Epping – A suburb on the edge of Melbourne

Okay, while this is the Epping that I really would like to visit:

and I have visited another Epping:


where I went to participate in a live studio audience for the filming of a show called ‘Good News Week‘ (and proceeded to drive back to Canberra that night), but that is not really why I am writing a blog post about the Epping in Victoria.

I just discovered that they have full episodes on Youtube


Granted, Epping is hardly a tourist attraction (and I hope the Epping Tourist Board doesn’t get upset with me saying this online), but it is a place in which I hold some childhood memories (as well as being a ten minute train ride, and then a fifteen minute walk, to the cinema – Northland is probably a lot more convenient). The reason I say that is because my auntie used to live out at Heathcote Junction and we would regularly drive from my Grandfather’s place in Preston which meant we would pass through Epping. I still remember the days when Melbourne pretty much came to an end just after the shops on High Street (though it is now a further ten minute drive before you get there).

Janet's Old House
Unfortunately, since she sold the house years ago, this is as close as I could get
My uncle was probably fairly familiar with the place since he drove through it every day on the way to work:
Uncle Sam's Gym
It was pretty wet the day I took this photo
Since then they have moved up to the Gold Coast where they continue to ply their entrepreneurial skills.
So, is there any reason to actually visit Epping? Probably not, unless you are like me and enjoy going a visiting obscure suburbs (I did that a couple of times when I was in Hong Kong, and felt quite out of place – though I did get a video of one of their light rail trams):

Epping does have a shopping centre (called Pacific Epping):

but I assure you there are much better shopping centres in Melbourne if that is the type of place you like to spend your time. Oh, and did I mention that the shopping centre is a fifteen minute walk from the train station? That is a bit of a headache if you don’t own a car.
Still, they have given the place a facelift since I was first here because they now have a heap of restaurants next to the cinema complex, with some even offering cheap movie tickets if you give them the courtesy of having your meal with them. However, pretty much all of the restaurants (no, drop the pretty much, all of the restaurants) are what I call plastic restaurants – that is that are all franchised establishments with no individual character – which is what I generally like in a restaurant (the individual character, not the franchised replicas).
Epping Plaza Entertainment Court
Food court is probably not the best way to describe this area
However, Epping is not necessarily a new suburb – it has been around for a while (it was first surveyed in 1839, and was named Epping in 1853), as one can see when you look at the old Presbyterian Church:


Epping Presbyterian Church
I don’t think they meet in that small building anymore

and there is the old shopping strip that still has some shops that have managed to survive the onslaught of the shopping centre:

Epping Shops on High Street
These shops have a lot more character that a shopping centre

However, most of them have vanished and the only businesses you really find here are real estate agents trying to flog off cheap houses for people who can’t afford a shoebox in the city, and a pub whose pokie room is open for all but four hours a day (though the pub has been around since 1844).

Epping Hotel
But what if I want to play the pokes between 5am and 9am?


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