Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mt. Mistake

A couple of streets away from our house in Seddon was Mt Mistake. It wasn't a real mountain of course; it was a bridge across the railway line to Adelaide, for the main highway leading from Melbourne to Geelong. I imagine it was built sometime in the 1920's; all grimy (by the 60's) red brick with pedestrian walkways on either side. And that is why the locals called it Mt Mistake. You see, right next to the overpass was Footscray Football Ground.

A much more important football ground then than it is now, the home of our local football team, The Footscray Bulldogs. Many of the more impecunious locals would gather at the top of the football ground side and watch the match for free! To be honest, I wasn't one of those standing at the top of a Saturday afternoon eagerly watching; Australian Rules football has never interested me. Believe me, it's not easy, then or now, to live in Melbourne and be totally indifferent to Footy; people tend to regard you as strange. Heh, they have more than just that to wonder about!

Alas, Mt Mistake's not there anymore. Certainly there's a bridge there crossing the railway line but the original red brick bridge was demolished in the late 1960's and one of those soulless concrete monstrosities replaced it. Guess whether it has a pedestrian walkway on the football ground side? Actually, it doesn't have a pedestrian walkway on either side; pedestrians are expected to trudge twice the distance via walkways that avoid the road entirely.

I imagine it's also a reflection of the times that the replacement bridge wasn't a tenth as much fun for us as the original was. The original was full of nooks and crannies; places where we could hide and it was fun to explore them all. The replacement lacked all of those secret spaces. Safer for kids? Probably. As much fun for kids? Nope, no way, no how!

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