Friday, April 21, 2006

Trafalgar Avenue

(Random walkies)

Halle-fucking-lujeh! The new pillow worked. My neck still feels like someone's used me for a golf tee but it'll come right and I got the first decent night's sleep in a fortnight last night.

It was back to the nice autumn cold this morning. Stood at the kitchen window with a steaming cup of tea warming my hands and the floor cold under my bare feet. Bright autumn sunshine again and a blue sky. I sniffed yesterday's trousers cautiously, decided they were good enough for another day and off I went down Trafalgar Avenue.

WWII emergency airstrip in Woy Woy
(Slightly bigger)

In World War II there was an airstrip running beside Trafalgar Avenue. An emergency strip made of gravel. Its outline is marked on my old Council map. It starts between Albion and Neptune Streets on the Springwood Street (east) side of Trafalgar. It heads north and runs over the top of Trafalgar between Gwendolyn and Balaclava Avenues. It ends halfway between Balaclava Avenue and McMasters Road, half on Trafalgar and half off on the west side.

Apart from the ridges at the back and Blackwall Mountain on the eastern edge, the Peninsula is as flat as a tack and wasn't well populated until after the war. Good spot for an emergency landing if you were a fighter pilot or transport plane in trouble.

Corner shop on Trafalgar Avenue Woy Woy
(Big version)

The ex-butcher's shop (now Davo's Seafood) on the left and the mixed business (newspapers, chiko rolls & chips, lollies) on the right. Across the road from a small park.

The poles are the practice poles at the fire station. The fire-fighters shimmy up them and so on. Very butch. The station was put up in the eighties judging by the age of the materials and that dicky little portico.

Trafalgar Avenue Blackwall
(Big version)

Three suburbs intersect at the corner of Trafalgar and Gallipoli Avenue: Woy Woy, Blackwall and Umina. This house is on the Blackwall side. Bit of an identity problem with the fifties shape, seventies brick and retro iron lace.

Trafalgar Avenue Blackwall
(Big version)

Not terribly exciting as fifties houses go but it's neat and tidy and sans cladding and those naff windows, it would look much like its old self. The nice big frangipani (top right) leaning in from next door helps.

Purple & yellow house on Trafalgar Avenue Umina
(Big version)

Without the colour scheme this would just be another house. Not my cup of tea but well looked after. Just down from the shop next to the fire station.

Trafalgar Avenue Umina
(Big version)

This one looks rather sculptured outlined against the sky like that. Wouldn't take much to get it back to its original whatsit.

Trafalgar Avenue Umina
(Big version)

I like the veranda on this one, or rather, the built-in portico thingy. The awnings keep a good bit of the fifties look too, despite the seventies windows.

Trafalgar Avenue Umina
(Big version)

Got a feeling I've snapped this one before as well. Never mind, its nice blue on white colours and the pattern of the fibro joins are worth a second look.

Trafalgar Avenue Umina
(Big version)

This one was actually taken months ago in summer, hence the storm clouds closing in. A nicely-shaped fifties place and nice colours.

Old house on Trafalgar Avenue Umina
(Big version)

Nice old place down the West Street end of Trafalgar. Quietly decaying but it may well be still structurally sound and worth a reno. Look at that nice closed in veranda.

Last couple of day's we've had a minor heatwave due to the influence of Cyclone Monica. Very late in the season. I don't remember there ever being a cyclone after Easter. Anyways, she's in the Gulf (of Carpentaria) now, picking up speed again after not doing too much damage in Far North Queensland, if you don't count a fresh lot of flooding.

Goulburn has the exact opposite of flooding. Their dam's as dry as a dead dingo's donger.


Suzanne said...

What's a chiko roll?

Erica said...

are you sure the firemen shimmy? - I thought they hung their hoses up to dry on those poles - want pictures of a shimmying firey please

Spike said...

Suzanne - a chiko roll is a penis-shaped snack food made of soylent green, orange flecks and suss-looking white lumps wrapped firmly in deep fried cardboard. It is a nation icon and the preferred junk food of the Australian bricklayer.

Wiki alleged that: "Due to the texture, flavour, fat concerns and meat content some people consider the Chiko Roll to be unpalatable or inedible." Not after they've have seven beers they don't.

