VRC Members Bar Wallpaper

The Members Bar - a canvas for history

Stepping into the new Members Bar in the Club Stand is a little like stepping back in time, although the space itself offers all the modern amenities and comfort you’d expect.
 
Alongside its contemporary interior, one of the first things you notice near the bar itself are dozens of treasured photographs and images from the 1920s to 1960s taken around the Members’ Old Grandstand.
 
You can take a visual tour now of some of the images on display, depicting a few of the special moments and larger-than-life characters that have graced our hallowed grounds.

Jockeys J. Sullivan and E. Preston, c. 1950

Jockeys J. Sullivan and E. Preston, c. 1950
 (Australian Racing Museum Collection)

Crowd at Flemington Racecourse, 1945

Crowd at Flemington Racecourse, 1945 
National Archives of Australia Collection  Photographer: Cliff Bottomley

Billy Cook and Jim Bendrodt, c. 1953.

Billy Cook and Jim Bendrodt, c. 1953.

Billy Cook was a renowned jockey who rode in 24 Melbourne Cups, winning two with Skipton (1941) and Rainbird (1945). The horse racing legend’s son went on to win two Melbourne Cups as well, in 1981 and 1984.

He is seen here with Jim Bendrodt, a famed racehorse owner.

Spring Meeting, Flemington Racecourse, 1936

Spring Meeting, Flemington Racecourse, 1936
Public Records Office of Victoria Collection

In 1936, a pair of binoculars was an essential accessory for the serious racegoer who hoped to see all the way down the straight. Given the number of video and screen options so prevalent today, the once ubiquitous binoculars are now a rare sight. 

Harry Farmer (trainer) and Alec Fullerton (jockey) c.1933

Harry Farmer and Alec Fullerton, c.1933

Alec Fullerton was a highly successful jumps jockey. In his second ride over jumps, he won the 1929 Grand National Steeplechase, and later wins in the Grand National and Australian Hurdles.

Harry Farmer was a well-known and successful Caulfield trainer, and father of equestrian rider Violet Murrell.

Victoria Racing Club members watching the Melbourne Cup, 1965

Victoria Racing Club members watching the Melbourne Cup, 1965
National Archives of Australia Collection

In 1965, women were excluded from certain ‘Members’ Only’ areas and had make do with non-effective or provisional membership, granted to widows of deceased Members.

In 1982, the Australian Labor Party brought a strong policy on gender equality, ensuring that private clubs extended equal rights for women. 

The number of women members of VRC has steadily increased and now represents 39%.

William Fellows and George Moore, 1951 
William Fellows and George Moore, 1951
Australian Racing Museum Collection

William Fellows is seen here with fellow jockey George Moore. Fellows won the Melbourne Cup in 1948 with Foxami.

VRC Chairman Hilton Nicolas and visiting French Model Christine Borge, Melbourne Cup Day , 1965

VRC Chairman Hilton Nicolas and Christine Borge, Melbourne Cup Day , 1965
National Archives of Australia Collection

Visiting French model Christine Borge attended the 1965 Melbourne Cup Carnival. While Borge was applauded for her classy wardrobe, lesser known (at the time) British model Jean Shrimpton shocked racegoers by arriving at Derby Day not only with her hemline well above the knee, but to the horror of many, without the gloves, hat and stockings considered de riguer.

 

Jockeys V. Caddy, G. Balsarini and R. Martin, c. 1950

Jockeys V. Caddy, G. Balsarini and R. Martin, c. 1950 
Australian Racing Museum Collection

Jockey Brian Gilders [takes instruction before a ride], c. 1954

Jockey Brian Gilders [takes instruction before a ride], c. 1954
Australian Racing Museum Collection

Racegoers seated outside the Members’ Grandstand during the Spring Meeting, 1936

Racegoers seated outside the Members’ Grandstand during the Spring Meeting, 1936

Jockey Arthur Dewhurst, c. 1945

Jockey Arthur Dewhurst, c. 1945
Australian Racing Museum Collection

A regular at Flemington, jockey Arthur Dewhurst rode in 5 Melbourne Cups. He almost won the race in 1937 when he took Willie Win to the lead in the final stages of the race. He had a clear run home but was beaten on the line by The Trump.

Watching a race at the Spring Meeting, Flemington Racecourse, 1936

Watching a race at the Spring Meeting, Flemington Racecourse, 1936
Public Records Office Victoria Collection

These stylish spectators on the steps of the Members’ Grandstand show off both women’s wear trends: suiting, demure mid-calf hemlines and fur stoles. The addition of a fur stole or collar broadened the shoulders and accentuated the narrow silhouettes of the period.

Experience Flemington’s storied past at the Members Bar in our newly opened Club Stand.