Classic Aussie motels in the spotlight at Launceston Library

Media Release

4 November 2022

Take a nostalgic trip back to a time when families piled into the family car and embarked on long road trips in the sweltering summer heat!

On tour to Launceston Library from National Archives of Australia, Reception this way: motels a sentimental journey with Tim Ross takes you on a journey to when the motel was an integral part of the Australian holiday experience.

Developed by National Archives in collaboration with comedian Tim Ross, the exhibition of photographs and promotional film footage featured in Reception this way will revive memories of your past holiday experiences – from oversized roadside attractions to the moment of check-in.

“We’re excited to host this pictorial love letter to a somewhat bygone era,” said Garry Conroy-Cooper, Manager of Launceston Library.

“It captures a unique moment in Australia’s history when families would hit the road and take a break at retro roadside motels.”

Motels were stylish and sophisticated, and revolutionised the Australian road trip for families and business travellers. With convenient car parking, mid-century architectural styles and a generous offering of designer mod cons, who could resist booking a motel for their summer getaway? And, of course, there were swimming pools, breakfast hatches, twin packs of biscuits and a radio in every room!

“Libraries Tasmania is excited to partner with National Archives of Australia to share this nostalgic exhibition with our community,” Libraries Tasmania Executive Director Sue McKerracher said.

“The records at National Archives are richer and more diverse than many people would give them credit for. The national archival collection is a real treasure trove that deserves to be better known,” added Tim Ross.

Reception this way: motels – a sentimental journey with Tim Ross is showing exclusively in Tasmania at Launceston Library from 4 November 2022 to 25 February 2023.

This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

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