Happened upon Newmarket this weekend (for kid’s random birthday party purposes) and what a lovely corner of Melbourne it is.
It’s snuck behind Kensington and turns away from the energetic eagerness of Racecourse Rd – where people quite literally drive as if they were on a race course.
There’s an abundant history among the tightly packed terrace houses as the site (in its hey day) was one the world’s largest stock markets – where livestock decamped from railway sidings in their thousands and were walked across for yarding and penning for sale.
Today the remnants of the stock-market with its wide bluestone lanes, abundant heritage peppercorn trees and labyrinth of yards and races and sale rings are revealed in remnants. Many of the original buildings thankfully remain as home for the local community high school.
On the other side of the rail line a number of old shops – faded from view with the loss of the market – are slowly reviving with younger businesses – cafes and shops with second hand wares returning for a new generation of buyers.
Apparently the ‘hygienic library’ referred to the books being treated hygienically so you wouldn’t be at risk of disease – so the young waiter explained.
You can read more about the history of the sale-yards – (which were finally closed in 1987) here: http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/themes/4308/architecture-of-the-newmarket-saleyards
(With apologies for the poorly reconfigured photos but just indulge my nostalgic side)