Three images from 1990 (from left) cassette cover of Smash Hits 1990; screenshot of Microsoft’s Windows 3.0 and FA Cup Final Replay programme
A Look Back At…. May 1990
Continuing our series of blog posts focusing on a particular period in the history of the Parkes Shire. This post looks at the month of May in 1990. More recent than previous periods, but it is almost 30 years ago! Bob Hawke had recently won re-election in March and Nick Greiner was the state’s premier. The Victorian Football League (VFL) was now known as the Australian Football League (AFL) with the recently formed Adelaide Crows joining the competition in the following year, becoming the fourth non-Victorian team in the competition. The English FA Cup Final, contested by Manchester United and Crystal Palace and broadcast to Parkes Shire on ABC TV, saw a thrilling 3-3 draw before Manchester United won the replay 1-0. Madonna’s “Vogue” was the number one single in the country in May, with the top single for the year being Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”. The number one album in Australia for May was Michael Bolton’s Soul Provider (3 weeks) with one week taken by Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl. Australian artist John Farnham’s Chain Reaction was the number one album for the year. The now popular Toyota Land Cruiser introduced the 80 series in May 1990.
A glance at images and statistics that were current for May 1990. Clockwise from top left: Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke; Mayor of Parkes, Robert Wilson; Crystal Palace and Manchester United played a thrilling 3-3 draw in the 1990 FA Cup Final on May 12th. Five days later, Manchester United won the replay 1-0; Joe Versus The Volcano was one of many movies being shown in May at Parkes cinemas. It was the first pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
The Front Page – then and now!
Front page comparison of Parkes Champion Post then and now. 1990 contained a few main stories – including one where three RAAF Hercules dropped 60 paratroopers into Parkes. The contemporary newspaper shows that plans for the annual Elvis Festival are well underway for 2019. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday May 16, 1990 and Parkes Champion Post Tuesday May 15, 2018
Making Local News in May 1990
With autumn creeping closer to winter, the month of May in 1990 saw winter sports in full swing. Elvis Festival was still three years away and the movie The Dish was ten years away. Agriculture was the main source of income but there was news that would see another commercial aspect to the region – a gold and copper mine!
The main street of Parkes is almost 100% angle parking today. However in 1990 it was still a matter of debate. This newspaper report states that a section of Currajong Street will be changed from parallel parking to angle parking. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday May 7, 1990 page 3
Unusually heavy rainfall in April saw flood damage within the Parkes Shire. Although not as devastating as in other parts of the state (particularly Nyngan) then regional director of the RTA (now RMS) Lew Laing described the damage to the Newell Highway as ‘fairly minor’ compared to roads in Nyngan, Bourke and Brewarrina. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday May 2, 1990 page 3
Such was the devastating effect of the flood in Nyngan that residents of the Parkes Shire organised many fundraising events for the victims. This report highlights one, organised at the Parkes Indoor Cricket Centre. Other fundraising activities were organised by Parkes M & D, Parkes Grace Bros store and other small businesses in town. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday May 7, 1990 page 17
In the lead up to Rugby League World Cup match at Parkes between Australia and France, arrangements were getting underway. Current Premier of NSW, Nick Greiner, also announced that he would be attending the match. Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday May 18, 1990 page 19
To read more about the 1990 Rugby League World Cup match at Pioneer Oval click here
A police reunion ball was held to celebrate 100 years of policing in Bogan Gate. Pictured at the ball are (from left) – Mrs Reika Hoswell, Mrs Pru Britt, Mrs Pam Power, Gary Power, Jenny Keding, Superintendent Pringle (District Commissioner Bathurst), Moss Alchin (Patrol Commander, Forbes), Deputy Chief Inspector Des Trute (Patrol Commander, Cooma), Chief Inspector Gordon Weaver (Patrol Commander, Parkes) Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday, May 11, 1990 page 16
A framed photograph of HMAS Parkes is presented to Shire President Robert Wilson by Mr and Mrs Peter Heath. They are posing around the bell of HMAS Parkes, which today resides in Parkes Library. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, May 21, 1990 page 1
After a lengthy time as pharmacist – 43 years in total (28 years in Parkes) – Con Diamond is honoured by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. As well as the pharmacist at Townley’s Pharmacy, Con was also involved in Red Shield fundraising, former president of Parkes Rotary Club, president of the camera club for 20 years as well as teaching photography at Parkes TAFE College. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, May 28, 1990 page 2
In 1990 Parkes there were four channels (SBS wouldn’t be received in Parkes until later that decade) and no one had heard of digital television! Amongst the programs for Saturday May 12 included Bill Collins’ Golden Years of Hollywood; Hey Hey It’s Saturday; Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock and Come & Get It with Peter Russell-Clarke. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday May 7, 1990 page 12; Goulds Book Arcade website; Pinterest; and YouTube
A regular feature during the month of May are the many school athletics carnivals. This photograph, featuring former mathematics teacher and current volunteer of many services Laurie Ashcroft, leading the staff in a tug-o-war duel against students. The winning house in 1990 was Sturt. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, May 21, 1990 page 18
