A few weeks ago I met up with Mike Scanlon from the Newcastle Herald, and we had a pleasant chat about a number of local history subjects, including the depression era shanty town “Hollywood” near Jesmond Park, which I wrote about last March. Mike has made use of some of my material in his article in the Herald today and made it available to a wider audience.
You can check out my page on Hollywood for further background information and photos, and also leave comments there. You can also read my monthly column for the Lambton and New Lambton Local, “That was then, this is now”, which focuses on the history of these suburbs, as well as other blog articles on the local history of Newcastle.
Fragmentary remains of human habitation, in “Hollywood”.
Newcastle Council are at it again, upgrading cycle paths where it’s not really needed. This time it’s the cycleway from Hunter Stadium through to Broadmeadow, alongside the stormwater drain.
I’ve cycled this route twice every weekday for eight years, and apart from the grass encroaching in a couple of places, and a few minor lumps from tree roots, the path seemed fine to me. It never once entered my mind that this section of path needed an upgrade.
There are lots of other places however where I have thought that. One example is just on the other side of Turton Road, where the path travels alongside the New Lambton sporting fields. The path here is perfectly adequate, but the drainage certainly isn’t. Every time there’s heavy rain, water trickles off the sporting fields and across the path, turning it into a slimy slippery mess for days afterwards. Why couldn’t the money be spent there where it would actually make a difference?
As before I suspect the problem is that the cycling infrastructure budget is too small to do anything worthwhile, so council are left to spend the money on projects that aren’t worthwhile.
Update 27th June 2017
The path reconstruction is completed and now open.
It’s not just the weather bringing me down today. Two minutes into my ride home from work my bicycle got into a somewhat unfair battle with a stray nail on the road.
I’ve never experienced a tyre go flat so quickly before. It went from intact to fully deflated in under a second. Fortunately it happened at one of the few times today when it wasn’t raining, so I was able to change the tube and get under way again without too much bother.
It’s no surprise that the June long weekend is often wet, but even so, this seven day forecast is just slightly depressing.