1954 Royal Visit Plaque in Tudor Street
When I posted this photo in the Lost Newcastle Facebook group recently, it quickly became quite the topic – that most people never knew the plaque was even there!
Beginning as a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the (European) settlement of Newcastle, the Tudor Street avenue of trees also became the site of commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1954 visit to Newcastle.
The Lord Mayor (Ald. Purdue) has appealed to business houses and semi-governmental institutions to fly flags tomorrow to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the settlement of Newcastle. Ald. Purdue said yesterday that, although the site of Newcastle was discovered by Lieutenant Shortland in 1797, the first settlement was not made till 1804.
From the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate, 31 March 1954:
The Lord Mayor of Newcastle (Ald. Purdue) planted a tree yesterday with the air of a keen gardener. He turned the soil thoroughly and set it firmly around the stem of the tree. Ald. Purdue, with other aldermen and prominent citizens, planted a row of eight brush box seedlings along the centre strip of Tudor-street, between Parry street and Parkway-avenue. The planting was in commemoration of the Royal visit to Newcastle and the 150th anniversary of the founding of Newcastle.
In September 1954, the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate reported that the council …
Intended to have trees planted from the beginning of Tudor Street to Belford Street, and from there to Lambton Road, so there would be a continuous row of trees from Hunter Street to the Gully Line.
The March tree planting was to be a token until roadwork in Tudor Street had been completed.