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The Heidelberg Historical Society Museum is opening on Sundays from Sunday 29th November

The Museum is opening on Sunday 29th November, Sunday 6th December, and Sunday 13th December 2020. It will be closed for the remainder of 2020, until February 2021.

With social distancing, we can only have 2 people and 1 volunteer in the Research Room and up to 4 people in the Exhibition space during each time slot between 2pm and 3:15pm and 3:30pm and 4:45pm.

Book your timeslot by email only at heidelberg.historical.society@gmail.com. This applies to our members as well as to the public.

Face masks are required to be worn inside the Museum. You will be required to leave your name and phone number as per Victorian Government regulation.

If you are not a member you can join by submitting the online application form which will be processed by our Secretary promptly.

23rd November 2020

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Heidelberg Historical Society

The Centre of Heidelberg?

Posted on Monday, 4th January 2021 by Janine Rizzetti

from our Facebook page November 26, 2020

The Centre of Heidelberg? It seems rather strange, but this vacant block of land on the corner of Cape Street and Burgundy Street could be said to have once been the community centre of Heidelberg!

It was owned by Mrs Alice Davey (whose family also owned a butcher’s shop in Heidelberg) and it was there that people gathered informally to celebrate public events. Fetes, fairs and especially bonfires on Empire Day and Guy Fawkes Day all took place on this vacant block. When the circus came to town, it set up here. At the end of World War I, there was an impromptu barbecue held on the site, complete with a spit roast, to celebrate the end of the war.

It’s interesting to see the ‘desire line’ (i.e. an informal path that people make by taking short-cuts) that crosses the block. A short-cut to the Old England perhaps? Or perhaps school children made the path walking up to St John’s Primary and Our Lady’s? You can also see Clinton’s garage - with whom Mrs Davey also had a family connection- beside the block, facing onto Burgundy Street. The vacant block was known colloquially as “Clinton’s Paddock”.

This block remained vacant until sometime between 1955 and 1960, when shops, offices and a service station were constructed on the site. Burgundy Plaza, which stands there today, was sold in November 2017 for $14.4 million. We probably all know what will happen next.

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