The email with the dates and the theme for the next WWP arrived. "WWP - The Vic Market" was immediately scribbled over Friday 18th March on my calandar next to 'Hating Ashley Out Now' written by my 8 year old daughter.
Melbournians love their markets with over 70 regular markets on offer, but the 'Vic' market in the city is the biggest and the most popular. Too popular perhaps and doubts started to grow in my mind. My choice was too safe, everyone knows The 'Vic' Market so they'll all be there with their tripods and cameras.
Concerns turned to panic on the morning of Thursday the 17th as I ran past The Stock Exchange on Collins St to rescue my car from the clutches of vicious parking inspectors. Driving home, I had a thought for an alternative at last and scribbled 'ASX' (Australian Stock Exchange) on the back of my newly acquired parking ticket. I emailed the ASX media department immediately on my return seeking permission to photograph. Their response was swift and unexpected, "yes, just call when you want to go."
I arrived at the ASX the next morning with great excitement and my camera equipment. On asking directions, security pointed into the distance, across one of the most impressive city foyers I have seen. My excitement was less when I entered the room, big impressive market screens and displays were there but no sign of the expected frenzied hoards of traders shouting their bids across the room and scribbling on small pads of paper. Instead, I was confronted be a mere 15 stationary people.
In retrospect, it all makes sense, this is 2005 and such frenzied activity or even the presence of traders is unnecessary in this incresingly computerised world. Shares can be bought and sold instantly at the press of a button without the need for any human communication. A sign of the times undoubtedly, but for me, it made the vibrant Vic Market a more attractive image of present life in Melbourne to share with others.
This panorama shows one of the many Australiana stalls but this is just a tiny glimpse of this huge market that offers everything, fresh fruit, meat, fish, wines etc and of course entertainment.
Queen Victoria Market was officially opened 127 years ago, almost to the day, on 20 March 1878.
As a contrast, the link for my ASX image is below.