Iron girder


For a few days the awning of this shopfront came down and the writing on the iron girder was revealed. There’s nothing special about it typographically—it looks handwritten by someone who is taking care to be neat, too uneven to be a stencil—but its very existence piqued my curiosity. What I learned about Messrs RL Scrutton and Co is that their employees’ third annual picnic was held on 22 March 1902. The picnickers were conveyed by steamer from King Street to the Fern Bay grounds of Parramatta River, where amusements were provided, toasts were made, athletic events were keenly contested and dancing was indulged in throughout the day in the pavilion. The awning is now back in place and the girder is no longer visible — in fact the shopfront with the awning replaced looks exactly as it did before it was taken down. The only reason I can think of for its temporary removal was that it allowed a brief glimpse into a hidden story!

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