Monday, May 07, 2007

Riot

AUGUST 1929 . KELLETT STREET
RIOT . SLY GROG TRADERS
KATE LEIGH V's TILLY DEVINE
RIVAL GANGS IN VIOLENT STOUSH
RAZORS GUNS BOTTLES STONES
WOUNDED DO NOT IDENTIFY
ATTACKERS TO POLICE

I found a piece of History set in stone and told on the exact spot of the event on the corner of Bayswater Road and Kellett Street. The suburb of Kings Cross remains a fairly rough one today. When I took this photo at dawn the other day, the only living beings around were a few red-eyed junkies finishing off a wild night and half a dozen seagulls as feral as the rival gangs mentioned here.
Click to learn more about Matilda "Tilly" Devine and Kate Leigh, two prominent madams and flamboyant underworld figures of the 1920's. They would have been colourful characters I bet.

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AOUT 1929 . KELLETT STREET
EMEUTE . TRAFIQUANTS D'ALCOOL VEREUX
KATE LEIGH CONTRE TILLY DEVINE
GANGS RIVAUX EN UN VIOLENT AFFRONTEMENT
RASOIRS ARMES A FEU BOUTEILLES PIERRES
LES BLESSES NE DENONCENT PAS
LEURS ATTAQUANTS A LA POLICE
,,
J'ai trouvé la mémoire d'un moment de l'Histoire gravée au sol sur le lieu même de l'évènement, au coin de Bayswater Road et Kellett Street. Aujourd'hui encore le quartier de Kings Cross a mauvaise réputation. Quand j'ai pris cette photo à l'aube l'autre jour, je n'y ai croisé que quelques junkies aux yeux rouges qui finissaient au radar une nuit allumée et une demi-douzaine de mouettes aussi agressives que les gangs rivaux mentionnés ici.
Cliquez pour en savoir plus sur Kate Leigh et Matilda "Tilly" Devine, deux reines du 'milieu' du Sydney des années vingt, gérantes de maisons closes, trafiquantes de drogue et d'alcool violemment rivales - deux personnages hauts en couleur à n'en pas douter !
bb

21 comments:

photowannabe said...

Great shot of history. I like the gull and the plaque.

bv said...

It's amazing Sydney celebrates those kind of History pieces.
Can you imagine NY or Chicago doing the same? The entire pavement of both cities would be so over marqued that you couldn't read a thing!

C'est dingue que Sydney marque ainsi ce type de moments historiques.
Vous imaginez la même choses sur à NY ou Chicago? Les trottoirs de ces deux villes seraient tellement chargés qu'ils en deviendraient illisibles...

Olivier said...

la guerre des gangs n'existent donc pas qu'en banlieue parisienne ;o) Cela ressemble un peu, aux peintures murales new yorkaiss en hommage aux morts des gangs

kris said...

Matching white! how cool and I like the compositon alot. Tell me you're not wandering the area alone ?

ps.Nathalie I was just clicking your site when u commented on mine :D

Marguerite said...

La guerre, ces mots, cette révolte et cette mouette si paisible, ces taches rouges
Je pense au dormeur du val d'arthur rimbaud...

"Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine.
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit..."

Emily Lin said...

Like the composition.. and the gull seems like posing itself purposely when you were taking this picture :D

Peter said...

Interesting story. I clicked on Tilly and Kate. I saw that Tilly had lived in Woolloomooloo. Is there any place in the world with more "o"s?

It is a good idea to make some "earmarking" about more or less historical events. Here in Paris, you can find more and more of official, discrete, signs telling about such events; in street corners, in front of buildings etc. I like very much this "aha, this is where it happened" feeling.

Nathalie said...

Funny how this seagull looks rather quiet, but in fact wasn't that friendly at all.

I attracted her next to me with what I hoped looked like a bit of food but in the meantime, just off field, a bunch of other gulls were ferociously fighting for a couple of MacDonalds french fries one of them had managed to grab from a bin.
They were quite feral really, and I'm sure would be quite capable of stealing your food straight out of your hands! They truly belong to the rival gang mentality.

Ben said...

What a story, backed up with fantastic Photo. Great accent of red plastic cap and red feet,

Abraham Lincoln said...

Really nice history lesson. I think Kent State has something similar as a result of the students killed there. Your photograph is nice.

I got to fly last night. I mean I just dove in and flew. You can find out how on my blog post today.

Norman said...

Both my mother and grandmother commented on the fact that the razor gangs never caused them (as non-involved citizens) to feel particularly concerned re their personal safety, Nathalie. Razors were carried in response to police crackdowns on firearm possession.

Australia, by the way, never had the sort of blanket prohibition found in U.S.A. No Government could have tried that and survived. They did bring in effective legislation in NSW to deal with the gang problem. Our Consorting Laws enabled police to arrest you for consorting with known criminals. They worked better here than I suspect they might have in the States, and at the time they were dropped, most non-criminals felt there was no good reason for ending them. Had they not been dropped, they'd help nowadays to deal with the growing gang behaviour problems we face, but no Government would be able to face the civil liberties (sic} brouhaha their reintroduction would cause.

A seagull, by the way, technically (unlike some of the human beings found in gangs?) can't really be seen as feral.

Maxime said...

Deux femmes chefs de gangs rivaux, et une mouette qui sait lire. Rien de cela n'est très courant !

Lori said...

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday. You have such beautiful photos here and very interesting posts! I wish I could do such a nice job! I'll have to return to learn more about Sydney.

Nathalie said...

Thanks Norman, I love your personal insight.


Regarding the use of 'feral' I used this word as meaning wild, brutal, fierce, as expressed here:

feral
One entry found for feral.
Main Entry: fe·ral
Function: adjective
Etymology: Medieval Latin feralis, from Latin fera wild animal, from feminine of ferus wild -- more at FIERCE
1 : of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast (feral teeth)(feral instincts)
2 a : not domesticated or cultivated : WILD b : having escaped from domestication and become wild (feral cats)
synonym see BRUTAL

Which is the meaning that doesn't fit? Seagulls are not carnivorous? Or they haven't escaped from domestication ?

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Paul Murphy said...

Interesting bit of history that I was unaware of Nathalie.

Kalyan said...

Wonderfully captured shot & a nice bit of history too...well done!

Chris & Deb said...

excellent photo....but please be careful!

AntiguaDailyPhoto.Com said...

Wonderful catch! Thanks for the details. I am glad it was not one of those plaques of Paris which marks the place where nothing happen in 1875.

Kely said...

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Norman said...

We always used 'feral' for domesticated animals which had returned to the wild, Nathalie, but nowadays Humpty Dumpty's maxim seems to dominate the use of language, so I guess anything goes.

Sadly, in the older sense of the word, you increasingly hear references nowadays to feral human beings.

p.s. If you come across an incongruously placed post referring to my pre-school days when I was belted by my father for standing on a sleeping croc, it means I pressed an inappropriate button somewhere. One day my technology skills will move beyond handling the biro, and I'll cope[partially at least with I.T.]

p.p.s. It was the freshwater, not saltwater variety, which is probably just as well?