Under the clocks

Flinders St Clocks

But oh oh, won’t you meet me
Under the clocks, we’ll go walking by the river
Through the mud and through the slime
Are you so surprised
That I am here, full of cheer
In this fair city, in the Winter time.

Chorus of ‘Under the Clocks’ by Weddings, Parties, Anything (1988)

If you were to ask someone from Melbourne to meet you ‘under the clocks’, very few would need further explanation. The Flinders Street Station clocks, located above the main entrance, have been a Melbourne landmark since the 1860’s.  When the old station was demolished in 1904, they were placed into storage and reinstalled at the new station in 1910.

In 1983 the clocks were removed as part of a station redevelopment with a plan to replace them with digital technology.  Melburnians were outraged.  Public opinion eventually won out and the clocks were once again reinstated. Those of you who’ve read my post about Little Audrey will know that we’re a sentimental bunch when it comes to our favourite landmarks.

For me, the station steps are a microcosm of Melbourne life. At any time of the day, and well into the night, they are bursting with activity – buskers entertain, beggars appeal for loose change, city workers trudge up and down, friends meet and greet, lovers embrace, families emerge ready for a day in town, and teenagers loiter and flirt with each other.

In 1988, local folk rock band Weddings, Parties, Anything released a song called ‘Under the Clocks’. It’s a great song celebrating ordinary people and life in Melbourne.

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10 comments

  1. Great pictures and story Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is such a beautiful station. I am happy that once again that bunch won and the clock remained there. Thanks for sharing Melbourne’s history. And also for the gorgeous photos and song.
    Enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lucile for being so generous with your comments. I’m glad you’re enjoying seeing Melbourne through my eyes.

      Like

  3. Sandra Barton · · Reply

    Met overseas friends at Flinders St Station in December, the clocks are such an icon and so glad you Melbournians objected to the digital era taking over. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, – a taste of ‘home’. One of my favourite Melbourne icons. My mum and dad met in person for the very first time ‘under the clocks’ when they were both telephonists in distant country towns, chatting together when the lines were free. Thanks for the piece of nostalgia, – and great photography throughout your blog too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandy. I’m pleased my post revived some happy memories for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Especially when you read the comments.

      Like

  6. One of the great ‘Melbourne’ songs from one of the great Melbourne bands

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] of course which needs no introduction as I’ve already written about it in a post about the famous clocks.  You can see the blue trains running behind the […]

    Like

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