22 December 2006

Kendall's Rock

This letter was mailed by Ken, a retired school teacher from Erina.
The images were added by the editor.

“Every year before we retired to Erina, we would holiday on the Central Coast. What sticks in my mind about those trips, was passing Kendall’s Rock on the way into Gosford, and then again when we were leaving. Now you only see it as you leave, and it is difficult to stop and read the verse. You could also hear Bell Birds there in the trees, so it reminded me of the poem we learnt, and later taught at school.
For me that modest monument is always associated with Gosford.
It is one of our few remaining cultural icons.

There was a rock-pool in a glen
Beyond Narara’s sands:
The mountains shut it in from men
In flowery fairy lands:

But once we found its dwelling place –
The lovely and the lone –
And, in a dream, I stooped to trace
Our names upon a stone.

(Initials of Henry Kendall, the Fagen brothers and Henry Pile)
During the period of his life that poet Henry Kendall lived and worked in the area, he stayed with the Fagan brothers and often visited Henry Pile at Penang Mountain (Somersby). Kendall’s Rock was unveiled in August, 1931.

20 December 2006

Words from the past

In Eric Worrell’s Reptile Park at Wyoming, near Gosford, I think it was in the 1960s, there was a cage full of old cockatoos and parrots, ancient geriatric survivors of long years of domestic confinement – and speech training.
Having outlived their owners, they wandered about in the cage, many of them bereft of plumage, repeating the words of their deceased owner/teachers, “Hello!”, “Who’s a pretty boy?”, “Fuck off!” etc. They would climb the mesh, regard you with a cold eye from a grey leathery skull, and repeat meaningless sounds; the trophies of their education; meaningless reiterations of meaningless words that once gave unarticulated meaning to lives now gone.
With all of them muttering and squawking at the same time, it was a scene of great pathos, and also, strangely, of hope.

A million monkeys with typewriters might not manage the bible in a million years, but these guys, with dictaphones, might just knock out the front page of the local paper on a good afternoon.

Image: Ken May, Sculptor, circa 1963.

13 December 2006

Mann Street

The following is a list of ground floor Mann Street businesses in Gosford CBD located between Erina and Donnison Streets with premises opening onto the main street. (compiled in November 2006)

Historically, Mann Street was the main street of Gosford, and the section between Erina and Donnison Streets was the retail and commercial centre of town.

West side - North to South
Erina Street to Donnison Street.

Raine & Horne Real Estate
Mortgage choice

Kanga Kababs
Mannings Sports Store
Century 21 Real Estate
Blue Saphire (café and homewares)
Bridge Coast Finance
An Lac Bakehouse
Sheridan Factory Outlet
Aust. Red Cross Clothing
Empire Beads
Danamade Bridal
Gosford 1st National Real Estate
Advance Travel
Simple Elegance Wedding
St George bank
Dimmey’s Bargains
ANZ Bank
Leading Labels Factory Outlets
Potts Real Estate
Gosford Newsagency
Wally’s World of Discounts
Union Hotel.

East side – North to South.

Gloria Jean’s Coffee Franchise
[Shopping Mall entrance]
Initial Stitch
Newcastle Permanent Building Society.
Dutton’s Tavern and Bistro and betting.
Liquor Stop
Barber Shop.
Select Credit Union
Credit Union Australia
National Australia Bank

[Junction with William Street "plaza"]

LJ Hooker Real Estate
House of Real Estate
Espresso Café
H&R Block Tax Accountants
Greater Building Society
Westpac bank
Richardson and Wrench Real Estate
Wizard Home Loans
Australian Pensioners Insurance

Predominant types of businesses represented. (total 44)
Real estate. 7
Finance (Banks, Building Societies, Credit Unions, Insurance) 10
Charity and discount stores. 6

Gosford Market Day

Market Day (Thursday) 2006

"Market Day in Gosford Town"

by "Uloola" for the Gosford Times – 23rd December,1904.

Yes, I goes to Gosford sometimes, as a rule on Market Day,
When the town is summat woke up, and is busy like and gay,
Usually it’s dead as mutton, all you see along the street
Is a bit of wind-blown paper and the copper on his beat.
But there's lots of carts and people trav'lin' up and trav’lin’ down
That old dusty thoroughfare on Market Day in Gosford town

You will hear old gray-beard fellers hail each other jest like kids:
"Hullo, Jim!" "That you. Harry?" and straightway each the other bids
"Come and wash the bloomin’ dust down": then about the crops they talk:
"How's yer beans? And how's yer ‘taters?" Not too good by a long chalk,
Wish these hot winds all to blazes - wish some rain'd come peltin' down!"
Crops and weather shape the talk on Market Day in Gosford Town.

Mrs. Jolliffe's kept a’goin’, grist comes to the Ferntree's mill
"Union" Jack, too, like his namesake, proudly waves above them still.
For most chaps all have their liquor, hot or cold, or calm or storm —
One day it's to wash the dust down, next day it's to keep 'em warm!
Holy Joes may frown displeasure, careless coves may slyly wink,
But by thunder! It's a queer day when there's no excuse to drink!

See that red light in the roadway, underneath a rusty hat
That's a nose! And our brave Captain claims the ownership of that.
Eloquently he's explainin' to an audience of one
All about the town's shortcomin's – tellin’ how things SHOULD be done.
Heaps and heaps of civic wisdom, lost upon the common clown
Does the Captain spread around on Market Day in Gosford Town.

Yes, I like to go to Gosford now and then on Market Day
When the beer is flowin' freely and things look alive and gay -
Like to hear the old chaps talkin' ‘bout their ‘taters and their beans
And the prospects of the season – wond’rin’ what the weather means!
Yes, there’s fun in watchin' others, who, like you, have cares to drown,
And there's food for lots of thought on Market Day in Gosford Town.

07 December 2006

Mining Our Business

The more things change.
Front page, Gosford Times, November, 1956.
Dig it up and sell it, rutile then, sand and water now.
Has Gosford had the same Council for 50 years?

Model Cities

'And yet I have constructed in my mind a model city from
which all possible cities can be deduced,' Kublai said. 'It contains
everything corresponding to the norm. Since the cities that
exist diverge in varying degree from the norm, I need only
foresee the exceptions to the norm and calculate the most
probable combinations.'

'I have also thought of a model city from which I deduce all
the others,' Marco answered. 'It is a city made only of
exceptions, exclusions, incongruities, contradictions. If such a
city is the most improbable, by reducing the number of elements,
we increase the probability that the city really exists. So I have
only to subtract exceptions from my model, and in whatever
direction I proceed, I will arrive at one of the cities which,
always as an exception, exist. But I cannot force my operation
beyond a certain limit: I would achieve cities too probable to
be real.'

From Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino. 1974

Central Coast Unlimited

The more things change.
Above is the front page of a supplement to the Central Coast Express, September 29th, 1971.
Quiz question: Do the underlying principles differ to those of the Gosford City Plan, currently open for comment?