Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Not Sydney but close enough - Newcastle's District Park Airfield

Newcastle is the northern-most end of the Sydney "conurbation" so I'll include it in my ramblings - plus it's relatively close-by to me and interesting. Newcastle had trams, like Sydney, and an airport close to its heart. Alas, a few near-misses and crashes plus the encroachment of housing saw the end of this convenient strip in 1963.

Where was it? District Park, Broadmeadow. Yep, right next to the railway. Perfect spot, really. Except for the houses. And the crashes, mostly during the 1940s. Famously a C47 over-ran the strip in bad weather and ended in the stormwater drain, and a Bristol Beaufort ended up breaching the fence. A USAF A20 Havoc (AKA Boston) also ended up nose-down on Lambton Rd.  

Here's a Google Earth shot of it, as it is now, overlaid with an old black-and-white shot of the field, date unknown but I'm guessing it was 1940 or so:

If you look closely the trams ran along the right-hand (eastern) side of the field (ie Broadmeadow Rd) before crossing in reserved track along what is now Curley Rd and then Lambton Rd (southern end of the image), The tram line then went along Hobart Rd.

More soon!

1 comment:

Edward Thirlwall said...

This is a very interesting take you have on the architecture. Even though it is not Sydney, but yes true enough it is kind of close. It takes real talent to come up with something so comprehensive and detailed like this study you have shared with us all. Prior to this, I am not at all interested but I guess you never know what you would expect until you have encountered it all.