Friday, August 30, 2013

Phone app offers walk history of Melbourne


Screenshots from the app.

It is a new ''social history of our city'' - a free phone app that is a walking tour and living archive of Melbourne with anecdotes of memorable places from memorable people.

The National Trust has released the ''our city'' app for Melbourne - just in time for Melbourne's 178th birthday celebrations on Friday.

The new app even allows members of the public to add their own stories on why particular places in Melbourne are important to them.

The trust recruited a swag of well known locals to get the conversation started.


From Ron Barassi's moving account at the Shrine of Remembrance of meeting an old man who was with his father, Ron Barassi snr, as he was dying during the battle for Tobruk in 1941, to Barry Jones talking about the ''magic'' of the Royal Botanic Gardens or Shannon Bennett's keen interest in Melbourne's first restaurant - and its menu - the app is a living history of city.

The Trust's Alix Hill, said her favourite anecdote in the app, created at a cost of $25,000, came from Robyn Archer.

''I am a big fan of Robyn Archer's so I particularly love it when she bursts into Singin' in the Rain,'' she said.

Ms Hill said the app could be used ''as a walking tour because of the plotted points in the city'' or accessed from home.

''We wanted to integrate a love of history and an interest in people into an app,'' she said.

Director Nadia Tass (below) talks about the ''loved landmark'' of the Arts Centre, a place of ''cultural inspiration'', while Tim Costello talks about how his great-great-grandfather Patrick Costello came to Melbourne in 1841 and helped build Trades Hall.

He says Patrick was a publican who was elected to one of the first Victorian colonial parliaments and then expelled.

For what? It's on the app.
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