Tucked away in the far corner of the MCG Carpark/Park is a rather forlorn looking building with an interesting history.
Sitting on its own with the footbridge to the Tennis Centre and mighty MCG in the background and busy Brunton Avenue traffic rushing past I was amazed to read recently that this is one of just two Grand Rank Cabman's Shelters remaining (the other is at Christ Church on Toorak Road - I can't begin to imagine why it's there?!)
Commuters from the mid 19th century until the early 20th century who could afford it - travelled by horse drawn handsome cabs - the first in Melbourne was in 1849. They were the limousines (not stretched!) of their day. In the 1890's 13 of these portable wooden Cabman Shelters were scattered around the city. This was a place where a cabman could wait for his paying customers. Their horses were tethered on the still intact railing.
|Roof ventilation lantern and horse railing still intact|
I can't imagine why the city fathers chose to move this cute 5.3 metre by 2.3 metre structure from the city, where it resided opposite the Windsor Hotel in Spring Street, into the depths of the MCG Park where it now houses - parking signs.
|The Grand Rank Cabman's Shelter 'dumped' in the MCG Carpark!|
Next time you're going to a game at the MCG (or walking over the footbridge to the tennis) stop to have a look at a little piece of history. What an ignominious end to the once famed - and importantly named - Grand Rank Cabman's Shelter. And not a plaque or explanation in sight.