As Dimmeys Richmond starts its metamorphosis into Richmond Icon apartments, the exemplary Hayden Dewar mural adorning the building has been boarded up for a considerable amount of time during construction. For those not aware of this engaging piece of art, Hayden Dewar's webpage carries this description...
"Commissioned for Dimmeys 150th anniversary and painted on the sidewall of the Richmond Dimmeys store
A 50 metre long mural depicting treasured & memorable Australian people, places and events occurring throughout Dimmeys trading. Hayden was responsible for all aspects of the mural. This included research, design, and execution of the artwork.
The Dimmeys Mural is a link to the past for the many locals and visitors who enjoy the trip down memory lane that it sparks for them. With its large scope of subject matter, scale and level of detail, it is an unprecedented piece of artwork in Australia."
Initially slated for removal the mural was later incorporated into the current redevelopment. Given the Dimmeys mural may remain under its protective hoarding for the next year or so, Urban Melbourne thought it to be an opportune time to take a closer look at the mural, starting from Railway Place and moving north toward Swan St
Section one below captures Dimmeys birth. As Victoria is gripped by gold rush fever and the subsequent Eureka Rebellion, Maryborough business Dimelow & Gaylard purchases an existing Swan Street retail business; The nickname Dimmeys would eventually stick. During this period Burke & Wills also set out on their ill-fated exploration.
Below ushers in the era of Ned Kelly while Melbourne city's first electrified tram trip occurs during 1906. Bottom left depicts what may be the progression of Melbourne's water supply.
Abbotsford sees the arrival of Audrey, the Society of Melbourne Brewers (CUB) arrived in 1903, now Saint Mary McKillop comes to prominence and Melburnians of the time witness Flinders Street Station's completion in the early 1900's. The Australian flag was chosen during 1901 with the current flag specifications proclaimed some 30 odd years later. Meanwhile Dimmeys Swan Street store was lost to fire, only to see a higher quality building constructed thereafter.
Section four sees Qantas take flight whilst Dimmeys rebirth nears completion. The ANZAC spirit is born, embodied by John Simpson Kirkpatrick, his donkey and the Victoria Cross - awarded for valour. Weet-bix and Vegemite are born while Roy Cazaly thrills the crowds - later to be immortalised by a smash hit, Up There Cazaly. The Magic Pudding, Ginger Megs and Gumnut babies are also present.
Squizzie Taylor gains notoriety, The Don punches through cover, Captain Blood, Phar Lap, Blinky Bill and Robert Menzies feature during the early 1930's. What we believe to be Eroll Flynn and Dame Joan Sutherland are also present. World War 2 is also noted, assuming Papua New Guinea is the setting.
Sidney Nolan's 'The Trial' bottom left, FX Holden takes a prominent position, Melbourne's 1956 Olympics is recognised and Slim Dusty does what he did so well. Australia is welcomed to the television age, Moomba gathers momentum while Herb Elliot is recognised as one of the world's great middle distance runners. Finally who would have thought a washing line and lawnmower would be held in such high regard? Australian ingenuity at its best.
Section seven features some Melbourne greats - Graeme Kennedy, Luna Park, Shrine of Remembrance, the ESKY, W Class trams, Stirling Moss, HQ Holden ute; quite the line-up! EJ and Polly Farmer if full flight, Rolf in less dubious times and the Nylex clock takes its place. Richmond Bitter long gone. Interesting Brunswick's Thunder Road Brewery is trying to revive lost Victorian beer brands such as Bitter Ale - all that's old is new again.
The 70's and 80's in focus. Kevin Bartlett runs on by and Lionel Rose keeps on punching while Yvonne Goolagong makes history...Gough gets the chop, Ash Wednesday scars many while Australia's burgeoning rock scene explodes. Countdown and Molly Meldrum lead the way with ACDC, Skyhooks and Australian Crawl in support. Bottom right is artist Russel Drysdale's 'The Rabbiters.'
Dimmeys front man 'Dipper' in action with Norman Gunston, Peter Brock, AB, Peter Garrett, the effervescent Sir Les Patterson, Joan Kirner and others in company. Nick Cave and Michael Hutchence look arty and serious simultaneously while Nicky Winmar takes a stance, and who could forget YABLETTTT! top right. Former Major of Collingwood and Member for Parliament Theodore Sidiropoulos appears to the right.
Thespians feature heavily early in the new millennium, such as Kate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Heath Ledger portraying Ned Kelly. Sporting moments including Cathy Freeman lighting the cauldron during the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Makybe Diva. Cow up a tree, Kath & Kim plus albums such as Cat Empire make their mark, meanwhile Federation Square and the mighty Eureka Tower find their place.
And rounding out proceedings, a close up depicting an artist and his untouched canvas of sorts, with Swan st to the rear.
So there you have it, Melbourne's history, in paint and over 50 incredible metres. One wonders where and when the next instalment of Melbourne's story will appear?
By no means a comprehensive overview, feel free to point out the many we've missed.