The circle of life

Thanks to the pioneering work of Michael Leunig it is now a well known fact that shopping trolleys are not made in factories, but have a complex life cycle that traverses the seas, rivers, canals and drains. When it comes to mating season not all trolleys make it all the way back to sea, and occasionally they are forced to lay their eggs in the drains.  Today on an expedition to photograph the Chatham Road bridge I spotted this infant trolley emerging from the mud at the bottom of the Styx Creek drain in Hamilton North.

A newborn shopping trolley emerging from the slime.

The same drain

Having established with reasonable certainty that Ralph Snowball’s 6 April 1900 drain photo was located in Hamilton North adjacent to the old gasworks site, I visited the spot yesterday to take a modern photo.

Drain construction workers, 6 April 1900. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle, Cultural Collections.

The stormwater drain at Hamilton North, March 2017.

Update – July 2018

Based on some helpful observations from Tony Steinbeck, I now believe that is more likely that the 1900 photo was taken at the site where Chatham Road crosses the drain. See my storm water drain page for further details.

Chatham Rd bridge over the storm water drain in Hamilton North. July 2018.


Drain Plane Again

A couple of years ago I posted an article and some photos of a Douglas C47 transport aircraft that ended up in the storm water drain beside the Broadmeadow aerodrome during World War 2.

Last year I was examining an old black and white aerial photograph of the Broadmeadow area, and spotted something interesting …

… could that be the crashed C47 in the drain?

The aerial photograph has an information panel along the bottom, and in the  white shape next to “RUN 5” there is some very faint writing.

The writing is too faint to decipher with any certainty in this “RUN 5”  photograph, but in a similar photograph from “RUN 7” the date of the photograph is clearly 3rd September 1944.

This is just three weeks after the 10th August 1944 crash of the aircraft, and confirms that it is indeed the C47 plane we can see in the aerial photograph.

Photograph of the crashed Douglas C47 transport plane, from the Newcastle Morning Herald, 12/8/1944. New Lambton can be seen in the background.

Newspaper articles

Article Date Event DateNotes
11 Aug 1944
10 Aug 1944
A D.C. 47 Army transport plane, with 25 men on board, skidded 200 yards on a wet runway, hurtled through a fence and then crashed into a stormwater channel at Broadmeadow aerodrome.
12 Aug 1944
10 Aug 1944
Photo. The Douglas C47 transport plane in the stormwater channel at District Park aerodrome, Broadmeadow, where it landed in bad weather on Thursday.