7 bandsmen, dressed in flat caps and uniforms, accomplish outdoors a sizeable bluestone making, believed to be the premises of R Goldsbrough & Co, wool and grain brokers, a corporation that had significant grain and make outlets all over the city.

This was the firm’s tallow store in Little Bourke St. Its entrance is protected by substantial wrought iron gates connected to considerable columns and in the intensely barred window is a signal for a enterprise that seems to be “Binder Twine Oils & Co”, suggesting that at minimum one other enterprise may possibly have rented place in the building or was selling items from the retail store.

The musicians stand in the bluestone gutter and on the edge of the pavement to execute. The shadows suggest it is afternoon. The photographer is struggling with south in the direction of the store which was located on the south aspect of the street on the corner of Goldsbrough Lane, then recognised as Fulton Lane. It appears to be this was not a posed photograph.

A number of adult males walk throughout the scene, a single dressed in workman’s apparel. The bandsmen are fairly shabbily dressed, wearing get the job done trousers, with footwear unpolished and it is not difficult to imagine that they are doing for the duration of their lunch crack and have hastily donned their band jackets and caps in purchase to head outside to participate in.

Potentially they are on the Goldsbrough employees? We will never know and tantalisingly, the clue that is there – the creating on the badges of their caps – is indecipherable.

There are no crowds in this article, unless they are standing powering the photographer, so the guys may properly be accomplishing for by themselves on your own.

What would inspire them to conduct? And what repertoire have been they playing that day? We can only guess. Did they engage in hymns, these kinds of as those people of the American religious revivalists Sankey and Moody?

The tracks of Stephen Foster had been well-liked, so maybe Wonderful Dreamer or Jeanie with the light brown hair? Waltzes, polkas and other dance new music could have echoed down Small Bourke St. Or possibly a range of tunes from Gilbert and Sullivan’s most up-to-date hit operetta Mikado?

This is a tantalising appear at street functionality in the CBD at a time when the 1880s land boom was in full swing, enterprises ended up booming and a glamorous, swaggering “Marvellous Melbourne” was in evidence on streets these kinds of as Collins and Bourke. Nevertheless tucked absent on a a single of the “Little” streets is a considerably a lot more modest scene, a person reminding us that Melbourne could only be “Marvellous” by means of the endeavours of its workmen, this kind of as all those you see here.

I suppose the dilemma we have to talk to ourselves is how “Marvellous” was Melbourne for them? •

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