Dust from unmade roads - Frankston
Frankston changed a lot since the first land sale in 1854 but the traces of the past are still there, and if we use our imag-
ination we can still see the old post office where the Deck is,
the Prince of Wales Hotel where the Cheeky Squire is, and we can also hear the noises coming from Cameron’s Blacksmith on Bay St.
This book is not one of those books where the reader can read and imagine how things were in the past; the idea I had when I decided to create this book was to let people actually “see” how the past was. Personally, after the one year I spent working on this project, I see Frankston with different eyes and every time I walk around I think about how it was before.
I dedicated the last year to this project spending most of my time working on it and also using each spare time I had, it was not rare to see me in the train or bus with my computer...
The first part was collecting all the photographs from different sources, then another important part was to date all these images and to be as accurate as possible I spent months researching about people, cars, buildings, shops and also trees and gardens shown in the photographs in order to give each image its right date.
After collecting and dating all the images, I digitally restored each of them and also digitally colourising some of them.
Since the start of this project I had in my mind the finished product and at the end, it came exactly the way I wanted it to be.
Each page is an open window on the past where the reader can have a look outside and see with his own eyes how Frankston was and how it changed through the years.
I mainly focused my attention on Bay Street (Nepean Highway today) from Oliver's Hill to the area where Thomas Ritchie built his store and residence, the Ballacrain House (where the comfort station is today).
The photographs aren’t exactly a ride in Doc Brown’s time machine, but they break down the distance between past and present.
The book contains 4 chapters with over 100 photographs of Frankston from 1880 to 1966: History of Frankston, Dust from unmade roads, Then and now, Through History.
The first part is the history of Frankston written by Donald Charlwood in the 1930s and published on 5 issues of the "Frankston and Somerville Standard; the second part is the main part of the project with photographs of Frankston. Personally, I really love looking at those old photos and to imagine when Frankston was still a small village but with the same shape that it has today...
The third part is an imaginary walk from the One Mile Bridge to the top of Olivers Hill; on one page we have one of the old photos and on the other, we have pictures of today so we can compare and see what is left and how it changed.
I had the idea of this "imaginary walk" because I wanted people to see and compare the old with the new Frankston, know that the Grand Hotel was a little wooden cottage called the Bay View, that Frankston had its Pier Hotel for over 100 years, that the Deck was a small Post Office at the start of 1900.
While taking these photos, I tried to find the exact location and position, I had the old photo in one hand and my camera in the other hand; that was quite fun.
The last part of the book is a timeline from 1854, the first land sale at Frankston, to 1966 when it became a city.
In the timeline, we can see what happened in Frankston during the years and what was happening around the world.
The book also has four appendix: The 1871 census of Victoria, the history of George Rose and his company, the history of John Maddox and the Frankston Historical Society written by President Glenda Viner.
I hope old generations will enjoy this book so they can remember how things were before and I hope the future generations will learn that knowing the past will help in creating a better future.
I donated a copy of this book to the Frankston Library so people can borrow it for free and I hope many people will do it and learn something from it like I did.
Thanks to Glenda Viner, President of Frankston Historical Society, I had the opportunity to present "Dust from unmade roads - Frankston" at the Frankston Arts Centre during the History Day.
I had the opportunity to talk to people about this project, to explain where the idea came from, how I did it and about the future of this project.
"Dust from unmade roads - Frankston" costs $55 and is available from the author and from Frankston Visitor Information Centre.
For more information and to order a copy please contact or 0452 551 286 or the Information Centre 1300 322 842
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