A Travellerspoint blog

NO WAY TO TREAT AN OLD 'LADY'

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I was quite shocked on Wednesday 8th August 2018 to see that Yarra Park ground staff (assuming under the control of the MCC) propped a set of grimy posts against the wall of the cabman's shelter. Also look at the condition of the door and doorframe - such a shame and after 7 months of badgering. Additionally, the VERY bad job of obliterating graffiti is still there, photographed on 5th July AND reported to authorities in person several days later.

It is over a month since my last blog entry and as they say in the classics, I've got good news and bad.

THE GOOD NEWS

The editor of the monthly magazine "DRIVEA2B" has been very generous and featured the Cabman's Shelter as a front page and an article - thank you very much Toni (image below). The 2-page article (pages 16/17) can be read online at https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/61679316/drive-a2b-august-2018

I have appended in date order e mail correspondence with an executive within Melbourne Cricket Club. As per previous, names have been deleted. To cut to the chase, the good news part is that the club has agreed:

"Please note that as well as the ongoing maintenance of the cabman shelter we will be improving the interpretation signage around the shelter as well as relocating the equipment inside the shelter.

As previously communicated, the potential location of the shelter will be worked through with Heritage Victoria in conjunction with the overall Yarra Park masterplan."

As you'll see in the e mails, the writer spent more writing energy on giving me a stern rebuke for a comment on worms, than the matter of the shelter.

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THE BAD NEWS

In spite of many attempts to convince the MCC to the contrary, they are not prepared to have the shelter moved to within the suggested Gate 3 area and become a centrepiece. I have been told on a number of occasions that the shelter will stay in its current location for the medium to longer term. Internet research indicates 'medium to long-term' is 5 to 10 years. As you'll read in the length e mails below there are just too many hazards.

Any potential move to a 'safe' location would need the approval of Heritage Victoria. I understand an application must be forwarded to them, however, this all begs the question, 'Who really owns that cabmans's shelter?'

Initially, I contacted the Melbourne City Council and in an e mail dated 20th July, it was suggested they could not assist and I was referred to the Land Titles Office. The structure is sited on Crown Land and as such, the Land Titles Office could not assist - frustrating!! In turn I was directed to the Crown Lands Department. As everyone seemed to be ducking for cover, a contact at Heritage Victoria suggested I should complete a Freedom Of Information request - cost $28.90. Result as below - the owner of the structure is none other than the Melbourne City Council - image below.

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TRANSPORT MUSEUM FOR VICTORIA

After some thought I decided that to house and maintain the cabman's shelter, it should be placed in a museum. Some internet and Facebook 'sniffing around' and I discovered a group that is trying to re-house the magnificent Cavalcade of Transport that is currently located on the back wall of the Spencer Outlet Centre. The mural is on show but partly hidden by airconditioning ducts and light fittings. To view the mural means a trip through the 4 factory outlets - Cotton On, Kaisercraft, Chemist Warehouse and Harris Scarf. Best views are from Cotton On and Harris Scarf. The visual location of the magnificent mural is almost an insult to the former Victorian State Artist, Harold Freedman. The Facebook page can be located at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cavalcadeoftransportrescuegroup/

After some discussions with the page owner, we jointly decided that a new home for both 'his' Cavalcade of Transport mural and 'my' Cabman's Shelter. Further discussions and the idea of a Transport Museum for Victoria was born.

As such a Facebook page has been established - https://www.facebook.com/groups/286823971883270/ - and you are more than welcome to join. Within that Facebook page is on file a letter to the Executive Director of MUSEUMS AUSTRALIA (VICTORIA). After an 'It's been 3 weeks and I haven't heard back from you' telephone call, I was told by the director that I needed to contact Museums Victoria - all seems strange seeing that all the Victorian major museums are shown on the Museums Australia website. I've also tried to touch base with Ms Heide Victoria MP and Shadow Minister for Arts & Culture. Being an election year I would have thought the idea of a large number of train, tram, bus etc, etc 'nuts' voting for a party that makes a great promise of a Transport Museum for the state would have appealed. Seems not. I wonder if other political parties might be interested.

Museums Victoria has over 15,000 transport related items within their collection - a really great start for a Transport Museum. Lets add the cabman's shelter, the Cavalcade of Transport mural (it is huge - half the length of a football oval), the recent 'past its use-by date' Colonial Tramcar Restaurant in storage at Newport and selected items from other sources and we have the makings of a Transport Museum to rival the current best in the world. We can do this, takes guts, determination, a can-do attitude and of course money, lots of money.

We at Transport Museum for Victoria need the support of ALL those in the various sections of the transport industry present and those keeping the past as safe as they can. Please join us.

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Cavalcade of Transport mural as seen from the retail store 'Cotton On'

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Copy of e mails from myself to the MCC and answers. Names, email addresses and any other identifying material have been deleted. A close read of the e mails shows that a number of questions were not answered or simply ignored

Sent:
Tues, 31 Jul 2018 15:21:41 +1000
Subject:
RE: A tale of 2 pieces of infrastructure controlled by the MCC

Hi Deleted

Maybe the below should be on the list as #5

Thanks

David Gawthorn

RUMOUR FILE CONFIRMED (3AW)

A man who took a forklift for a spin post-match at the MCG on Saturday is expected to be charged after an off-duty police officer intercepted the joyride.

