Henny Penny at Merewether and new look Monopoly tokens

WHAT HAPPENED: The old Henny Penny site at 54 Ridge Street, Merewether.
WHAT HAPPENED: The old Henny Penny site at 54 Ridge Street, Merewether.

We’ll be in the Topics chair this week and during that time we have one objective; to find out just what the heck is going on with the old, dilapidated Henny Penny building in Ridge Street, Merewether.

And, in our quest, we’ll be enlisting the help of a few experts, property lawyers, real estate agents and the like. 

We can remember the store, at 54 Ridge Street, being operational and popular with teenagers at some point during our high school years. 

A search of the Fairfax digital archive came up with two news items from the Newcastle Herald in 2003. 

“THE soaring cost of residential land in Merewether saw Henny Penny's first fast food outlet, at Ridge Street, Merewether, close its doors last weekend,” the article, which appeared in the Commercial section of the newspaper, read.

“The 1968-built outlet had become an institution for beach-goers. The site is still owned by a director of Henny Penny, a member of the Steggles family, who is understood to be turning the land to town house use. “A spokesman for Henny Penny said the outlet had been renovated a number of years ago and needed a further upgrade and the land value was now so great it was not practical to spend the money needed to retain it.”

Then, a few weeks later, somewhat of a clarification from the owner, who unhelpfully asked not to be identified. 

“A RECENT item on the closure of the Henny Penny chicken outlet in Ridge Street, Merewether, has brought a response from the site's owner,” the December, 2013 item reads. “The owner, who asked not to be named, said the site had pre-existing use rights for a commercial/retail/food operation and she would be interested in leasing it for the purpose (contact details are on the building) rather than a residential redevelopment.” But since then nothing seems to have happened and the commercial site – which appears to be in a prime location – has run into disrepair.

Do you know anything about the old Henny Penny building and why it was never leased or redeveloped?

We’d love to get to the bottom of it. 

Email: srigney@theherald.com.au.


NEW LOOK: The three new tokens include a rubber ducky, T-Rex and a penguin.

NEW LOOK: The three new tokens include a rubber ducky, T-Rex and a penguin.

Conceived as a piece of shallow marketing, the demise of three of the ubiquitous Monopoly "tokens" may yet be seen as a powerful statement of the time in which we live. Three of the game's eight tokens, used by players to represent their movement around the Monopoly board, have been cut: the thimble, the boot and the wheelbarrow.

The fate of the thimble had already been confirmed by Monopoly-owner, the gaming giant Hasbro, but over the weekend the boot and the wheelbarrow also got the axe.

The decision was made as part of a branding campaign in which fans of the fame were invited to vote to keep – or remove – tokens, and to determine which tokens might take their place.

The tribe, to quote Survivor, has spoken.

More than four million votes were cast, Hasbro says, and fans were given 64 options including the existing tokens.

The three winning tokens, which will replace the thimble, boot and wheelbarrow are a T-Rex, a rubber ducky and a penguin.

They will join the five surviving "classic" tokens: the dog, the racing car, the top hat, the battleship and the cat.

Interestingly, however, some of the proposed tokens which did not make the cut include modern cultural images such as the hashtag and the "crying/laughing" emoji face. There may be hope for the human race yet. Others which didn't make the cut included a monster truck, a computer, a bunny slipper and a roller skate.

It is not the first time Hasbro has used a public marketing campaign to update the game's pieces.

In 2013, a similar campaign saw another long-serving game piece – an iron – replaced with the cat. Though the game itself was created some years before, metal player tokens were first used in the game from its 1937 edition. That edition featured a battleship, a cannon, iron, lantern, purse, race car, rocking horse, shoe, thimble, top hat and wheelbarrow. Three of those – the rocking horse, purse and lantern – were cut in 1942 and replaced with the dog, wheelbarrow and a horse and rider.

The cannon and horse and rider were retired in 2000 and not replaced.


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