Bendigo for sunshine, business and pleasure

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A new exhibition at the Post Office Gallery showcases Bendigo’s history as a destination for visitors for both business and pleasure.

Opening on Friday December 15 and running through until April 29, 2018, Bendigo for sunshine, business and pleasure features an eclectic collection of brochures, photographs, souvenirs and other items which show how Bendigo was promoted to entice visitors from far and wide.

From the earliest postcards promoting views of Sandhurst, to the transformation of Bendigo’s gold mining history and tramways into thriving tourist attractions, the exhibition shows how the city’s self-image and its aspirations have evolved over time.

Bendigo Art Gallery City History and Collections Curator Emma Busowsky Cox said Bendigo was once known as ‘the golden city’ and the ‘gateway to the north’.

“The exhibition features mementos dating back to the late 19th century, when the city was established following the gold rushes of the 1850s,” Ms Busowsky Cox said.

“The earliest promotional material projects an image of Sandhurst, as Bendigo was initially known, as a city rich in industry, culture and grand Victorian architecture, alongside open parks and gardens.

“Sites such as the Central Deborah Gold Mine were later transformed from their original purposes into cultural attractions, and Bendigo’s parks, gardens and lakes as well as the sunny climate itself continued to be equally promoted as amongst the city’s greatest assets.”

The Bendigo City Council publication Bendigo for sunshine, business and pleasure of 1916, describes the ease of travelling to the city, and its agreeable climate.

“Bendigo and the surrounding districts are well served with Railways…the roads are good, and week-ending in and around Bendigo is both a pleasure and a tonic. The Winter climate is unsurpassed even by the famous Continental resorts of Europe, and many people of wealth and leisure leave the coastal district for Bendigo and sunshine during the Winter months,” the brochure reads.

The exhibition is on at the Post Office Gallery at the historic Bendigo Post Office on Pall Mall.  Post Office Gallery is a satellite exhibition space of Bendigo Art Gallery providing an engaging platform for the interpretation and display of the social history stories of the city and surrounding region. Open every day from 9am-5pm (except Christmas Day).

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