During the Rumour File, Ross and John were told a footy patron stole a forklift from the stadium basement on Saturday after a match but was intercepted by an off duty senior policeman.

Police have confirmed a man was arrested after a forklift was allegedly stolen from the underground car park of a Melbourne sporting ground on Saturday.

Police responded when calls came in reporting it was being driven down the Brunton Avenue footpath shortly before 6pm.

A 39-year-old man from Drouin West was arrested shortly after and is expected to be charged on summons with theft of motor vehicle, conduct endangering life and drink driving offences.

Sent:
Sat, 28 Jul 2018 15:21:41 +1000
Subject:
RE: A tale of 2 pieces of infrastructure controlled by the MCC

Hi Deleted and please note there are no other recipients to this e mail,

First up MANY thanks for your e mail. In 2 short paras you have given me more hope that matters will improve than at any time since this campaign started - 3rd Jan 2018 (it would have been earlier but the festive season got in the way). THANK YOU.

I'm sorry I have trod on toes and acted far beyond my status (worm - LOL) at the MCG. I did so for a cause and perhaps at times I've been blinded by that cause - can we now please move forward.

I would believe that my greatest fear has not been addressed - and that is the safety of the structure.

1. I have previously mentioned acts of vandalism, which I see as the greatest threat. A simple Google of - vandalism, melbourne - resulted in over 1 million results. I'm sure there is a clear link between graffiti and vandalism. We've seen 3 graffiti attacks since I started up this campaign - and I do think we've been lucky given the almost isolated location of the structure. Sports fans are becoming more and more unruly - as I'm sure you'd know given your position at The G. Hark back to Richmond winning the AFL flag last year and please do some research on acts of drunken hysterical vandalism that occurred around 'party central Swan Street.' I could continue on this, but I do hope you can see the obvious threats.

2. Trees - the structure is located within a park. There are at least 3 biggish gum trees within easy branch falling range and a further 5 or 6 with a strong wind could cause substantial damage. Gum trees are notorious for dropping heavy limbs without warning. I'm not suggesting trees should be removed, but rather the structure.

3. Mother nature herself can cause all sorts of damage - hail, strong winds, very heavy rain.

4. A lesser threat is from out of control vehicles damaging the structure. We constantly see TV news footage of stolen vehicles smashing into houses.

I really do think that you and others should conduct your own risk assessment and then act accordingly. The cabman's shelter HAS to be moved to a secure indoor location. As indicated in my previous e mail, along with others, we are putting pressure to bear for the establishment of a Transport Museum for Victoria. I would hope that you and the building owner (assuming Melb City Council) would readily agree to release the structure to a Transport Museum where it can play an important part (with Heritage Vic approval).

You have mentioned the removal of equipment currently inside the shelter. May I please ask if you have any tentative plans for the interior?

Finally Deleted - as you are aware from our meeting, I do have a hearing issue. It is possible that I misheard the comment re the worms. I do have the utmost respect for ALL the staffers I am in regular contact with. I can send you copies of the THREE submissions I have made re the shelter. I have only received a written reply to ONE. If you get a chance in the next few Wednesdays maybe a short informal off the record chat might clear the air - maybe the worms can turn - LOL

Thanks again,

David Gawthorn

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 06:53:16 +0000
Subject:
RE: A tale of 2 pieces of infrastructure controlled by the MCC

Dear David,

Please note that as well as the ongoing maintenance of the cabman shelter we will be improving the interpretation signage around the shelter as well as relocating the equipment inside the shelter.

As previously communicated, the potential location of the shelter will be worked through with Heritage Victoria in conjunction with the overall Yarra Park masterplan.

David, with regards to your comment about a volunteers observation that “perhaps the worms working away under the sacred turf of the MCG are held in higher regard by the MCC than the volunteers”, I find this to be in bad taste and very disrespectful to the staff that manage our volunteer workforce.

Staff and management are always willing to meet and discuss issues with our volunteers (as per our willingness to discuss your concerns face to face). There may be times when volunteers and management may have different views on how certain things may operate, we are always willing to understand and address concerns and I would like to think people are mature enough to appreciate any difference of opinion and not make inappropriate and disrespectful comments as per what you have stated.

You can pass onto any colleague that if anyone has concerns about how they are being treated to go via the appropriate channels so their concerns can be addressed.

Regards

Sent: Thursday, 26 July 2018 1:26 AM

Subject: RE: A tale of 2 pieces of infrastructure controlled by the MCC

Good morning Deleted,

Thank you for your e mail.

It is quite ironic that on my Wednesday shift I noticed a memo to guides regarding damage to the frame of a painting in, of all places, The Long Room. I was under the impression that only gentlemen were admitted to almost the holiest of places on Earth, perhaps only exceeded by The Vatican!!!

