Wednesday, 5 October 2011

River Styx - Revisiting Old Monikers, 4 Oct. 2011

When I was a boy in the 1970s / 1980s New Lambton NSW Australia, it was a common sight to see working class Newcastle kids hanging out in what we called the Drain, a stormwater channel running through the suburbs to the sea. The official name is The River Styx, a bit of a joke I guess, referring to the water that leads to the Greek underworld, Hades.

Anyway, we invented whole worlds there on weekends, running up and down the walls, throwing balls, digging up old coins in the clay on the banks, watching the water trickle over cement and green slime. Occasionally we'd see interesting things, like tiny fish - alive - swimming to somewhere; cans, bottles, junk jewellery, batteries, dead birds. We'd also fall over, skin our knees, but that was part and parcel of being a kid.

The other week I remembered when talking to an aunt that when I was about 10 I had carved my name on a wall underneath a tunnel. My 12 year old cousin Andrew had been there that day - we'd been visiting my Nan's no doubt (she lived nearby) - and he also marked his name.

We had used large nails and large rocks as chisels and mallets.

Well, this week I was walking through New Lambton and decided to revisit the drain, and the tunnel to see if the names were still there, and they were! (I might have gone back there about 20 years ago, but can't recall), but I will assume I haven't seen these marks since 1980, 31 years ago. I was amazed they were still there, but also how short we were back then (yesterday I had to bend to get in the tunnel).

Here are some pics:

1) My name


My name is Matt, but that day I must've gotten carried away with the t's :-) I can see that I knocked in dots, and then joined them up. I did an M, an A, 3 x t's, and started an h but abandoned it when I made the 3rd t. MAttt looks cool, though I think.

2) Here I have used Photoshop to make the MAttt stand out more.
3) My cousin Andrew's initials

1 comment:

Mucker said...

Lovely stuff, MAttt. There's something about chiselled graffiti that puts it a level above a sprayed tag. MArkkk