Saturday 23 June 2018

Gem Pier-Williamstown


Gem Pier is 145 M long and was originally built in 1839 and known as 'The Jetty'. It was renamed 'Old Pier'in 1860 and in 1870 was called 'Steamboat Pier'. It was renamed 'Gem Pier'after the steamboat 'Gem' that ran between Port Melbourne and Williamstown between 1846 to 1886.It now is the home of HMAS  Castlemaine , a WW2 frigate and now a museum.

A good place to stay , right at Gem Pier is
HMAS Castlemaine at Gem Pier

Historic Buildings on Nelson Place Opposite Gem Pier

 Gem Pier was part of the town I grew up in and has many fond memories, none more than the day they were filming 'On The Beach'the Stanley Kramer 1959 adaption of Neville Shute's book. Gregory Peck , Fred Astaire and Ava Gardner were sitting deck chairs on the pier adjacent to HMAS Castlemaine and I happened to be sailing my small Moth yacht in the background, to the annoyance of all.They also filmed a street scene in Nelson Place involving many locals as extra's (I missed out) which was also fun.

Sadly the movie, about the end of the world from a nuclear explosion in WW3 and Melbourne was the last surviving place (Ava Gardner said Melbourne was an appropriate place to end the world) was a depressing and not so good movie. They also filmed at Frankston Station and Canadian Bay Beach and various other locations around Melbourne.

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