Sydney’s Mortuary Station, end of the Line 1869-1938.

When ­Sydney’s cemetery reached capacity in the late 1860s, Mortuary Station was built to provide access to a new site. Image Credit: courtesy of the Australian Railway Heritage Society
Funeral trains no longer steam through Sydney, but Mortuary Station remains a haunting reminder of times past.
19th century, mourners would congregate at Mortuary Station, in central Sydney. Twice a day, the city’s funeral train would rumble in towards the platform, through a series of ornate sandstone arches.
Coffins would be loaded into special hearse carriages, while suit-clad men, and women dressed in dark-coloured clothing boarded the passenger carriages.
The station’s departure bells would sound and steam would begin to billow across the Sydney skyline as the locomotive chugged into action, slowly moving over the track’s hardwood sleepers.
The train’s whistle would shriek as the funeral procession departed, bound for the Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney’s largest cemetery, 17km to the west.
Funeral trains carried mourners from Mortuary to Rookwood for nearly 70 years, from 1869 until 1938.
Today, the ghostly whistle of the locos no longer sounds and the platform at ­Mortuary remains quiet.
Situated on Regent Street, at the southern end of the Sydney CBD, the now-disused ­station is a sombre relic of a long-past era.
The elaborate Gothic-inspired building, which appears today much as it would have when it opened 145 years ago, provides a rare architectural glimpse into Sydney’s past.
Office blocks and apartment buildings have sprouted in nearby streets, but the church-like station house remains, recalling a time when Sydney’s funeral processions were public events.
The architects and artists “spared nothing” during the build of the station, says historian Bill Phippen.
Funeral trains passed through Mortuary for more than 60 years, but today it is only used for the occasional function. (Image: John Pickrell)
Source: End of the line – Australian Geographic

The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters.

The Inner Sanctum Mysteries of radio were adapted to film in the 1940s

The Inner Sanctum was a popular radio program which portrayed mysteries, often in a camp production, and was often hosted by a horror movie star.

Many of the actors famous for portraying Universal’s Classic Monsters appeared on the program, as hosts and as stars in the production. Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney and others joined stars like Frank Sinatra, Richard Widmark, Orson Welles, and Burgess Meredith.

Over 500 episodes were broadcast, each announced by the signature sound of a creaking door slowly opening before the voice over began.

In the 1940s six films were produced by Universal Studios under the Inner Sanctum series, all of which featured Lon Chaney.

The first of the series, Calling Doctor Death, was filmed in just three weeks on the Universal lot, and all six of the series were low-budget attempts to cash in on Chaney’s popularity as the ‘Wolf Man’, as well as the popularity of the radio series and the books on which the former was based.

Marketed as “An Inner Sanctum Mystery” the six films were made in just under two years, with the result of further damaging Lon Chaney’s career as suited for only the types of horror films being made on the Universal lot.

Although the title was E. A. Poe’s and his name figured prominently in the publicity, there was little of his story in the script.

Source: The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters

Halloween in Australia 2019.

Do Australians celebrate Halloween?
Yes and no.
Halloween is a subject that Australians are divided over. Some Australians believe it is another great excuse to celebrate and have fun – not like we need an excuse or anything.
Others may feel that it isn’t an Australian celebration.
As a result, when Halloween comes around, you’ll see some brilliantly decorated homes as well as many that are not.
You may see a few trick-or-treaters out and about, but many people will choose to stay home.
Many neighbourhoods with small children will often participate in Halloween celebrations.
But other areas with older demographics may ignore this day all together.
Why don’t some Australians want to celebrate Halloween?
Some Australians seem to be very against celebrating this day in Australia. This is because some view Halloween as a British or American tradition, and thus celebrating this day is accepting overseas culture over our own.
Rejecting Halloween could be seen as protecting our own unique Australian culture.
Some have suggested that Australia’s rejection of Halloween stems back to the Victorian era and the forsaking of indulgence.
But when you talk to many Aussies, most just plainly say that it’s just another rort manufactured by some smart arse and greedy retailers and it’s not for us.
Source: Halloween in Australia 2019 | finder.com.au

The First Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was a Killer.

img_5255e53aa7b0aThe Special Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was bound in fire-proof asbestos (the slow and silent killer).
Ray Bradbury’s iconic dystopian novel focused on a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen hunt down and burn books rather than put out house fires.
Shortly after the book was published in 1953, a run of 200 special editions was produced.
These books, bound in white with red cover text, included both a printed signature on the cover and an actual signature inside.
More significantly, the books were bound in covers of asbestos, a fireproof mineral that has been linked to the deaths of millions of workers over many years.
Even in 1953 they were well aware of its dangers.
Image courtesy of Bauman Rare Books.
via Which Book Was Released In An Asbestos Lined Hardcover Edition?

‘Death and the Eternal Forever’ by Ron English.

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Ron English has bombed the global landscape with countless unforgettable images: on the street, in museums, in movies, in books and on television.
Coining the term ‘POPaganda’ to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones; from superhero mythology to totems of art history, his work is populated with a vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters.
English featured in the hit movies Super Size Me and Exit Through the Gift Shop, and hosted Britain’s The Other America series on Sky TV; he has also made numerous television appearances worldwide.
He is the subject of the award-winning 2006 documentary POPaganda: the Art and Crimes of Ron English and the 2009 documentary Abraham Obama.
He has exhibited worldwide in numerous prestigious galleries and his work resides in the permanent collections of Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO), Paris’s Museum of Modern Art, amongst others.
English continues to create art that propels unstated cultural norms just beyond the bounds of comfort into a disconcerting realm simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.
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Death and the Eternal Forever is available online via http://www.koreropress.com,
Read on via ART PICS: Ron English ‘Death and the Eternal Forever’ Art Book Launch @AtomicaGallery Thursday 31st July, 6-8pm | FADWEBSITE.

Something you may not Know about Halloween.

Halloween. Odds are, you think of it as one of the best days of the year.
If you really stop to think about Halloween and all the bizarre traditions that go along with this day, you may start to actually wonder… where in the world did all these crazy traditions come from?
Costumes, monsters, trick or treating, jack-o-lanterns… well, all this batty stuff had to start somewhere, right?
Ireland Is Believed To Be The Birthplace of Halloween.
The ancient Celtic Festival called Samhain was first celebrated more than 2,000 years ago in County Meath. The Celts believed it was a time of transition, when the veil between this world and the next came down, and the spirits of all who had died that year moved on to the next life.
But if the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped, the deceased could come back to life and wreak havoc among the living. Not a good thing.
Today the ancient past and the twenty-first century come together at the annual Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, where a re-enactment of the Celtic celebration kicks off with a torchlit procession through town.
The Irish welcome Halloween with bonfires, party games and traditional food, including a fruitcake that contains coins, buttons, rings and other fortune telling objects.
In ancient times, it was believed that if a young woman found a ring in her slice of fruitcake, she’d be married within the next year.
Now read on via 12 Things You May Not Know About Halloween ~ vintage everyday