A Look Back At…. November 1953
Some of the images of November 1953 from Parkes and around the world. Clockwise from top left: Hungary and England walk out at Wembley on 25 November 1953. England lose at home for the first time 6-3 in what is now known as the Match of the Century; Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” – now a signature song of his – first debuted in 1953 and was one of the most popular singles for the year; the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket, piloted by Scott Crossfield, becomes the first manned aircraft to reach Mach 2 on November 20; “The Robe” was one of the most popular films of 1953, earning an estimated $32 million worldwide; a local advertisement for pre-cut homes in 5 designs by local builders Vanderfield & Reid; a selection of women’s fashion for 1953; Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Jack Purtell, watches on as Governor-General William Slim makes the presentation; November 9 saw the death of Welsh poet and author, Dylan Thomas; and one of the Parkes department stores, McGlynn’s, advertising their new Toyland – just seven weeks before Christmas!
Parkes Library’s history blog continues to focus on a particular period in the history of the Parkes Shire. This post highlights some of the happenings locally in November 1953. Queen Elizabeth was less than six months into her reign over the United Kingdom. The population of Parkes was just under 8,000 (1954 Census had Parkes recorded as 8,102) and the polio vaccine – developed in March by American medical researcher and virologist, Jonas Salk – was providing newfound relief from what was once an incurable disease. According to Ron Tindall, 1953 saw the formation of the South Parkes Progress Association and the East Parkes Progress Association (R. Tindall 1983 page 56). Teachers and members of Parents and Citizens’ Associations met with plan to urge the government to focus on the educational needs of South Parkes – this would lead to the eventual building of Middleton Public School (Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 page 1)
To read more about the Parkes Shire population click here
A glance at images and statistics that were current for November 1953. Clockwise from top left: A.E. Fox (left) and Ald. A.C. Moon; Field Marshal William Joseph Slim; Michael Kmit’s painting “The Evangelist John Mark”; Premier John Joseph Cahill; and photograph of Solveig IV, the line honours winner of 1953 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
To read more about A.E. Fox and the park that bears his name click here
The Front Page – then and now
Front page comparison of Parkes Champion Post in 1953 and 2018. In 1953 the front page was very text heavy, with few pictures as well as in black and white. 2018 newspaper front page is in colour with a main picture from one story – Clean TeQ Sunrise mine project opening soon at Fifield. In 1953 the reports were on Mayor Bushfire Prevention Appeal; Brigadier Arnott’s visit to Parkes; inspection of Shire Roads and an image of the then fastest production car, the British Austin-Healey. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 & Friday June 29, 2018
Another front page comparison. Forbes Advocate is again text-heavy with few pictures and in black and white. The stories include greeting a great soldier with a civic welcome, Forbes Mayor reviewing council’s activities (the council being Forbes Municipal Council), plans for a dance and fitness carnival on Australia Day and anticipating Prime Minister Menzies’ visit to Forbes. The Parkes Phoenix – in colour and more aesthetically appealing to modern readers – focuses on one story. The story highlights 2018 NAIDOC Week celebrations (not a fully-realised concept in 1953) and showcasing local indigenous artists Amber Jordan and Irene Ridgeway. Source: Forbes Advocate Friday, November 20, 1953 and The Parkes Phoenix Friday 13 July 2018
Making Local News in November 1953
The new army training depot in Clarinda Street will be opened later in the month. A coup for the organisers was obtaining Brigadier K.M. Arnott D.S.O. to be the official guest. Brigadier Arnott was one of the iconic biscuit manufacturing family. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 page 1
Diphtheria – a potentially life-threatening disease in 1953 but now extremely rare in Australia – required immunisation of children. This was a joint announcement by Parkes Municipal Council and Goobang Shire Council. J.J. Livingston was Shire Clerk for Goobang Shire Council and again we see the name of long-time Town Clerk for Parkes, Alfred E. Fox. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 page 4
The biggest military manouevres in the region since before WW2 took place at Tomingley. Along with the large army arsenal were aircraft supplied by the Parkes Aero Club with two long-term residents assisting – Warwick Tom and Bill Nicholson. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday November 5, 1953 page 7
A new look to Holden – the “special” was introduced to Parkes car enthusiasts at local showroom of Miller and Cheney Pty Ltd. It was hailed as a “Fine Example of Australian Workmanship”. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday November 5, 1953 page 9
An iconic part of town, the Shrine of Remembrance on Memorial Hill was opened on Sunday November 22nd. A simple yet impressive ceremony was held on Monument Hill (now called Memorial Hill) and gave us a location for one of the most important ceremonies in the calendar year – dawn service on ANZAC Day. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 23, 1953 page 1
This poem was penned by Goobang Shire Council Town Clerk, J. J. Livingston and was printed on the front page accompanying the article on the dedication of the Shrine of Remembrance. It is reproduced here for greater clarity and is accompanied by aerial footage of Memorial Hill. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday November 23, 1953 page 1 and Visit Parkes Region YouTube Channel
