World turns but past not forgotten

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History in homes: Dorothy Booth, left, and Veronica Hahn have gathered household collectables to be displayed at the Old Bakery Museum in Mentone. Picture: Yanni

History in homes: Dorothy Booth, left, and Veronica Hahn have gathered household collectables to be displayed at the Old Bakery Museum in Mentone. Picture: Yanni

A WORLD of collectible items that were once part of our everyday past is on display at the Old Bakery Museum, Mentone. 

The ‘Where have all the houses gone?’ exhibition also includes a series of photographs of aesthetically pleasing houses that have long since been knocked down and replaced with townhouses or apartments.

The collectibles are from a time pre-and-post war when things were made strongly to last – there was no such term as “planned obsolescence”. Nothing was expected to be just thrown away and everything was expected to be repaired at least once in its lifetime. Shoe soles were repaired at home using metal wear protectors, saucepans had new handles attached and tyres were patched – not replaced.

The everyday items were found in everyone’s homes: Dad shaved with them, mum cooked with them, the kids played with them – and everybody used them.

The interesting memorabilia donated over the years includes a Coolgardie safe, range of food mixing devices, tool for stringing beans, metal kitchen utensils, women’s compacts, battery powered home medical apparatus – even a grape-seeding tool.

The display provides an intriguing and relevant snapshot of Mordialloc and Mentone is quieter times, when people knew their neighbours and kept a spare key under the mat. Ah, those were the days …

Organiser Dorothy Booth said: “At long last we are up and running and ready for people to come and see where all the houses have gone.

“It took us longer than expected, due to illness, but we think people will like our exhibition when they see what is on display.

“See if you know anything about the house we are trying to find.”

The Where Have All The Houses Gone exhibition is at the Old Bakery Museum, Mentone, Sundays 2-4pm. 

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 21 October 2015

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