Saturday, January 30, 2010

Le Bombs

I have just been re-reading old post cards from a friend who was cycling around England in 1986. Back in 86 I am sure there was the threat in England of IRA bombs, so she was surprised and distressed to hear of the Russell Street police headquarters bombing.

I was in the city on the day and the noise of wailing sirens from police, ambulance and fire vehicles was relentless. I vividly remember the police cars seemingly travelling at random in all directions. Of course I had no idea what had happened. Russell Street Police Headquarters is a very nice building, now apartments. Madden proofed. Photo is from Walking Melbourne.

Just a little more than six months later, another bomb went off, this time in Caroline Street, South Yarra. The target was the Turkish consulate. The bomb caused a lot of damage to the building and and nearby buildings but only the bomber was killed as the the bomb exploded prematurely. I surprised that I have little memory of this bomb. It seems number 44 Caroline Street, almost on the corner of Toorak Road, now contains offices and the Turkish consulate is in Albert Road, South Melbourne.

The last, perhaps not well remembered by many but well by me because I saw the damage the next day, was the following year, 1987. It was a very nice and not long ago renovated block of apartments at number 19 Park Street, South Yarra. We can see the back of the block quite clearly from home. The successfully killed target was was racing car driver Stewart McLeod. His wife was injured.


Your chance of being killed or injured by a bomb in Australia is very very slim, but because it is so random, it is frightening. Who would have thought the leafy streets of South Yarra would experience two bombs. Post the destruction of New York's World Trade Centre, rubbish bins were removed from in front of the St Kilda Road Police Station for security reasons. The removal created a big problem with cigarette butt littering.

5 comments:

  1. I was going to make a comment about terrorism and stuff, but then I was distracted by the wonderful jewellery on offer courtesy of the spammer above. Bling for fun! For 'bling' read b*ll*cks and for fun read 'spam terrorists'.

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  2. Andrew - I was in a basement at the corner of Russell and Bourke Street when the bomb went off - I can still feel the noise of the explosion as it affected the air pressure.
    Scary scary scary stuff and then to hear theemergency services all racing to the scene. The sense of panic could almost be touched. They were scary times :(

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  3. I'm intrigued enormously when dungeons like the old police headquarters where blokes were punched and kicked unconscious become fancy apa-a-a-artments for the genteel to inhabit. Mont Park Hospital where abandoned and terrified wretches paced to and fro becomes hijinks student accomodation for LatTrobe next door. And look at Fitzroy Street, full of stupid cafes and stupider people parading their hairdos on a street where society's rejects found refuge. Most of all I'm outraged at what Chapel Street Prahran has become, my old neighbourhood, now an entire nothing of clothes shops and cafes with an endless parade of pretentious cashed up poseurs got that way on the backs of low-paid previous generations struggling there to survive. Money talks.

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  4. They have the actual car from the Russell St bombing on display in the Police Museum.
    Feral Beast was just speechless as he read why there was a wrecked car in the middle of the room.

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  5. Brian, stop commenting on spam. I delete it anyway and no one knows what you are on about.

    IAS, that must have been terrifying. At least if you are above ground, you can see what happened, but then you were probably safer below ground than above.

    I did see the car Jayne. It is a wonder that there is that much left.

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