What you learn from people on tours!

Always learn interesting things from people on the tours! I learn most on the daytime crime tour, which is the ‘Free’ Twisted Tales Crime Tour, and has been running the longest. I often ask a number of questions:

  • Have you ever seen a ghost? (about 5% claim to seen one or believe in them!)
  • Who has been to Antarctica? (ONE person out of a thousand!)

I ask the Antarctica question outside the Royal Society, since there is an old glacial boulder, placed there in 1958, the 100th anniversary of the building of the structure.

Melbourne people usually tend to call the Royal Exhibition Building, the ‘Exhibition Buildings’. I was brought up calling it that, even though there is only one. I am supposing it is a relic of a past era when there were more buildings there, during the great exhibition or later exhibitions.


Is this why they are called the ‘Exhibition Buildings?’ What we know as the Royal Exhibition Building, today, was merely the entrance, the Great Hall. That pavilion behind is merely a small part of what what once existed behind. A huge market-like structure. (from Wikipedia)

People also tell me stories about their ancestors. Today a man told me his relative held the lease for the Elms Family Hotel on the corner of Little Lon and Spring. (Little Lon was a  slum back in the day) It’s the only surviving business (until a couple months back) in the area which dates from the 19th century, recently being remodelled. Hope it won’t be demolished! Elms Family Hotel.

Another has told me his family owned a factory in the area. Factories in the former Little Lon slum were a later development.


A picture I took of Castletown Pl, Little Lon at night-time! The old house, #17 is at the back! Yep, that seems to be an orb up there. Maybe the ghost of Thirsty Liz, or a customer of the former brothel at number 17?

Another man on one tour told me his ancestor was a gold-digger in early Melbourne, died in a forgotten shipwreck off the coast of Victoria in the 1850s. The history lives, and goes back a long way indeed!

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