Local Neighbourhoods

Tidbits and snippets

By 24 March 2024No Comments

Send us your tidbits and snippets

Sometimes described as a small piece of interesting information, or a small dish of pleasant-tasting food, we at Eastsider News think that tidbits is a good description of those curious morsels of information that our readers send us from time to time.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  We also invite you to share with us those fascinating bits and pieces you may come across in unexpected places.  Please email your fun facts, curious discoveries or other esoteric snippets of information to us at eastsidernews1@gmail.com.  And don’t forget, small is the operative word in a tidbit – preferably less than 250 words.

A cryptic warning – Cave Idus Maritae

Gill Bell

This Latin phrase, beautifully drawn in chalk on the pavement, appeared at the Canterbury Sports Ground in March this year. Most people, including me, rushing to catch a train or heading for the tennis courts, gave it a puzzled look but thought no more about it. It wasn’t until I glanced at the calendar that light dawned. It was 15 March, and the sign was warning us ‘Beware the Ides of March’.

The phrase comes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, when a soothsayer warned Caesar to beware the fifteenth of Mech. He ignored the warning and was assassinated. This marked a turning point in the history of Rome.

I was charmed that this piece of historical trivia had found its way on to our suburban streets. It carried the whiff of intrigue, of dread and of fateful warnings fulfilled. I found it amazing that two millennia later this date still had an impact.

The present-day 15 March passed without incident, but I wonder what further warnings our local Banksy might have for us. Beware the Eve of Hallows, perhaps, when childish monsters roam our streets?

With memories of Shakespeare and Latin from schooldays.

Snippets from Box Hill

Thank you to Box Hill Historical Society for letting us publish these bits and pieces that their archivist Helen Harris has found on her research adventures.  To learn more about the society, please click here.

From The Argus, 2 August 1938.

A recommendation from the public works committee that the council press for the erection of a new police station at Box Hill was adopted last night by the Box Hill Council. It was decided to point out to the Chief Secretary (Mr Bailey) that Box Hill residents as taxpayers contributed directly to Government revenue and should not be required to make any further contribution through the council. At a previous meeting the council received a letter from the Chief Secretary asking what amount it was prepared to contribute towards the cost of a new police station.

From The Argus, 31 August 1938.

Mrs Weber, MLA, informed the Box Hill Council at its last meeting that the Public Works Dept. would shortly repair and renovate the Box Hill police station. The department said that it appeared from correspondence that the Council was not prepared to contribute towards the cost of a new police station which the Council had suggested should be built. The town clerk (Mr. Cole) said that he understood that two additional rooms and a small lobby would be built in brick.

Source: Helen Harris, Archivist BHHS, Newsletter June 2016.