Pave Paradise – The Finale.

Updated Post

I wrote this little yarn back in August 2014. It was about a community that was passionate about saving a place that I grew up near, the oldest public meeting place in Australia known as Thompsons Square. It was established in 1811 and designed by Governor Macquarie.

From July 2013 until recently, there was a continual sit in on the site by a group of passionate advocates for the square.

Sadly, the above photo now shows that progress looks like in 2020. Power to the People, but sadly not in this case…

Have you ever been to a re-enactment?

I have now. Three times. I went to Old Sydney Town and watched a very convincing actor/convict get whipped by a Colonel for stealing something from the gift shop. I also was witness to the First Fleet sailing into Sydney Harbour, 200 years to the day that they actually did it, thanks to Australia’s birthday event in 1988.

I went to a re-enactment of the opening of the Windsor Bridge, which turned 140 today.

But before I tell you more (that is, if indeed you are still with me) I will tell you this.

PEOPLE GO APE-SHIT FOR RE-ENACMENTS!! I am going to try and grow my re-enactment skills to expand from my current menu, which is me re-enacting the time that I had food poisoning in Turkey, or the time that Mr Woog asked me to marry him. Both highly entertaining in my opinion.

The Windsor Bridge is in danger though, of being pulled down to be replaced with another bridge. Another two lane bridge that is designed to ruin the oldest square in Australia, that being Thompson Square. And on Thompson Square is the Macquarie Arms, Australia’s oldest pub. It was established in 1795 as a meeting place for the settlers, before Governor Macquarie formalised it in 1810. But you know what?

There is a group of locals who are so passionate about preserving one of the oldest sites in Australia, that they are doing everything they can to make sure that Thompson Square is saved. Called Community Action for Windsor Bridge, they are the perfect example of a group that is not going to go away for a while.

This from CAWB.

Australia’s Heritage is at stake. The Roads and Maritime Services (formerly the RTA) wants to demolish the Windsor Bridge and build a new modern structure through the Historic Thompson Square precinct. This will permanently destroy the heritage value of the area, restrict access and damage the economic viability of Windsor. This planned new bridge will only flow traffic adequately until 2026 and at a cost of $45 million to NSW taxpayers. A complete and utter waste of money.

There is a better way which will allow better flow of traffic and not damage our Heritage and our History- even the RMS/RTA admits this!

CAWB is not a “faceless organisation”. We are the residents of The Hawkesbury. We are tradespeople, professionals, business people and we will not go quietly.

Reminds me of The Castle.

Lets take a look, shall we?


Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.18.44 pm
Looking down to the bridge from Thompson Square.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.46.55 pm
One of the houses that fronts Thompson Square.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.47.06 pm
A lot of people are not happy about this idea.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.47.26 pm
These two dogs went ape shit when they saw a white, fluffy dog. Nothing to do with the story, but was very dramatic.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.47.38 pm
This jacaranda might be enjoying its last Spring….
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.47.48 pm
Farewell, sweet cottages.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.47.59 pm
This used to be a milk bar where I spent my bus money on lollies, before walking to school. It is now an advertisement to save itself.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.48.22 pm
A dog showing some manners and interest.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.48.31 pm
Did I mention the weather?
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.48.41 pm
Ye olde world cars crossing the bridge.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.49.02 pm
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 6.14.21 pm
Even Uncle Chris was marching!
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.49.43 pm
The Macquarie Arms.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.50.01 pm
One of the volunteers.

A word about the volunteers. So passionate are they, that they have spent the past 400 days, with two people on roster, occupying the square. 24 hours a day.

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.50.16 pm
I even taught the Town Crier what a selfie was. Oh, and I went the whole weekend sans make up, (obviously) T’was glorious.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.50.27 pm
They shouted the community to a free feed.
Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 5.50.36 pm

And this is just it. THIS IS IT! Imagine if everybody did nothing?

Because once you pave paradise, you are screwed. There is no turning back.

Do you think that this sort of stuff is worth saving?