murals. Some are shown in this post from just a short walk around the area. I know I need to buy a new mobile phone but in the meantime having only a wide angle lens is not quite the end of the world… Especially when photographing large murals painted on the sides of walls and  buildings.

This first one reminded me a lot of paintings I saw by a local artist in the Crossroads township of Cape Town in South Africa. Basic and chaotic but probably telling a story.

Large Mural in Redfern

A colourful mural on the side of a shop on the main street

A Pro-Gay Marriage Mural on the side of a café building on the main street in Redfern

This last one shows former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as both the bride and groom. In the bottom left corner there is a hashtag urging people to ‘Vote Yes’. This mural was painted when the country was being asked to vote in a referendum on whether or not to legalise gay marriage back in 2017. When Tony Abbott came out on the Vote No side of the debate, Aussie street  artist Scottie Marsh decided to paint Tony marrying Tony and this wall in Redfern was made available to him.

Redfern and the Aboriginal Community

The area has always been known for having Australia’s biggest urban Aboriginal community. This was mainly based around an area known locally as “The Block” in and around Everleigh Street. Much of this street was run down and in need of refurbishment or regeneration. A cooperative called The Aboriginal Housing Company is nearing completion of new ‘blocks’ and they really are blocks! One is a horizontal block of concrete while the other is a vertical block of concrete as seen in the photo below. The tower block is meant to be student accommodation (I think) Hardly inspired architecture is it? It remains to be seen how this will all look when finished…

The new “Block” being constructed by the Aboriginal Housing Company, really is a huge concrete block

Inner city murals are often socially or politically motivated. Many in Redfern certainly fall in to that category.  Take the wall on the railway station bridge for example. The messages such as ‘Say No To Drugs’ are good ones but in this case is aimed primarily at the local community.  Possibly for good reason.

Say No To Drugs (and other things) Mural, on the bridge over the railway at Redfern station.

Be Deadly

The saying “Be Deadly” appears as a small mural on a wall at the Redfern Jarjum College. Aborignal people also use the word “mob” when talking about their group or community. Can you imagine black people in say the USA using such words as ‘deadly’ and ‘mob’ when describing themselves? Anyone would think they were a street gang of hoodlums. But in Australia the words are not meant in that context. In fact the word ‘deadly’ in this case means something like ‘great’ or ‘excellent’. I know from my time working in the Emerald Isle that is is used in a similar (slang-like) manner in Ireland. Telling kids to ‘Be Deadly’ in this context is actually an attempt to inspire and encourage them.

“Be Deadly” Mural at the Redfern Jarjum College

Redfern Park

Like many suburbs in Sydney Redfern still manages to have some urban green-space. Redfern Park may not be very large but it is attractive enough and neatly presented. It even has its own rugby stadium.

Redfern Park

Rugby stadium in Redfern Park

Redfern Park from the rugby stadium