A great start for West Parkes Progress Association, with 100 members signed up for membership at the first meeting. Also present was the President of the East Parkes Progress Association, Mr Armstrong. Cooperation and collaboration between all Parkes associations was decided to be the best way to secure uniform sewerage, water filtration and other matters of interest to the town. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday, November 19, 1953 page 10
With summer approaching Parkes region in the middle of a grasshopper plague. However the plague also attracted its possible solution – martins – birds that feed on grasshoppers. CSIRO was also asking for assistance in identifying other birds that eat insects. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 9, 1953 page 1
The Department of Works and Local Government made several suggestions for providing permanent water supply to the residents of Peak Hill. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 9, 1953 page 1
A fantastic event organised for members of the Parkes Horse and Pony Club. Another mention of a Tom family member, the ride passing through the property of Mr A.E. Tom Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 9, 1953 page 2
In 1953 the newspaper provided vital information to a town that depended on agriculture as its primary industry. Listed here are information about the West Trundle Crop Competition (won by Mr G. Swindley with an estimated yield of 23 bushels to the acre); Alectown news (grasshoppers and flu); This Week in Wool – a regular feature detailing local and international news for wool producers; and a meeting of the Nelungaloo branch of the Agricultural Board to discuss new wheat trials. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 9, 1953 page 3
An upgrade in the quality of the Silver City Comet – now equal to anything in the Commonwealth – would provide a more comfortable journey. Passengers travelling between Parkes and Broken Hill would be transported by an engine producing 1,000 horsepower while also enjoying a modern buffet. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 9, 1953 page 4
The Parkes Shire has a long history of generosity and this article highlights this again. “Kadina Park”, Alectown – home of Mr and Mrs S. Westcott – hosted a garden party to raise funds for the Red Cross appeal. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday, November 19, 1953 page 6
Member for Dubbo, Mr C.G. Robertson MLA provided some great news to the Middleton Progress Association – the establishing of an Infants School in South Parkes! Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 23, 1953 page 3
An exciting opportunity as Parkes Municipal Council co-operates with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) in bringing the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to Parkes next year. This would take place in the Palace Theatre and additional lighting would be provided by the Central West County Council. However as the article highlights it prompted fierce debate during a Parkes Municipal Council meeting. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday, November 26, 1953 page 5
Bob Thomas was a popular figure in Parkes, dutifully filling the role of town librarian for thirty years! In this report he has convinced Council to assist the newly formed Parkes Historical Society. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 page 1
Yet another bow for the region, current Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Robert Menzies, attends a civic reception in the Council Chambers here in Parkes. The then largest crowd to ever gather in the council chambers were present to see The Mayor (Ald. A.C. Moon) wearing his official chain of office. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 30, 1953 page 1
To view old local newspapers, come in to Parkes Library and speak to Dan who will assist you with operating the microfilm
November 1953 Advertisements
This De Luxe Model washing machine, made by Simpson, was the latest in home appliances in November 1953. Modern readers may find it awkward when reading the line “Ask any woman, they all agree,” but in 1953 washing was seen as work undertaken by women. This washing machine was being advertised by local department stores, Burch’s, who had locations in Parkes and Bogan Gate. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 page 1
New aluminium bottle caps allowed for easier opening – which this ad portrays in what is a sexist and condescending way to modern readers. It is an example of how advertising standards change over time, while also highlighting that aluminium bottle caps and tops weren’t always the norm. Source: Business Insider Australia website
Harcourt Fells quality timepieces were in stock at Wenban Furniture Shop. They included novel watches with amazing detail and moving parts, box cameras and storm-proof lighters amongst other items. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday, November 2, 1953 page 3
Linking a motor vehicle with the ability to control fire would have made an impact in the advertising. Even today farmers are constantly on alert in case of fire. In 1953 having a vehicle that could transport fire-fighting equipment to any type of terrain was essential. Land Rover was stocked by local car dealership Thomas Kenny & Co. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday, November 5, 1953 page 3
Among the many vehicle marques in 1953 was the British-made Standard Motor Company’s Vanguard series. Featured here are the “Spacemaster” and “Spacemaster Coupe Utility”. Stocked and sold by Stansfield’s Garage. Source: Parkes Champion Post Thursday November 5, 1953 page 10
Clippings from several council candidates. Some well known surnames here – Spicer, Miller, Gersbach, Field, Swain among them. Source: Parkes Champion Post Monday November 30, 1953 page 4
Parkes Shire Library would like to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance with this blog post:
If you have stories of November 1953 that you are willing to share please contact Parkes Shire Library via firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be shared and kept for posterity on this blog. Alternatively you may leave comments on this page.