Erica - I have indeed seen firemen shimmy. Though on consideration perhaps the shimmying was to hook or unhook a damp hose rather than the primary activity. Peter, what say you?

I have no shimmying photos. Perhaps I should nip down to the station after a fire in the hopes of finding them shimmying or at least soaping each other in the forecourt a la porn videos.

Jimmy Little said...

The airstrip next to Trafalgar Avenue was still clearly visible in the 1960's -- a lot of the houses in that area were just being built around that time, and I can remember riding my bike as a kid on some large stretches of hard red airstrip surface. All gone now.

And chiko rolls? Christ, solyent green fillings would improve the bloody things...

Spike said...

ROFl. Dead right about the chiko rolls.

I noticed a lot of sixties and seventies houses on Trafalgar. Were the bits left in the sixties round Bourke Road?

You know, I feel a new tourism advert coming on. 'Come to Australia, we have penis-shaped snack food'.

miserable old English crab said...

The chiko roll sounds like just the thing to go with a deep-fried Mars bar as a balanced meal, i.e. a dollop of heart attack in each hand.

Jimmy Little said...

Well, I haven't seen the place for a few years and I'm 10,000 km away, but I remember the bare bits in the 60's being about half way along Trafalgar Ave, which (from memory) puts 'em around Bourke Road. But quite a long stretch next to Trafalgar Ave was only patchily-developed at that time.

And I think the best thing to balance the Chiko roll has to be the deep-fried pizza. Yes, deep-*fried*, not deep pan. A delicacy from (one of) my (other) homeland(s). Yummie!

Spike said...

Miserable old English crab - Definitely. Two coronaries for under $10. Bargain!

Jimmy - That fits in with where the sixties and seventies houses still are on Trafalgar. When did you leave?

This other homeland is America right? Land of the free and home of cheese-inna-can.

Bec said...

Definately more of a springroll fan myself (and I do mean the yellow cardboard ones from a chip shop not he nice pastry ones from chinese restaurants)
Just stumbled accross your blog, it looks cool. kudos to you.

Jimmy Little said...

When did I leave? Hmmm, I left Woy Woy in the mid-70's for the rest of the world and never really returned. Part of my family still lives there or in the area (and I keep waiting for you to inadvertantly take a photo of my father's undistinguished 1960's house along the Blackwall waterfront :-) ).

And that other homeland is actually Scotland, home of the deep-friend pizza and organic haggis, but I live in the San Francisco area nowadays (see Where Ya From? for the sordid details). Wow Woy's something of an early obsession I revisit vicariously and through my own crap every now and then, so stumbling across your blog was a treat (argh! enough plugging my own wares! Sorry…).

Spike said...

Bec - Yers, the yellow cardboard ones are definitely the go when you want suss food.

Jimmy - I was going to leave out the sixties (not my cuppa tea architecturally speaking) but now you've got me curious.

Where in Scotland? My lot are from Glasgow and a wee village near Inverness.

Plug away. Are you going to write any more about Woy Woy? I like that piece you did already.

Jimmy Little said...

I'm slowly plugging away at the Woy Woy Thing on my blog, but it's tough work. There's four or five separate bits there now, more to come as I get the time. As for Scotland, well, theoretically it's Edinburgh or Tighnabruaich, but we're from all over... (a child of the British Empire, I guess).

edison said...

Not sure how old this thread is, but here goes. Interesting to see local history being shared, e.g. emergency aistrip in Woy Woy. I was told some time ago that it was for aborted trips taking off from Pittwater, as the strip lines up with Pittwater, and could have been used by amphibious aircraft.

Spike said...

Edison: Interesting to see local history being shared

Thank yer. It's rather fun sharing it with the world.

All this time looking at that map of the airstrip and I never noticed it lined up with Pittwater!

These amphibious aircraft. They landed in Pittwater during the war? You have photo links? I love those old Catalinas.

mac7083 said...

G'day Spike,
Sorry but you've never seen a fireman shimmy up that pole, or any used by Fire&Rescue NSW.They are actually called "hose whips". They are only used for drying hose and occasionally canvas salvage sheets. I was stationed there for 10 years. It wasn't a fire station until 2001. Before that it was an indoor cricket centre. It's said that a bloke died from a heart attack playing cricket there. I Can tell you we heard some funny noises on night shifts.........