History repeats itself

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Photo uploaded on council's website just before the charette of Laman Street in the 1940s

There have been several attempts to remove these and other stands of figs throughout Newcastle.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts about the move in the early 70s when the Queen came to open the Art Gallery: the worry then was that bird poo could fall on her hat.

In the 50sapparently, council talked about removing the trees but there was an outcry and the community stopped it.

The Moreton Bay figtrees in Islington were in the cross-hairs in the 70s, I recall: I was a child then and my recollection is that people said ‘perverts’ hid behind them so we should remove them. I’m not quite sure what you were supposed to do about the ‘perverts’ everywhere else.

Doug Lithgow from the Parks and PLaygrounds movement sent a copy of a report done earlier than that on that glorious row of trees which I reproduce below.

Phil Hewett said at the charade that these trees are 130 years old. Presumably they’re not dangerous because they’re not in the way of development and Janet Dore left before she put the idea of removing them in people’s heads they’re in parkland, not planted in the roadway or footpath.

Next post I’ll try to upload a great article from The Herald 26th July 2002 that Doug provided and Sharon Healeysent me in which Janet Dore, a previous general manager, talked about how the trees were damaged because of previous mistreatment. I had trouble accessing the Fairfax digital archive this morning. (Don’t you love excuses?)

I think this is probably where the idea of getting rid of them started.                                                                                              Home

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