Feature Picture Images (clockwise from top left)
- Bécsi. (November 25, 2015). [Hungary and England football teams walk out onto Wembley in what became known as the Match of the Century]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://dailynewshungary.com/today-is-the-day-of-the-hungarian-football-match-of-the-century-was-62-years-ago-at-wembley/
- Capitol Records. (July 15, 2017). [This is the cover art for the single “That’s Amore” by the artist Dean Martin.]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dean_Mart.jpg
- Avia Deja Vu. (n.d.). Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket [Digital image]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://aviadejavu.ru/Site/Crafts/Craft21962.htm#en
- 20th Century Fox. (April 15, 2014). [This is a poster for The Robe]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Robe_(1953_movie_poster).jpg
- Vanderfield & Reid Limited present 5 Designs in Pre-Cut Homes [Advertisement]. (November 5, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 2.
- The People History. (n.d.). 1953 Women’a Clothing [Digital image]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1953.html
- Pinterest. (n.d.). [Sir William Slim, Governor-General of Australia, presents the Melbourne Cup trophy]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://i.pinimg.com/originals/11/84/8f/11848f0ec5aabc8126c9113372c939c0.jpg
- Unknown. (September 7, 2017). Dylan Thomas [Digital image]. Retrieved July 16, 2018, from http://wdiy.org/post/legacy-dylan-thomas#stream/0
- Toyland is Open! [Advertisement]. (November 5, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 3.
At A Glance Images (clockwise from top left)
- “Honour the Pioneers”: 75th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Municipality of Parkes: October 4-11, 1958. (1958). Parkes, N.S.W.: Parkes Junior Chamber of Commerce, for the Organising Committee of the Parkes 75th Anniversary Celebrations. p. 2
- Evening Post staff photographer. (November 2, 2012). [Sir William Slim, a British general during World War II. Photograph taken 29 June 1950 by an Evening Post staff photographer.]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Slim,_1950.jpg
- Kmit, M. (November 10, 2012). The Evangelist John Mark [Digital image]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://thetableumc.org/2012/11/10/grace-and-mark/
- NSW Department of Local Government, & State Library of New South Wales. (March 30, 2018). [J. J. Cahill, NSW Minister for Local Government official portrait, 1944.]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:J._J._Cahill,_NSW_Minister_for_Local_Government_official_portrait,_1944.jpg
- Schrader, E. (May 9, 2017). Ex-“Solveig IV” [Digital image]. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://reddotpier.com/old-and-new-long-travel-yachts-in-warnemunde/
Making Local News in November 1953
- Front Page. (November 2, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Front Page. (June 29, 2018). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Front Page. (November 20, 1953). The Forbes Advocate (NSW : 1911 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved July 19, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page24328169
- Front Page. (July 13, 2018). The Parkes Phoenix, p. 1.
- Brigadier To Visit Parkes. (November 2, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Municipality of Parkes and Goobang Shire Diphtheria Immunisation. (November 2, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 4.
- 24 Hour “Battle” Rages Near Tomingley C.M.F. Troops in Weekend Manouevres. (November 5, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 7.
- “New Look” Holden To Parkes Important Changes In Design. (November 5, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 9.
- Shrine of Remembrance War Memorial Dedicated At Impressive Ceremony. (November 23, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Memorial Hill Parkes (November 1, 2016). Retrieved July 20, 2018, from https://youtu.be/yX4g-0cEvyw
- Birds And Grasshoppers. (November 9, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Plans for Peak Hill Water Supply. (November 9, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Trial [sic] Ride For Pony Club. (November 9, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 2.
- Page Three. (November 9, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 3.
- Modern Comforts in New Diesel Train. (November 9, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 4.
- Successful Red Cross Garden Party At Alectown. (November 19, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 6.
- Infants’ School For Middleton. (November 23, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 3.
- Symphony Orchestra’s Visit. (November 26, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 5.
- Library to Aid Historical Society. (November 2, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Parkes Meets the Prime Minister. (November 30, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
Did You Know?
- 1953. (2018, July 12). Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953
- Pop Culture Trivia. (n.d.). 1953 Trivia, History and Fun Facts. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from https://pop-culture.us/Annual/1953.html
- Pearson, S. (n.d.). What Happened in 1953 Important News and Events, Key Technology & Popular Culture. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1953.html
November 1953 Advertisements
- Burch’s Modern Service Stores Household Appliances [Advertisement]. (November 2, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 1.
- Alcoa Aluminium. “Business Insider Australia.” Business Insider Australia, 29 Sept. 2015, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/sexist-vintage-ads-2015-9#/#alcoa-1953-alcoa-aluminums-bottle-caps-open-without-a-knife-blade-a-bottle-opener-or-even-a-husband-5.
- Harcourt Fell’s in Parkes at Wenban Furniture Shop [Advertisement]. (November 2, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 3.
- Fire Control With The Versatile Land Rover [Advertisement]. (November 5, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 3.
- Advertising (November 11, 1953). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 50. Retrieved July 24, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47114253
- Cyclops Since 1913 [Advertisement]. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2018, from http://www.hunterleisure.com.au/image/Cyclops Timeline.Cross sell.pdf
- Vanguard “Spacemaster” [Advertisement]. (November 5, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 10.
- Council Candidates [Advertisements]. (November 30, 1953). Parkes Champion Post, p. 4.