Saturday, March 28, 2009

College Hill, Ponsonby c.1909

Jan Tully from Melbourne has sent through another wonderful picture postcard sent by Herbert Smith to his friend Elizabeth, this one with a message on the back dated 9 October 1909.

The postcard refers to the road as "College Road", its old name. All the of the buildings visible in the photo are gone -- today, this bend (around 95 College Hill) has either late 20th century offices or bungalows. Some villas (possibly hidden by the tall trees at the left in the photo) may be the only remnants of the scene.

College Hill is a bit of a gut-buster to climb on foot, and even today's Link buses take it slow. The poor horse in the photo will be glad of a drink at the troughs on the top of the hill, I'd say. There's a blur in the background of someone crossing the road just downhill, after another horse and cart have just passed by heading down.

Of course, with my deep liking for trams, this part of Jan's photo is magical. Cross-bar trampoles all the way down the hill, and in the hazy distance the sea of buildings on the city-side of Freeman's Bay. Today, that view is dominated by the Skytower and other highrises.


  1. That poor dobbin looks about all done in climbing that hill!
    They are fab photos :)
    I'll try to get a photo of our (few remaining) crossbar trampoles...that's if the council hasn't removed them while I wasn't looking!

  2. I'd love to see photos of those, Jayne, cool! Looking forward to that, cheers.