Why Bother Going to the Riviera?

Port Melbourne foreshore (at Princes St) circa 1947. PMHPS Collection.

Port Melbourne foreshore (at Princes St) around 1947. PMHPS Collection.

This image from the PMH&PS collection shows the foreshore at the foot of Princes Street, Port Melbourne, taken from the jetty that covered the main drain outlet around 1947.

As a boy, I lived further along Princes Street and this was “my” beach. By the late 1950s, much of the planking on the jetty had been washed away. We knew nothing of the pollution flowing from the drain. I endured the embarrassment when Mum wrapped me in a towel to remove my bathers; she was convinced I would catch pneumonia when the southerly cool change arrived!

While the Garden City bus continued over the Centenary Bridge, the Port Melbourne bus terminated here and did a u-turn back to the City. It was here on some hot January evenings in 1957 that my brother and I, along with our grandparents, waited for the return of my father from visiting my mother and brand new baby at St Vincent’s.

Obviously The London wanted to emphasise that it wasn’t some blood house, but a Family hotel. The two shops were later “swallowed up” with the expansion of Swallow and Ariell, but I recently discovered that my grandmother’s brother, our Uncle Ern, lived there when newly married in the 1920s.

Glen Cosham

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