Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dust mites... a step back in time

This afternoon I thought I'd have a look at the Mount Victoria & District Historical Society Inc. Museum. It's just a block away and since moving to Mt Vic in March I have been meaning to check it out and somehow never have.

Sadly, I think the museum is a little like everything else here in Mt Vic of late. Dusty, cracked ceilings, unloved and unwanted. Room after room of relics of the past, a lot of stuff on display but not sure why it is on display and most of it does not have an explanation as to what or why it is there.

But getting talking to the volunteers at the desk and there is suddenly a warm glow about it all. They are dedicated to preserving our history and probably need a lot of help to do it.

A room upstairs filled with scary old dusty emus, cassowary and a threadbare kangaroo. Aboriginal art and even things on Papua New Guinea. Again, none if it has an explanation as to why it is there.

I asked why there were so many picture windows of Papua New Guinea upstairs? The reply: these came from the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath and were owned by historian, naturalist and curator Mel Ward (1903-1966). And you know what? I DO remember these there! In the glass cases along the corrider they were and I never questioned why they were there because my childhood nostalgia just knew they were part of my memories and should be there.

I miss the Hydro. It featured so strongly in my childhood memories and I remember staying there with a boyfriend when I was around 20. We'd come back from the Central West and were too tired to continue back home to Annandale in the city. We walked in and he booked a room... walked towards me white at the price but it was too late as he'd paid! He'd been told what time dinner was served and to wear a collared shirt. Of course, we didn't have a collared shirt for him as we weren't expecting to stay overnight. We went up to wash in our sad little Art Deco room (freezing cold and a 50's metal bar heater was supplied to us... hmmmm) then came down. He had my shirt on under a jumper as it was too small - but at least he showed he was wearing a collar!

Remember the old casino room? Each room was divine and yes, I do remember it all being a little dusty til the last renovation. I loved the big old club lounges along the landing with the sweeping views of the valley below. And even if it did cost a pretty penny to be there - whether for tea or accommodation - it was all a bit odd. Strange rooms, expensive tea, scones not quite up to scratch and the bain marie wheeled out into the front room to sell a variety of food. Yucko!

It was to reopen in 2012. This has been blacked out on the sign and I have heard it's now opening in 2013. I hope Emirates does a good job of the renovation (is it Emirates?) and doesn't get it wrong. The Blue Mountains needs the Hydro open ready for business. It needs to be stylish and it needs to be nostalgic.

So, from pottering around a dusty old museum where the chinese tourists in front of me seemed bewildered as to what they were looking at and why they'd just spent $5 each, to reminiscing about the funny old Hydro Majestic I realise that this is just what I want and what I'm looking for.

Quirky nostalgia!

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