Wednesday WIP: Historic Portsea on Parade

Two Wednesdays ago, I mentioned that one of my works in progress is set in picturesque Portsea (that’s Portsea, Victoria, Australia, not Portsea, Portsmouth, England, just in case you were wondering).

As part of my research, I looked at (and took) a lot of pictures of the Portsea pier, which is on the beach behind the Portsea Hotel (which featured in the other post).

In the process of finding these photos, I came across some gems from the Australian screen archives.

They show happy people – probably mostly day-trippers from Melbourne – frolicking on the beach and pier at Portsea in the 1920s.

I love the stripey beach shelters, the variety of 20s beach fashions and the blase attitude people show to being filmed. I wonder if we would be more or less relaxed about a camera on the beach these days?

It’s also interesting to see how many people were there.  Now wonder someone thought it was a good idea to set up a pub in those sand dunes!

My novel is set in the present day, but I still found these fascinating and thought you might too.

I’m sorry, I can’t embed them, but if you click on the links you’ll be taken to the page.  Don’t bother turning up your sound – they’re silent!

http://aso.gov.au/titles/newsreels/picturesque-portsea-pageant/clip1/

http://aso.gov.au/titles/newsreels/picturesque-portsea-pageant/clip2/

I love little snippets of history like this.  What about you?  Have you come across anything interesting in your travels lately?

14 thoughts on “Wednesday WIP: Historic Portsea on Parade

  1. Sunnyside Beach with Boardwalk and Amusement Park evolution then death in Toronto from 1900 to 1950 is too interesting to be true. Alas, my budget is due tomorrow, and I have a costume presentation with Producers and Director, so will have to talk about it at a later date. I know what you mean about the camera on the beach back then, because there’s some great pics.

  2. I live in the smallest town in England which, before the sea retreated was one of its most important ports. It’s the perfect place to set a novel and yet – for some perverse reason – I don’t. Maybe it’s the need to escape. I think one of the joys of writing fiction is that you can play God by creating a reality of your own which is a mixture of fact and fiction. Wembourne in my novel, which you so kindly read, is fictional whereas Hastings, Eastbourne etc are real. Location is so important, not only for how your novel comes across, but how you feel about writing it. Anyway, hurry up and let us know what happens in Portsea, Imelda (I like your new profile picture, by the way).

    • Thanks, Peter (re the photo, natch). Part of the attraction of Portsea for me in this case is that it isn’t in my, or rather my character’s, normal stamping ground. All my other stories have been set in my city, Melbourne, but it was interesting to see what happens when you are removed to somewhere not that far away but a long way in terms of not being at home.

      I think it’s fun to set a fictional world against a real background. My Portsea isn’t exact to every detail, but the constraints and opportunities of a real place were fun to play with .

      Sorry, I can’t tell you too much of what happens in Portsea, not yet! Spoilers! But who knows? Maybe soon… You’ll just have to possess your soul in patience! 😉

    • Isn’t the intertitle cute! I have to agree about the beach. I have never been terribly inclined to swim on the days I have been there. Although, to be fair, the picture I took was taken in winter. And I, too, love the twenties, although I would have despaired of the fashion had I actually lived then. I really do not have the figure for it!

  3. Pingback: I am a serial “Like”-er | rileys random review

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