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Exhibitions
Theatre
Fashion
The streets of Melbourne
Sunday with the kids
Batman hypothetical
Music
Odds & ends
Reader feedback
Country Victoria
The White Hat Quiz

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Exhibitions

With barely enough time to recover from the excitement of the soft furnishings exhibition, this week there is a Needlework, Craft and Art Fair and Quilt Showcase. There is also a Victorian Winemakers’ Exhibition. Details at Jeff's Shed. If you were thinking of going along for the free wine, forget it. Most tastings require some payment. You would be better off buying yourself a beret and checking for gallery openings at Exhibitions in Melbourne.

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Theatre

So you wanted to stay home and watch the cricket and she wants to go the theatre. Take her to La Mama to see Inner Sanctum – it’s set in the dressing rooms of the Australian cricket team. She will be surprised – particularly as she thought you were taking her to The Lion King. Details at Theatre in Melbourne.

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Fashion

For our older readers, there is no need to switch off. ‘Fashion’ is simply the current term for what you used to call ‘shopping’. This week the Sacred Heart Mission has a fashion night at the Nash (National Theatre) in St Kilda featuring op shop garments co-ordinated by a leading fashion designer (‘co-ordinating’ is what you used to call ‘clashing’). Then on Thursday is the monthly fashion day at Fed Square. Details at Fashion in Melbourne.

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The Streets of Melbourne

 “I am interested in the origin of Melbourne street names. I think I have tracked down most of the characters behind the CBD names, apart from "Queen" and "Spring". The later I am assuming derives from a water source near here? I have read that Queen might go with Elizabeth, but this seems unlikely if the Elizabeth was Bourke's wife - or was this subterfuge to cover up the use of his wife's name?? Do you have any theories? Many thanks. I love your newsletters! regards,
Julia”

Julia’s email has prompted us to include a two-part section on the streets of the city.

Robert Hoddle, the surveyor who laid out the grid of Melbourne wrote the following in his journal.

(see excerpt from Hoddle's journal)

As to the names and their origins you will have to wait until next week. In the meantime it is interesting to ponder how the grid of Melbourne (exactly one mile by half a mile) would have turned out if Mr Hoddle had to deal with a modern state government using contractors who submitted the lowest bid.

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Sunday with the kids

Remember that with the new Sunday Saver tickets it costs next to nothing for public transport anywhere in Melbourne on a Sunday. You can check for family activities at Children's & Family Activities in Melbourne.

You can also check for those activities that are only open on certain days. Go to our home page, Select the Sunday in question under ‘What’s on in Melbourne’ and check what’s happening. Don’t forget to check the ‘Attractions’ listing (underneath ‘Exhibitions” in the right hand column). For instance, this Sunday you will find the Mooroolbark mini railway is running. Click through on that and for something like $2 a head you have a half day outing (although the 17-year-old mightn’t be too excited about the mini-railway). They have BBQ facilities so throw in a few snags (and a yummy tofu sausage for the daughter who knows “meat is murder”). Look up the map – close to Mooroolbark Station – later on you could hop on the train again and explore Lilydale Lake or the Melba Museum. It is always worth printing off our “What’s on this weekend” page so that you know what markets are running in a particular area that weekend. If you don’t know how to fill in your time waiting around on stations (Percy did – never one to waste time he wrote a piece called ‘Arrival Platform Humlet’) then use the Meltrip site to help plan your trip (It’s a private site, but we find it better than the publicly funded one).

An early tea at Box Hill on the way back will add a touch of the exotic and won’t break the bank. You can choose from Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and plenty more along Station Street and Carrington Road. (If you’re of Asian background this isn’t of course exotic, so you should excite the kids by finding a greasy spoon café and having meat and three grey veg).

Back home and everyone’s stored away a number of new sights and sounds – except for the one who never took his head out of the Harry Potter book all day.

For the following weekend look out for the free horse’s birthday celebrations at Fed Square.

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Batman Hypothetical

This week to commemorate the 170th anniversary of Batman’s treaty with the local Aborigines, there is a ‘hypothetical’ at Northcote Town Hall. Details at the bottom of John Batman.

Our profile of John Batman is one of our most consistently stolen pages. It crops up all over the place with our copyright statement replaced by someone else’s copyright. Teachers and lecturers have easy-to-use tools at their disposal to detect plagiarism (even if they don’t use them as often as they should), but a useful tool for the general public can be found at Copyscape.

