Friday foto


Ruth  Cotton’s Hidden Hamilton blog continues to be a source of the wondrous and the arcane. Ruth has a knack of unearthing brilliant old pictures of the area’s past, and recently Ruth forwarded this beauty taken on Broadmeadow Road by the redoubtable Noel Reed. Says Ruth:

This shows a maintenance ganger by the name of Stoddart attending to the points where the Waratah tram line became a single track at Broadmeadow and Boreas Roads, Hamilton North. It was 10 June 1950, the last day of the tramways – they had 12 more hours of life. Noel Reed took the photo and wonders if there are any Stoddarts still in Newcastle? Are any of the shops recognisable?


I wonder if this photo was taken on the same day as the photo of the tram featured in a previous Friday Foto?


Friday foto


I was about to post a different Friday Foto when – BANG! – along came this absolute corker from Ruth Cotton, which trumped everything.

LP' 147-177. Broadmeadow & Boreas Rds. Hamilton Nth, N'cle. 10.06.1950. N F Reed.

The photo is captioned “Broadmeadow & Boreas Rds, Hamilton Nth, N’cle, 10.06.1950”. It was taken just next to the Sunnyside Tavern by Noel Reed, who appears to be something of a legend in his recording of public transport in NSW.

A delightful reminder of how we like to install transport infrastructure then rip it out then install it again then …

Summer’s eve


With these brisk mornings, summer feels like a long way away at the moment. I certainly wouldn’t want to be sleeping out under the Chatham Road bridge, that’s for sure. This bottle of “Summer’s Eve feminine wash” was the only summery thing down the creek today, but a nice reminder that one day I will indeed be warm again. A question to all men: is there such a product as “masculine wash”? If so, I’ve never seen it.*

In these days of tweeting and crowd sourcing, I’m amazed at the longevity of the balloon as a promotional device. Balloons are like brightly coloured jelly: you can’t look at them and not feel happy. I didn’t quite get this balloon’s message at first. What was it promoting? Or is it a device to get people to blow so that their ears pop? Who would give these things out? Airline companies to little kids? If so, how did this one end up in the creek? Surely it didn’t float all the way from Williamtown? Answers please!

Another promotional icon that’s still got tons of oomph is the humble stubby holder. I was at a barbecue over in Tighes Hill yesterday to watch the Wallabies creep past Wales by a point, but the highlight was being handed a “Johnny Raper” stubby holder for my sparkling ale. It was a frayed old bit of neoprene that commemorated the league legend’s playing record with the Newtown Bluebags; not much to look at, but as a promotional device it had a much more powerful effect on me than, say, a Facebook page.

And, while sales of e-books have finally overtaken hardback book sales in the US, the birthday card still has more cache than the lame e-card. (BTW: yes, that is Old Mate in the background, off to get warmed up in the long grass by the railway line.)

I have to say that, from the lofty heights of the big five-oh, the big four-oh don’t seem so big. But happy birthday, Millsy, whoever you are. When you staggered home from the Sunnyside the other day, you not only lost your card but your Sunnyside beer voucher too. Shame!

The cold weather is a close friend of the Grim Reaper, and the creek’s been littered with early winter casualties: the young, the weak, the infirm. This juvenile flying fox fell from a fig tree in Richardson Park. He won’t be the last before the month’s out.

* I’m obviously going down the wrong supermarket aisles. A quick Google Images search came up with Intima Men and Peni Fresh, the latter a “Male hygienic HERBAL soap that keeps your private part clean and free from unpleasant odor due to bacteria”. Not yet available at the Franklins on Broadmeadow Road.