I walked every street in Woy Woy

Saturday, January 21, 2006

It was aliens wot did it

Weasel caught in own web

On the news last night they showed John Howard, Australian Prime Minister (president) and all-round wanker, visiting some Australians in a London hospital ward. They were injured in the London bombings on the 7th.

There was a woman in a head brace. Didn’t catch her name. She asked Howard if he thought the bombings where linked to the invasion of Iraq and if we’re next. He was not amused at being called on camera. She was just an ordinary Australian and she called him on his bullshit and backflips. I liked her.

I’d give you a link but I can’t find one. The bomb scares a few minutes later bumped the gladhanding off the radar. Here’s the national newspaper if you want to dig yerself. No registration required.

It Was Aliens Wot Did It

Couldn’t find a date for that map with the two swamps. The magazine it’s from is a 1970 amateur local history and has very few attributions in it.

I was at the big table in the library again. Next to the big window. There’s a single shelf of local history books in the Woy Woy library. Most of them are in a room in the Gosford one, which is the central one for the Gosford Library system. I looked for a date for the map then wrote down the call numbers of a few other books to come back to. Local history books are Not For Loan.

Found a book called Paddocks, Palaces & Picture Shows which was about the history of local cinemas. Found the section on Woy Woy with its lovely old black and white photos.

One cinema ran from 1915 to 1924 and the projection room regularly caught fire. No address for it but it seated 200 so it must’ve been a decent sized building and it was “near the railway”. When it was demolished in 1924 a bank was built on the site. That was easy. There’s a 1970s Commonwealth Bank two doors down from the corner, opposite which is the train station.

The next one was built in 1922, also on Blackwall Road, on a site 90 feet by 200 feet and seated 1,535 people. Couldn’t work out where that site was. I know the road there fairly well. The area of the shops is only one block long and I’m sure I know all the old buildings on it. There was a lot of verbiage about the films they showed there and the lovers’ seats and then “closed in 1974 and the site bought by AV Jennings [national property developer] for a shopping centre”. Bingo! I was sitting right next to it. Looking straight ahead out of the big window in the library is the front half of the library, then the old firestation to the left of that then the white pebbledash wall of the small shopping centre.

I felt a warm glow of satisfaction. With my knowledge of those sites, the old pub round the corner and the 1914 building still standing next to the bank, I’m building up a decent picture of what the place was like before it started to boom.

The alien thing was the busdriver. Most of our busdrivers are pretty normal sort of people. Today’s guy has always seemed pretty normal. Not so today.

He’d been talking to the only other person on the bus when I got on. They carried on. Graffitti was the topic and the busdriver said “You know who does that right?” He lowered his voice dramatically. “Aliens!”

The other guy and I snorted but the busdriver nodded empathically. He seemed dead serious. Why aliens? “Because you never see them do it!”
Uh huh. Mate, aliens are not going to come all this way just to abduct a few lonely farmers and scrawl some badly-spelt graffitti in Woy Woy.
“But you never see them!” was his defence. And the occasional dead TV or mattress in a ditch? The Council! To put up the rates!

Mate, those little pills the doctor said you should take? You should take them. For all of us.

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