Newcastle subcultures from surfies to revheads

Freedom Seekers: The surfie-revhead subculture had a foothold in Newcastle back in the day. But what about now?
Freedom Seekers: The surfie-revhead subculture had a foothold in Newcastle back in the day. But what about now?

With the Supercars race set to be held on the coast between Nobbys and Newcastle Beach, it’s time to reflect on Novocastrian subculture.

Surfing guru Chris Tola, co-author of Surfing Roadies, has a good insight into this.

Chris reflected to Topics that, back in the day, you were “either a revhead, a surfer or a surfing revhead”.

This image of a 1976 Holden Sandman panel van, which was put on a 50-cent stamp in 2006, captures that concept well.

The dude playing the guitar looks like a bit of a hippie-type surfer. We’re not too sure how far the hippy movement spread in Newcastle. Can anyone enlighten us?

While Newcastle had its surfers and revheads, we’re pretty sure it also had its share of westies and headbangers.

Were westies the same as revheads? Perhaps there was a westie-revhead hybrid, a bit like the surfie-revhead hybrid.

What were nerds called in Newcastle back in the day? Were goths around then? 

Furthermore, do we have any of these subcultures today, or can we just lump our entire youth culture into the category of social-media zombies?

But back to Chris and his book, which has been a bestseller in the Hunter for a couple of months.

“According to Dymocks, it’s outsold every other local book put together,” Chris said.

“We’ve had sales around the world, which is great. If we get into the US market, that’ll be amazing.”

Magpie Murderer

A reward has been offered to catch a "magpie murderer" at Coal Point.

A reward has been offered to catch a "magpie murderer" at Coal Point.

A $5000 reward has been offered for information leading to a conviction of a “magpie murderer”, who sadly killed 21 of these birds at Coal Point with pesticide.

Coal Point Progress Association said the magpies were found dead on October 9 “around the perimeter of Coal Point School and Rofe Street”.

“Laboratory analysis of one of the dead birds by the EPA has shown high concentrations of pesticides, including fenamiphos and fenthion, both of which are not readily available to the public.”

The progress association warned people to make sure pets don’t eat “anything foreign when on their daily walks”.

Topics hopes that the authorities catch the grub who killed the magpies.

We reckon magpies are one of the greatest things about living in Australia.

The library With No Books

Students were taught about the origin of words when Rick Carter was a teacher. 

“I hope some would remember that 'library' comes from the Latin librarium, a place to keep books,” Rick, of Blackalls Park, said.

“Recently, I found out that a high school in the Maitland area has no books in its library.”

This prompted Rick to ask himself: “Can it still be called a library? If not, what would be an appropriate term for it?”

  • topics@theherald.com.au

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