Thursday, March 20, 2008


Thanks to LTL for pointing out that Andy Uprock, the guy behind the Uprock cup tags is having an exhibition opening tomorrow night at the Oxford Arts Factory. Photos of his work in Newtown will no doubt be there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Grisly history

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in the comments this great little booklet called The Darker Side of Newtown & Surrounds: A Self Guided Tour for the Misguided, but it really deserves its own entry.

It's published by the National Trust and you should buy it from them right now or grab it from the counter of Better Read Than Dead. You may very well discover that you're living in a house where the body of a child half eaten by "dogs or cats" was found. I would want to know that.

The first three entries are titled as follows: "Train Wreck at Newtown Station", "Woman Gives Birth on Train, then Abandons Baby", and "Decapitation by Tram". Impressively, the woman who gave birth on the train got on at Strathfield, had the baby at Croydon, then got off at Newtown. Efficient.

The curios of history described go from the macabre to the outright grisly and in that comically ominous Tim Burton or Edward Gorey kind of way (see entries like "Death by Skipping Rope" and "Bridegrooms of Death"). I think the tram decapitation is one of the best: "While crossing King Street she lost her presence of mind and hesitated, the driver of the tram could not stop in time until it had knocked the girl down, and the wheels had passed over her neck, completely severing the head from the trunk. Death was instantaneous". Presence of mind. Don't lose it.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Number challenged

This one house features its street number no less than four times:

Maybe they had some problems getting their mail.

This block of flats on Enmore Road definitely does have problems getting their mail.

I used to live at 1/86, whose letterbox confusingly isn't even featured amongst these, and would get letters for pretty much every one of these street numbers daily. Poor postman.

In other postal challenges, sometimes street numbers, like chameleons, change colour to match their surroundings:

And sometimes they just give up:

This one never even had a chance. It was screwed into "place" like this:

That 6 just wants to be a 9 so bad...

The people at number 16 should look to the fine folk at number 100, who had to carefully line up not only a three-digit number, but an arrow through it too:

And finally, there are the numbers that go above and beyond. I personally think nothing complements a house number like a Mexican scene:

Except maybe a flamingo or two: