Gully Line ~ The Drain

Calling it "the drain" is a fair insult. This 'drain' is a major watercourse across the entire basin of suburban Newcastle, and is rightly Styx Creek.

Travelling to school in the early 1960s, I could see messages written on the walls of Styx Creek from my seat in the double-decker bus, as it turned from Bridges Road into Broadmeadow Road. 

New to the idea of graffiti, these messages had me fascinated as, day after day, those huge white block letters sailed past. 

I'm reasonably confident it was a protest against "the bomb." The entire globe had endured 15 years of cold war angst and the fear of nuclear war. Protests against nuclear weapons had grown steadily during the 1950s, and the slogan "Ban the Bomb" was well entrenched by the  time I boarded that old Albion bus for the first time. 

When France looked to testing in the Pacific testing in the late 1950s, it got our attention. But their testing didn't begin until 1966, and continued for 30 years, during which time "No French H Tests" slogans proliferated around the city

So I conclude by asserting I had witnessed the original graffiti from the original anti-cold war movement.

I might point out that clambering down into a storm water drain before dawn and creeping around in the dark, rat-infested, quite alien space of an underpass not only raises hackles, it rather heightens the awareness.

Gully Line under Lambton Road looking north-east, flowing to Throsby Creek
Remnants of the actual “Gully Line” coal rail track

Origins of the "Gully Line" and it's course. And a bit of an adventure on the old railway line.

Exploring the scary cave, hoping not to meet any locals

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