Old and new photos


I found a wonderful book in a second hand book store a couple of days ago.It’s about the history of Newcastle’s conservatorium and chronicles its beginnings in a  shed in the park, through the War Memorial Cultural Centre (seen nearing the final stages of construction on the left) and to the building it now occupies which used to be The ‘People’s Palace’.

I love the photo because it shows the Hill’s figs recovering from one of their regular major butchering sessions  prunings. The arborists from Council described these as looking like rose bushes.

The second picture is from Council’s website to show what the pruning practices of the day were like and to amaze us that anything could survive them. 

I vaguely recall being driven past trees like this when I was a pre-teen. (Significantly later than the date of the trees shown, I quickly add.)

It was taken for granted then and accepted that trees could look like a dog’s breakfast in the name of the greater good. Looking at the electricity wires above the trees in the photo, my guess is that pruning had more to do with clearing the wires than it did about the health or shape of the trees.

It may explain why I hear the word ‘prune’ in the context of trees now and think ‘Run away before you say what you really think’.

This is the dressing pavillion at Merewether Ocean baths just after the Pasha Bulker storm.

The roof went flying in the violent winds that allegedly made an 80 year old fig move a couple of centimetres.

It has been suggested that perhaps Council should be removing all flat-roofed dwellings in the name of safety and public liability.

Makes sense based on the evidence.

The photo from Google Earth is Laman Street from above.

As I said in a  recent post at least two arborists have written reports that I’ve read that attest to the fact that figs will tolerate crap drastic treatment for years. Their canopies look great from above.

 The black and white photo of the church is Civic Park in 1934. The building at the right is the People’s Palace and the church with the steeple is St Andrew’s; the railway line that carried coal trains through the park can clearly be seen.

Behind St Andrew’s now is a row of figs that were described at the charette as having root rot so presumably they’ll be the next one in the firing line for removal. It was extremely hard to believe they’re rotten by looking at them, and while we were told at the charette that we as laymen can’t tell a tree is healthy just because it has healthy foliage, Mr Marsden in his report on the trees in Laman Street says otherwise; he put a lot of emphasis on the vigour of the canopy as a representative of the overall health of the trees.

The black and white photo of a rainy street is the corner of Civic Park and also shows the People’s Palace; the figs that can be seen lining the street are mostly still there.

All those warehouses are long gone. Goodness knows how we’ll all get on when we’re all in service jobs and there’s absolutely no manufacturing in this country. Feels like it’s just around the corner. Home


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