Emily Birks, Cathy Webster, Joann Shore and Quentin Webster hold mounted photographs taken of Manuka around 1930, these photographs will be on exhibition this Saturday. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
The old village spirit of the Manuka shops will be recaptured on Saturday as the precinct takes a stroll down memory lane to celebrate Canberra's centenary.
The Parties at the Shops will run all day, with bands and dancers among the attractions in Palmerston Lane, while Franklin Street will host a fashion show and an exhibition of historical photographs.
''I was able to track down one of the older residents here whose father actually ran a carpentry business in Manuka,'' organiser Quentin Webster said. ''His father took many photographs … [so] we've got dozens of photographs of what it was like in Manuka back in the 1930s.''
Manuka in the 1930's
Photograph taken of a car which today looks onto GinSeng Restaurant. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Mr Webster, who owns Framing Matters, which mounted the pictures, also asked some long-time Manuka residents to write stories and anecdotes of living in the area, which will also be displayed.
''We thought it would be interesting to get people to describe what it was like living here - rather than a chronological history, we were looking for a social history.''
Some of the area's old cars will be on display alongside Canberra's oldest bus, Matilda, and there will be the return of a once-famous Manuka institution - Wilkie's Pie Cart. Known as Canberra's ''Cafe de Wheels'', the pie cart was a well-recognised sight around Manuka until the 1970s.
The 1939 Chevrolet van was operated by Tom of the Top Hat Cafe, who did a roaring trade with his pies, slices and teacakes.
''[The van] was discovered in an old field about three or four years ago. It's been totally redone and it's going to be brought back and placed where it used to be when it got its reputation as part of Manuka,'' Mr Webster said.
The history of the greater area will make up a self-directed walking tour. Pick up your copy of the Manuka Steps Through Time brochure, which includes centenary details complete with a map showing historic spots and various facts and figures.
The party officially kicks off at 10am, with dancers and music from 1pm through until 9pm, when Brazilian band Sistema Criolina will present the closing act.