I love learning about the past history of places we visit…you can find out the most amazing things when you do a little delving!
I also know that how important it is to look up as you can miss so much…architecture, street art, quirky installations…
So when I read about this particular place on my social media feed, I was so curious that I just had to check it out.
Because, unbeknownst to me, I have walked past this building heaps of times over the years, and never realised that there was actually a bandstand built on top of it!
I am talking about what was the Bright and Hitchcock building on the corner of Moorobool St and the Mall in Geelong…a regional city about an hours drive from Melbourne.
Many of those familiar with Geelong initially thought that this was a tower in the old prison…or had never noticed it at all…so I am not the only one!
But I can now confirm the building is indeed on the corner of the Mall, and the bandstand is definitely still there…it even still has the flagpole on top!
Bright and Hitchcock’s was a famous drapery and general merchant store that was established in 1850…in fact, it was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in Victoria.
The store moved into this building in approx 1879, and the bandstand was added in 1908 when extensive renovations were done.
Bright and Hitchcock closed in 1968 with the company changing hands, and names, a few times before closing in 1979 when it was known as Moores.
Apparently the upper floors of this heritage listed building have remained empty for years, however, the basement was occupied by a Spotlight store until 2005…not sure if it is still empty.
Currently, a 7/11 convenience store occupies the ground floor.
The bandstand was used frequently in the 1930s/1940s with bands played up there on Friday nights.
But sadly, as far as I can work out, the bandstand has not been used for years…maybe as far back as the 70s.
And sadly, it’s location is in a dodgy part of the Geelong city…you can see the safety cameras in this image…
However, I would love to get into that building and check it out for myself!
And wouldn’t it be great if perhaps a local band, perhaps a brass band such as Geelong West, could put on a concert up there and try to recapture the thriving music centre it used to be!
It would be great around Christmas for example…carols could be played for the shopping crowd below.
Let’s make it happen!!
Do you know about this bandstand in Geelong? Do you know who owns the building now?
Share in the comments below as I would love to know!