Well known for their high quality productions, the Parkes M & D Society’s production in 1990 was “Not Even A Mouse” – an Australian play written by Barbara Stellmach in 1973. Cast and crew were Isabelle Benita (Louise Turner), John Short (police officer Roger Norton), Beth Taylor (Clarissa the receptionist), Bruce Whitmill (Geoff Turner), Hilary Wright (Paula Meredith), Adam Taylor (Paula’s son, David Meredith), Dorothy Buchanan (Hannah the maid), Toni Lam (director), Ben Lam (set construction), Lucinda Glenn (prompt) and Andrew Hunt (lights) Also note that $2 from every ticket sold was being donated to Nyngan flood relief. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday, May 2, 1990 page 6
One of the main industries associated with Parkes, mining was still in proposal stage in May 1990. This is an excerpt from report on proposal for Northparkes Project. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday, May 23, 1990 page 14 & 15
May 1990 Advertisements
Today Cunningham’s Supermarket belongs to Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) which itself is owned by Metcash. Back in May 1990, if you went to Cunningham’s it was branded as Foodmaster. In August 2017 Cunningham’s IGA celebrated 50 years in Parkes (click here to read about it). Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday, May 2, 1990 page 8
A selection of May 1990 television commercials. Computers were just taking off and the Yellow Pages was ubiquitous with strong sales. For cutting edge technology for 1990 check out the Sunbrown Sunrice and Walco Quick-Fresh commercials. Full list of advertisements include:
Apple Mackintosh computers
Pure & Simple Vegetable Oil
Bird’s Eye vegetables
Bag A Bargain (Advantage, Farmer Jack’s, Mac’s, Newmart & Thrifty stores)
Before mobiles became in vogue, if you rang someone’s (landline) phone and they didn’t answer, you could leave a message provided the household or business had an answering machine. Griffins Leading Edge was Griffins Tandy. Tandy in Australia was a predecessor to Jaycar Electronics. Their main rivals in electronic components was Dick Smith Electronics. Tandy Australia was bought by Woolworths Ltd in 2001 and in 2006 was bought by Kogan.com Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday May 4, 1990 page 7 and Wikipedia
Full page advertisement in local newspaper highlighting some of the many local businesses of the day. Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday, May 4, 1990 page 10
An advertisement for Home Hardware, situated at Tottenham. While the building still stands on 75 Umang Street, the store is closed. Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday, May 4, 1990 page 21
A new local business in May 1990. Simply Country was next to the TAB in Dalton Street, Parkes. Comprising nick naks [sic] and kitchenwares it was a welcome addition to the Parkes business district. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, May 7, 1990 page 5
A competitor to locally owned Simply Country was the nationwide chain of Copperart stores. Featuring television advertisements with Pete Smith (see YouTube clip below). In 2018 205A Clarinda Street houses EB Games. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, May 7, 1990 page 6
A clip showing a 1990 Copperart television commercial. Using Pete Smith – who provided voice overs for popular programs of the time such as Sale of the Century, The Don Lane Show and Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight – they helped Copperart become an Aussie business success story. In late 2001 the business was rebranded as Homeart. However by 2015 all Homeart stores were closed.
One of the dining options back in May 1990. The Krok Pot is sure to bring back pleasant memories for long-term residents. Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday May 11, 1990 page 10
Another locally owned business was Elsie’s Cottage Garden & Nursery Supplies. Located at 40 Bogan Street which now houses Parkes Auto Glass. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, May 14, 1990 page 5
1990 bakery located in the Village Square. In 2018 this is Big W. Some other shops in the village square included Paul Flanagan’s Village Meats, Parkes Market, Frips Coffee Shop, True Blue Deli, Franklins. Source: Parkes Champion Post Friday, May 18, 1990 page 16 & Parkes: A Photographic History by Ian Chambers (1988) pages 257-259
Mother’s Day and a number of local businesses are advertising in this special feature in the local newspaper. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday May 9, 1990 pages 9-10
According to Kevin Cork’s thesis – Twenty-Four Miles Around Nelungaloo: The History and Importance of Cinema Exhibition in Pre-Television Times To A Country Area of Central-Western New South Wales – the Golden West Cinema was located within an auditorium in Parkes RSL on Short Street. The cinema had one projector but seated 178 comfortably, enabling locals to see the latest releases. This advertisment highlights the first Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy, Joe Versus The Volcano and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. This also included Tummy Trouble, an animated short that was a spin off to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and starred Roger Rabbit and Baby Herman. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday May 23, 1990 page 2 & K. Cork (1994) pages 261-262
In the days before the internet and Google, information could be found within encyclopedias. This advertisement is for the then popular World Book Encyclopedias. There was quite a rivalry between encyclopedia companies with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Funk & Wagnall’s among those competing with World Book for pride of place in family bookcases. Source: Parkes Champion Post Wednesday, May 30, 1990 page 14
A video of archive television footage, reviewing the 1990 rugby league season.
If you have stories of May 1990 that you are willing to share please contact Parkes Shire Library via email@example.com so that they can be shared and kept for posterity on this blog. Alternatively you may leave comments on this page.
To view old local newspapers, come in to Parkes Library and speak to Dan who will assist you with operating the microfilm