Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hunters in the Hunter

An email from our Hunter Valley/Newcastle man "on the ground".

G’day John
Heres a bit of useless trivia for you.
Re The pics of the Hunters in Newcastle.
About 15 years ago, one of my sister in laws told me about a Bolwell she had seen laying in a paddock at Teralba (which is a small place right at the northern tip of Lake Macquarie)
Anyway I went to have a look and discovered that it wasn’t a Bolwell. I didn’t know what it was at the time and as it was in a fenced paddock with dogs (large, mean looking) I didn’t go in. However there was a sign with a phone number nearby (can’t remember what the sign was about ) The car was basically a body shell and it appeared to have been partially cut in half up the middle.
I called the phone number to ask about the car and eventually got on to the owner. He told me it was a Hunter and that he had rescued it from some young blokes who were preparing to use the body on some sort of dirt track stock car. Hence the cut up the guts. Anyway this bloke did some deal with the young blokes and acquired the Hunter shell. It wasn’t for sale as he was going to “fix it up one day”
At the time it was the only Hunter body in the paddock.

Looking at the pics I reckon that is the same paddock that I saw the Hunter in.  The creek you can just see is called “Cockle Creek” and the industrial complex in the background is what was called “The Sulphide” It was a lead and zinc smelter that was owned by “The Sulphide Corporation” later to be known as Pasminco. The smelter closed down about 10 years ago and they are still cleaning up the site and surrounding area from all the lead and zinc fallout that occurred during the smelters life. What you can’t see in the pics is a range of low hills which are off to the right of the pic but behind the smelter. When I was a kid ( I grew up about 10 klm from the smelter) this row of hills had virtually nothing growing on them. Certainly no trees, and what grass that managed to survive didn’t look too good. When the smelter was forced to install scrubbers and other pollution control measures in the 70’s and 80’s the hills behind gradually came back to life. They also had to remove the topsoil from quite a number of homes close to the smelter because of the lead contamination. For years there were no fish or other marine life in Cockle Creek either.

Peter m

1 comment:

John L said...

It seems fairly obvious that the split down the middle provided the opportunity to make a wider body. The yellow one appears to be wider than the standard body.