Now if, as I've been led to believe, there was willful damage to the frame of a very important piece of cricket history in the Long Room, an area where only gentlemen and women are seen, then OUR heritage listed Cabman's Shelter would be under far more threat from those who would not be considered gentlemen. In spite of Deleted stating that he sees no threat to that little building, then, with respect, this should be a wake up call to ALL items under the control of the Melb Cricket Club.

Deleted, you have mentioned that the MCC is in 'discussions' with Heritage Victoria. I have read a little of the Heritage Act (2017) and have learnt that the club could be issued with a repair order on the heritage listed shelter. Failure to comply carries a penalty of 4,800 penalty units. Currently (from 1st July 2018) a penalty unit is $161.19 x 4,800 = $773,712. Is this the 'discussions' you mentioned?

Judging from the complete lack of replies from all in the mentioned in the 'To' of this e mail (except yourself), I am getting the distinct impression that most would prefer the matter of the shelter would just go away - is this correct please? If this is my interpretation, then perhaps a new home should be found for the shelter - and not in the medium to longer term (5 - 10 years??)? If this is also correct would you and the club consent to allowing (with Heritage Vic approval) the shelter be re-located to a safe indoor location? If so then I do have a possible short term home for the structure where I know it will be better managed than the past - are you interested?

Along with others, I am pressuring various parties into establishing a Transport Museum for Victoria where, I would sincerely hope, 'our' cabman's shelter could play an important part.

Could you please discuss the contents of this e mail with others and reply in the near future.

Thank you in anticipation,

Best wishes,

David Gawthorn

PS A little discussion revolved around a comment made in 'the dungeon' (the NSM) when a volunteer made the observation that perhaps the worms working away under the sacred turf of the MCG are held in higher regard by the MCC than the volunteers. I'd be interested to hear any replies so I can pass on to my colleagues.

Mon, 23 Jul 2018 04:22:10 +0000

RE: A tale of 2 pieces of infrastructure controlled by the MCC

Hi David,

Thank you for your email.

We are currently in discussions with Heritage Victoria regarding the Cabman’s Shelter and its ongoing maintenance, however as communicated to you previously, the cabmans’ shelter will remain in its current location for the time being, however as part of revising the Yarra Park Masterplan in the medium-longer term, we will explore other potential options for its location.

Kind Regards



A tale of 2 pieces of infrastructure controlled by the MCC
Sent: Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:13 PM

Good morning deleted,

I do hope you are all in fine health in spite of the dreary weather.

On Wednesday I did my normal shift at the amazing NSM. On the way to and from the muster room I could not help but notice the hive of activity on the MCG ground. All hands on deck to make sure the turf was as good as it can be. There were the huge grow lamps churning out energy for that turf and there was even a turf protector installed to allow a tractor to go to the centre pitch area for work to be done - all very impressive and of course under the banner of the MCC.

Less than 300 metres away sat a poor shadow of itself - the Cabman's Shelter. Neglected, paint peeling, graffiti visible through several woeful attempts at painting over, cob webs, grime et al - and also under the banner of the MCC - well the partly obliterated MCC logo on the shard tells me it seems to belong to the same organisation as the world-famous MCG.

Last Friday 6th July I had a 20 minute telephone conversation with a very senior person within the MCC. I briefly outlined my concerns over the plight of the Cabman's Shelter. I told him that I had submitted an article for a monthly magazine and hope that it is published around the !st August. I also told him of a blog that, at the time, was only 2 parts. He seemed quite sympathetic to my cause.

Last Sunday, 8th July, I published the last of the 6 pages of the blog and then went about promoting its existence on social media. At the time of writing this e mail to you all that blog has attracted 13,064 page views. It has also been shared a number of times. I have received very positive comments from a variety of people who did not know of the shelter under your stewardship. That blog can be read at https://cabmansshelter.travellerspoint.com/ although I am confident you would have been alerted to it.

In an e mail from Deleted I was advised (warned would be a better word):

"As communicated to you yesterday regarding the MCC’s code of conduct, although it is OK to express your own personal views, you must not post anything that may have the potential to damage the MCC or any of its employee’s reputation."

When you read the blog you will see that I have not named names, but I have expressed my own personal views.

Can I please ask that each and every one of you go for a short walk and get up close and view that little shelter. See for yourselves just how bad the condition is and see how anyone viewing same would come to the conclusion as I have that it might 'damage the MCC's reputation.'

Can I also please ask that you read the blog and in particular the last page.

I have been in contact with Heritage Victoria and understand you (the MCC) would need to obtain a permit to move the shelter. I am suggesting this be done as a matter of urgency and in the interim the shelter is placed in safe storage and perhaps even work begun on the restoration of the structure. The 'where will it go' decision can be deferred. As I wrote in the last page of the blog, leaving the shelter where it is, is not an option.

PLEASE do not let that shelter come to any harm. It is in danger from a variety of sources. I don't want to go fully public on the issue as the very publicity generated might attract the wrong element to the structure - but will do so, with reluctance, if I feel it is necessary.

I now await your responses AND, more importantly, ACTIONS.

Thank you in anticipation,

David Gawthorn

Posted by SirGaw 07:17

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