Remember that classic Novocastrian anthem, The Newcastle Song?
We’re not talking about the Bob Hudson number from the 1970s.
We mean Daniel Arvidson’s 2001 track, which also went down in Hunter folklore.
The song begins like this: In West Wallsend it’s flannos and motorbikes; Bar Beach it’s a surfing life; Cooks Hill they're being arty; East End party, party, party; Iso, Carro lock your doors; Or if you’re lucky pull down your drawers; Hamo’s cosmopolitan; Throsby Creek looks great but I’d skip the swim.
Former Newcastle Herald journo Ben Smee was thinking about the song, following the recent news that the Queen’s Wharf Tower faces a wrecking ball.
Ben said half the lyrics about “iconic Newy stuff are no longer even true”.
“West Wallsend is now country chic and no longer has ‘flannos and motorbikes’.
“East End is no longer ‘party party party’ ... in fact, they're the city’s biggest wowsers now.
“Isso, Carro ... no longer home to hookers and bikies. Throsby Creek is now relatively clean.”
The song also referred to: “The Bogey Hole for skinny dippin’ and car park kissing”.
We’re not sure if this still goes on, but we hope so.
The song also mentioned “30,000 people screaming ‘Go the Knights’.”
Thankfully, the Knights are still here.
Ben also mentioned these lyrics from the song: “He got out at Civic Station; Walked across the lines; Saw the big penis”.
“All gone or soon to be,” he said.
Another verse is all about the JR, Fanny’s and Jumpclub (all defunct).
“Surely it’s time for an updated Newcastle Song!” he said.
Ben now lives in Brissy, where he’s a bossman for the Murdoch press.
But he’s still a Novocastrian through and through, so we’ll forgive him his sins.
Topics agrees it’s time for a new Newcastle Song. Over to you, Daniel.
Rick Carter, of Blackalls Park, recently came across a clipping from Topics on February 7, 1978.
“It was written by a mustachioed Sam North (shown as a cartoon rather than a photo),” Rick said.
The section Today in History, which accompanies the Topics column, mentioned that it was 50 years to the day that Australian aviator Bert Hinkler took off from England to start a record 15-day flight to Australia.
Rick pointed out that this means the 90th anniversary of this achievement falls on Wednesday.
Bert was flying a single-engine Avro Avian aircraft. He landed in Darwin on February 22, 1928. It was the first solo flight between England and Australia.
Bert became a national hero.
“Bert was regarded by many as the greatest aviator in history,” Rick said.