Underneath the Arches

We were meant to celebrate underneath the arches, but when wet weather threatened we made a strategic retreat underneath the grandstand.

The occasion on Sunday 27 February [2011] was the celebration of the removal of the infill from the arches of the railway viaduct that crosses Wentworth Park, and the rebuilding of the eastern and western walls of the greyhound track.

About 50 people from Glebe, Pyrmont and Ultimo, who had been planning to spread their rugs on the grass literally ‘underneath the arches’ brought their picnics into the Wentworth Park grandstand and sat at tables and chairs to enjoy their dinner. They were entertained by a stirring performance from the TaikOz drummers and a local choir [Pyrmont Sings!] who finished their program with a heartfelt rendition of Underneath the Arches/Grandstand.

VIP guests included the Lord Mayor, Cr Clover Moore, the member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek, and the member for Balmain Verity Firth who presented the Order of the Golden Ram’s Horn to Anne Fraser and Peter Mann.

Anne was the first convenor of the Blackwattle Cove Coalition (BCC) and started the campaign to reclaim Wentworth Park for the residents of Glebe, Pyrmont and Ultimo, and Peter, who is Chief Executive of the Wentworth Park Sporting Complex Trust, has oversighted the redevelopment of the central portion of the park for the benefit of all its users and in particular local residents.

Unfortunately Anne could not attend the presentation. However she sent the following email after the event: I have just seen the wonderful Rams Horn Certificate the BCC presented to me. Would you please pass on my thanks for the delightful and cheeky certificate. I love it. And as it turned out we didn’t need to resort to the midnight, naked, seven times round the walls blowing the horn. Probably just as well but we always had it up our sleeves if diplomacy didn’t work.

As the current convenor of the BCC, John Brooks told the gathering the coalition’s next objective is to ensure that the redevelopment of the Bridge Road wharves between the concrete batch plant and the Fish Market harmonises with the developments in Wentworth Park.

Sources

  • "Celebration, but not underneath the arches", Bruce Davis, Glebe Society Bulletin March/April 2011, p.3