Market Dav

My Sunday mornings usually start off with a walk downstream in the creek; sometimes I head back upstream or sometimes I circle round past the gasworks and come out on Clyde Street.

This Sunday was clear and fresh after a series of wet ones and it brought everyone out to the Farmers Markets at the Entertainment Centre. The wafting breeze brought me the ba-boo-ba-booing of Eric Gibbons’ jazz trio thumping away under the shady tree by the poultry sheds. Even though it’s less than five minutes walk away I don’t get over to the Farmers Markets as much as I mean to. The market is A Very Good Thing and I endorse it in all its foodie magnificence, but I’m always struck by the crowd that goes there: very middle-class, very three-wheeler jogging strollers, very cashed-up professionals prepared to pay over the odds for that elusive organic goats cheese frittata. Very people like me.

But on the other side of Hamilton North it’s a different story. I came out of the creek and up to Clyde Street, past the old Tender Center. The first thing that strikes you (well, me, well … “one”) is the face-punch signage: flapping pennants, grubby signs, tatty flags, cheap spinners. Oi, you! Yeah, you! Cop this! Smack!

It’s a market, Jim, but not as we know it. Certainly not as the wagyu beef crowd at the Entertainment Centre know it. This, folks, is Market Dav, Clyde Street style.

Except that, when you go in, it isn’t a market. It’s a car boot sales. Or is it a market after all? It’s hard to tell when no one is selling anything that I’d be even remotely interested in buying.

But it does trigger a conversation in my head about “Australia: the classless society”. Hmm.

Carried on up and round Clyde Street, out onto Georgetown Road and down the little creek that cuts behind the Tender Center and the Hamilton North Business Centre. There’s a disused rail line that links up to the main line and then to the old gasworks. I wonder if this is where they brought the coal from to burn to make the gas.

The fence line at the back the business centre is lined with fig trees and palms. It’s like a little jungle in there and I’d have loved it as a kid.

In the olden days, when I was a spritely youth, we’d always divide into sides: cowboys and indians, British versus Germans, but our favourite was Japs and Commandos. Being a commando was good, but being a Jap offered the opportunity to scream “Banzai!” as you charged the commando stronghold. I think that everything we learned about Japanese culture came from Audie Murphy war films and Commando comics.

Where was I, children? Ah, yes, this little jungle.

Can you imagine the ambushes you could arrange from there? The cubbies you could build? The tree houses? And, even better, all that industry next door. I wondered: will there be a child-sized hole in the fence?

Like, der.

I followed the creek around the back, past the busted old points on the disused rail line …

… and on to the back of Georgetown, via the creek that runs next to the railway there. I posted those pics on the Down the Drain Facebook page.

Didn’t meet anyone until I was on my way back when I bumped into this little tacker with a couple of collies. He looked like he was having fun, but I really really really wanted to introduce him to Japs and Commandos. I know he’d love it!

3 Responses to Market Dav

  1. Vicki says:

    At first I thought Dav was a typo, but now I understand, clever! It sounds a bit like the Adamstown Markets here actually (not the frittata-buying crowd, that is …)

  2. Alex says:

    Hi Mark,

    A very, very late contribution to this post but that photo of the old section of railway line is the remains of the former Waratah Colliery (later owned by Caledonian Collieries) line that used to run to Raspberry Gully near Charlestown (between Princeton Ave & Kirkdale Drive at Charlestown/ Kotara South). Raspberry Gully was the local name for the colliery and the railway line was known as ‘The Gully Line’. Apparently it is the last intact length of railway line in NSW laid with bullhead rail as opposed to the later flat bottomed rail that is still in use. The last time I had mosey down there may have been 2001-2002 and the railway line was still in place to the old Newcastle Lime and Cement siding at the back of Georgetown down to the boundary with the council depot.

    Great little blog, I used cycle through here regularly on the way to work at BHP and it was always good to see Islington Junction signal box with the occasional bonus of a train at Clyde St gates. Sad to see the signal box gone, I’ve just recently moved back to Newcastle for a short period and location seems empty without it there.

    Alex :-))

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Hello there Alex

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. It must be very strange to be back in post-BHP Newcastle. I imagine the changes are easy to see, but what are the things that are the same?


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