Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung
Roses at the Cottage

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Pelaco Sign

It is reputed that Richmond boasts the greatest number of sky signs in Victoria. Certainly one of the most iconic signs, and the one closest to Bowen Cottage, is the Pelaco Shirt Factory sign sitting atop Richmond Hill.  I can see it from the end of my street but the difficulty I had was trying to photograph it without the hideous overhead power lines which are draped all over this beautiful city (what happened to underground lines - if Paris can do it why can't we?) 
Pelaco - 'draped' in power lines
 Last week I mentioned the book Melbourne by Sophie Cunningham which is now in the Cottage 'Library'. One of her most fascinating pieces of Richmond trivia was the fact that 'in the early 20th century the Pelaco factory closed at midday on a Saturday in time for the women to get to the game'. I wonder where the men were? No doubt already in the bar at the ground preparing for an afternoon of hurling abuse at the umpires! Football games were either played on the world famous M.C.G or in those days at the old Richmond Oval on Punt Road - still used to this day as a training ground for the Richmond Football Club. 

She continues with a wonderful vignette '..a canopy had to be constructed over the Richmond players' entry onto the field because women, (I am sure not just the Pelaco women) angry at some of the performances, were poking them with knitting needles. There is a long tradition of Richmond fans actively haranguing their team'.  Nothing has changed although the team is certainly on the improve this year!  

Richmond has 'gentrified' over the years and the site currently hosts a variety of rather more genteel businesses - although Madman Entertainment might just hark back to the knitting needle Pelaco women of the past. I fear it won't be long before the developers - who have mooted a number of plans - finally 'ruin' yet another historical site so close to the city.

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