What was the buzz in 1971?: Editor dreams of a car-free zone at the Town Green end of Horton Street

Car-free zone?: Bitumen sealing was underway in Horton Street, in March 1971. Photos: Port Macquarie Museum
Car-free zone?: Bitumen sealing was underway in Horton Street, in March 1971. Photos: Port Macquarie Museum

Editorial 

"Walking into Horton Street on Thursday morning 1 was held spellbound by its beauty, even if there were "shades of Ireland" in its battleground appearance with the council having a worthwhile job of bitumen-sealing done.

There wasn't a car in the street, the cannas were flaunting rings of fire and the two remaining palm trees looked magnificent.

The shops had an aura, and something of an individuality about them that seeped through me.

I could see from afar Starrs had a sale on for the poster in their window was so colourful and blended with the scene in the street.

I wanted to ring a bell and have all the shop owners come out andenjoy Horton Street with me without the traffic.

In this scene surely none would be so rash as to cut down the two remaining palm trees, especially for the sake of a scraggy light-pole.

In my mind's eye as I stood in the street I saw the other palms re-planted again, and the garden plots around them, and perhaps a fountain, and people mingling happily with no motor cars - yes, not even a taxi - to molest them.

I contrasted this scene with the hazards of normal times when it comes to walking in Horton Street and the madness of holiday times made madder by that pedestrian crossing.

I could see a Horton Street mall as something of outstanding beauty, for that section of it between Clarence and William streets lends itself to being something out of the ordinary.

I could see an end to the frustrations of seeking parking space, and no more angry people. Instead, a happy throng of shoppers and sightseers who could not help but make a purchase amid such environment.

Back to the present . . . as I left Horton Street I had the conviction that there is not enough parking space there to serve all the varied business crammed into it; that it would be a better place without cars at all, and the natural conclusion to all this was that adequate car parking in the right places is the most pressing problem in this growing town."

Ready to win: Fred Middleton, Peter Hennessy and Jim Pullen train near the Marine Centre, 1971.

Ready to win: Fred Middleton, Peter Hennessy and Jim Pullen train near the Marine Centre, 1971.

Second in surf ski event

Port Macquarie's double ski combination, Jim Pullen and Peter Hennessey finished second in the double ski event at the NSW Surf Championships conducted over the weekend.

Jim and Peter, who are current Australian champions and who came second in the same event last year, put up a great performance in the final on Sunday to go down narrowly.

They will be defending their Australian title in Perth next month.

The Port Macquarie Club performed very well to finish third in the Country Championship.

Newly badged: St Josephs Primary School captains Andrew Burgess and Lynne Howard, and prefects Catherine Cudmore, Tony Worner, Rosalie Morrisey, and Mark ONeill, 1971.

Newly badged: St Josephs Primary School captains Andrew Burgess and Lynne Howard, and prefects Catherine Cudmore, Tony Worner, Rosalie Morrisey, and Mark ONeill, 1971.

Captains and prefects

It was a proud day recently for St. Joseph's Primary School when at a special assembly Father Leo Donnelly presented badges to school captains and prefects.

Private works

At Tuesday night's council meeting, Ald Westerweller urged that the council ask the engineer to slow down on private works to enable council's own works program to go ahead. A report to council showed 29 items of private works completed.

This story Flashback: Horton Street mall called for by Port News editor in 1971 first appeared on Port Macquarie News.

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