FFF 66. Friday facts & Fotos. Friday 27th October 2023

The Garden

Early photos of the garden in front of the clock tower show how dramatically it has changed over the years. Installed c1900 early references say it was constructed as a backup firefighting resource because the water supply was ‘unreliable.’ There was a new plan for the garden drawn in 1922 after WW1, but I guess that each gardener responsible put their own ideas onto what was already there.

There is no doubt that it became a central meeting place to relax and eat your lunch and chat with friends. The social benefits of having a bright colourful place for workers to relax in the middle of an otherwise dirty, noisy, smoke-filled industrial site were no doubt appreciated by forward-thinking commissioners like Harold Clapp.

The garden was also the venue for the game of Trugo which was invented by employees at the workshops, and was demonstrated by Steamrail volunteers at the last couple of ‘open days’. It also featured on the front cover of the Victorian Railways Newsletter magazine in July 1971.

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