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Music

Saturday night at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, the Zenga Zonga Dancers and Moroccan ensemble La Kasbah combine with Warako Musica in a combination of African rumba, salsa, Caribbean and Cuban rhythms (“Stop that sinful Congolese-style dancing, Min”).

OzOpera’s production of Carmen opens next week.

At Fed Square there is a fundraising concert for Dafur on Sunday and a free concert by the RAAF concert band on Monday lunchtime. Details at Music in Melbourne.

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Odds & ends

The Melbourne Film Festival continues – details in all the mainstream media. There is a ‘Conversation with Gregory Roberts’ (author of Shantaram) this week. Details at Forums in Melbourne.

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Reader feedback

Last week a reader asked about lost suburbs of Melbourne. Scott responded:

“Lost suburbs of Melbourne....interesting subject. Hartwell got swallowed up by City of Camberwell. Surrey Hills is split in two by City of Whitehorse and City of Boroondara. Half of Surrey Hills became known as Mont Albert. (postcode 3127) In the 1930's the City of Box Hill split from the City of Nunawading following a dispute, only for them to be merged in 1994!! Ah the things that happen to 'lost' suburbs/councils.
Scott”

“Dear Mr. Hat, Your newsletter arrived this time with an unexpected bonus: two typos!

Typo #1: You wrote "the sane choice" instead of "the same choice" regarding Mr. Cole's choice to advertise for a wife. An excellent error!

Typo #2 (I think): You wrote: The Royal Exhibition Building will have an open day on 31 July.

I thought the correct name was 'Royal Exhibition BuildingS,' plural. Am I wrong? Thanks for making this po-faced woman from the middle suburbs' day. Now, define po-faced if you will. Gillian”

Gillian, they used to be called the Exhibition Buildings but have now officially become singular since the various annexes and additions were removed with the building of the new museum. As to po-faced (taken form our conversation with Mr Cole), it is probably best illustrated by some of Norman Lindsay’s cartoons of wowsers and temperance women of the time.

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Country Victoria

This weekend is the Werribee Orchid Spring Festival and next weekend is the Winter Blues Festival in Echuca. Details at Events in Victoria.

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The White Hat Quiz

How well do you know Melbourne?

Firstly, a reminder of last week’s quiz. Where in Melbourne would you find:

  1. A loo with a view
  2. Barocca style furniture
  3. Gog and Magog
  4. A bust of Nellie Melba (Hint – it’s where she gave her final, final, final farewell concert)
  5. The words “do no spit” painted on the walls and why

“I so look forward to your newsletter on a Friday. It's a shining beacon in a long Friday afternoon! How exciting is the quiz this week...I know some of the answers!!  . . .
Have I beaten Clyde the Celery Capital? Keep up the good work White Hat.
Regards, Debra
PS Why White Hat? Tell us your story...”

Debra, The story of White Hat is long, fantastical and some would say, unbelievable – however I may be prompted to tell you a little in future newsletters.

“I recently had the camera, as I tend to take snaps around town and noticed the "do not spit" sign on the wall  . . .You have got me on the Barocca one.
Please explain. from Pauline.”

As to Barocca furniture (I don’t know if this is the correct spelling but Gillian from the middle suburbs will soon correct me) I’ll give you all a further clue by telling you that it can be purchased in Brunnerswig and Footersgray and could be previously be purchased on in Norda Melbourne.

"Hey, I'm in Texas and I know the answer to " a loo with a view"!!!
MDH"

MDH enclosed a photo.

Here are the answers

Please note: This section of the newsletter has been removed as it forms part of a forthcoming publication.

So this weeks quiz.

Distance measurements play an important part in the character of Melbourne so here are some questions related to measurement.

  1. Mr Hoddle’s surveyor’s chain is on display in the excellent exhibition in the dome gallery at the State Library. How is this tool related to the width of Melbourne streets and also to the archaic sport currently being played between Australia and England?
  2. Another measurement in Melbourne that can still be seen is the building height limit that was observed until the middle of last century. It is132 feet (one wide street plus one small street) high and can be observed particularly along Swanston Street. Buildings such as the Nicholas Building, Capitol Building, Century Building, Manchester Unity and T&G buildings all observe this height even if they have decorative towers protruding above it. Obviously this height limit produces some aesthetic unity with Mr Hoddle’s grid, but the approximate height was chosen for another reason. What was that reason?
  3. At a certain radius (I think 25 miles) around Melbourne you would find a large number of pubs until thirty odd years ago. Why were they at that distance?
You can find a comprehensive guide to markets around Australia at The White Hat Guide to Markets in Australia.