No one street encapsulates the concept of faded glory than Hunter Street, Newcastle, on the NSW Central Coast. Yes that’s right, we’re going on a road trip.
I won’t use this post to get up on my soapbox about the advanced state of rigor mortis poor Hunter Street finds itself in; there’s little to say that the street (and locals) doesn’t say itself. I also won’t go into the history of this building beyond what it tells us at the outset…and boy, doesn’t it have a lot to say.
The touch-too-dark brickwork, six digit phone numbers and lower case name date the building somewhere in the 60s-70s, and by imagining the Civic Court (or “cic cort” as it’s known these days) in that era it’s possible to see it as a place people actually visited. Laden with bags from David Jones, The Store and Winn’s, you might make a last minute stop at the Civic Court to grab some…mouthguards? Of the three shops that comprise the now-derelict Civic Court, the first is nigh incomprehensible, the last was a no-name, no-frills sandwich bar, and in the middle was Signature Mouthguards.
Think about what that means: there was a time, presumably before cluster boms had cause to be banned, when Hunter Street was so prosperous it could afford to host a mouthguard shop. Shockingly, Signature Mouthguards are still around, and still have the same logo.
Anyway, just to prove I’m not the only one who couldn’t work out what that first shop is (and oh how I tried), check out this nifty bit of artwork by Trevor Dickinson.