This image was recently (14/10/15) published on the Lost Geelong Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/LostGeelong) where it was identified as “A man by his car inside the main gates at Eastern Park, 1917”.
The same image (confusingly dated c.1925) is displayed in the Geelong Botanic Gardens meeting room alongside other historic images of the entrance to the Gardens.
The first of these is labelled “Prince’s Gate and Lodge at the Malop street entrance 1883”.
While the other is the new gates (now called the Hansen gates) to the 1960s extension to the Gardens.
Both sets of gates bare a superficial resemblance to the first image, however anyone who takes time to make a closer inspection will realise that these pictures are of three distinctly different gates.
The Hansen gates still welcome visitors to the Geelong Botanic Gardens, although after the extension of the Gardens in 2002 to incorporate the 21st century Gardens, they are no longer the main entrance to the Gardens.
So which of the first 2 images are the real Prince’s Gates at the Malop Street entrance to the Gardens?
The information displayed with the 1883 image of the gates with the associated lodge gives a bit more detail.
The gates were named the “Prince’s Gate” following the visit of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh to Geelong in 1867.
The Garden Street lodge was built sometime before 1864, but demolished in 1920 when the road was realigned. The gates however were given to Kardinia Park in 1904 when it was no longer considered necessary to completely fence off Eastern Park.
This image from around 1910 the old Princes’ Gates in place on the northwest corner of Kardinia Park near the war memorial.
Despite the addition of lights on the tops of the pillars, these are clearly the same gates as in the 1883 photograph.
The image which has recently been promoted as the Malop Street (Prince’s) gates appears to have been mis-attributed as these gates do not actually resemble either of the other images of these gates, and the given dates of the image (either 1917 or 1925) are both after the gates had been removed from their original site in Malop street.
So, why the confusion?
The Geelong Heritage Centre has a wide collection of historical images of Geelong which come from a wide range of sources. The image in question is amongst these.
The details supplied with the image are:
A man by his car inside the main entrance gates at Eastern Park, 1917
Date of creation: 1917
GRS Number: 2009/00125
Image Type: Photogrpah
Format: Black and white photograph, 114mmx 158
It appears that it is simply a case of mistaken identity. I like to think that the photographer, like me, took a while to sorting out his photographs from his tour of Geelong and simply mis-remembered where this particular image was taken.