Posted by: Bruce | December 24, 2012

Wangi Wangi, Lake Macquarie: Brylcreem, standing room only and Death Race 2000.

Now here’s another thought or two on local matters. One not so serious, the other perhaps more so.

For those who catch buses, it’s no surprise that there aren’t very many bus stop shelters to dodge bad weather. Some school kids get to sit on verandahs’ of two homes that I know of, which have the bus stops’ in front of their home. The owners must be pretty easy going and perhaps sympathetic to the cause. I think the kids would be fairly happy they can.

Thus, the scene was set for some raised eyebrows around the end of October 2012, or very early November. I didn’t particularly note the date, just the hive of activity at a nearby bus stop on Dobell Drive near Wangi Workers Club, Wangi Bowling Club and the netball courts. There was plant of all types, a lot of noise, some workers busy and others watching; even some lolly pop signs to control traffic. This, I think, occurred over a few different days. For those not in the know (like me), it was all a mystery. Soon solved after the dust cleared by the appearance of a concrete slab where commuters wait for the buses. All conjecture led to the possiblility of a shelter at the bus stop. As the slab continued to sit, a few progress shots revealed a dab here and a dab there to improve things.

Brylcreem (a.k.a. chick magnet)My Dad would have called this the work of the Brylcreem Boys (a little dab’ll do ya). In his Sydney days this name was given to the road repair crews who dabbed bitumen in holes created after a lot of rain and traffic. For those who have never heard of Brylcreem I have included a video for a bit of time travel. As a bonus, this may help one or two with their love life.

Eventually, a bus stop shelter was erected the very day I had earlier photographed the new and improved seating on the slab ( Dec 14,’12 ). The Brylcreem boys dabbed fast and furiously apparently, then vanished. As at the date of this post, the shelter, looking pretty good in a minimalist kind of way, sadly doesn’t have seating. Standing room only.

Onto my second thought. We don’t seem to have any pedestrian crossings in this area. In particular, to me,  a good spot for a crossing is where the current pedestrian refuge is between Wangi Workers and Wangi Bowling clubs. I wrote to Lake Macquarie City Council last year and received a reply from the Traffic and Transportation Engineer (Sept 2011). In summary, the amount of road traffic and pedestrians don’t qualify this location. In addition, it said, if crossings are placed in such areas of low volume usage then the chances of an accident are increased. This is due to assumptions by a driver that no one will be on the crossing and, pedestrians tend to walk out as if they have complete immunity and right of way. They do in theory of course, but not in real life.

Now I guess statistics show this, but I feel a little offended. After all, the road rules say to slow down and be prepared to stop at pedestrian crossings. The rules didn’t say keep going if low usage. The refuge is perhaps better than nothing but I think they can give a false sense of security. If it’s not a crossing, a driver doesn’t have to stop. People of all ages and alcohol content use this place to cross and it’s pretty narrow. There really isn’t much room for error from either user. One trip and it’s all over. The risk at this spot increasing, I think, over the Christmas/New Year/ school holiday season now in swing.

If you are wondering about Calamity Jane’s car from Death Race 2000, here’s a video link to the 1975 cult movie. The first 90 secs or so will give a good idea of the film and my reason (even if a little obscure) for inclusion.

Words for today;    Brylcreem – the girls will all pursue ya

What a cool, cool ad. I’m off to get some now.

More to come;     same blog time, same blog channel.

Newsflash:   Sometime between 7.30am of Wed 20th Feb and 7.30am of Thursday 21st Feb, 2013, a bench seat in the bus shelter appeared. Doesn’t run the full length of the shelter but an improvement all the same.

Wangi Bus Shelter, with bench

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Responses

  1. Where I live, we had council elections recently. All the unfamiliar faces were out in force for weeks before the election. They’ve all crawled back under their rocks now that it’s all over.
    You’ve made your point about drivers being obliged to slow down, now make it to the council if you feel strongly enough about it. Councils count on us letting things rest. It being all too hard. Get a petition going. Keep up the pressure. And, good luck, Bruce.

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    • Hi Mary, I think you’re right about council’s liking problems to resolve themselves. The pedestian crossing report was puzzling but I will say the response from the council guy was factual not arrogant, if you know what I mean. It also appeared that he was the messenger, delivering policy concluded and implemented by higher beings in our world of rules and regulations. However, I did, and do take exception to the statistical based assumption that I, or others, would be carefree about crossings. I’ve never considered a low usage crossing less important than a busy one. In fact, I’d go the other way; on busy crossings, pedestrians tend to stand back! Anyway, as we know, something we see on TV must be true; so too must the conclusion of our road safety experts based on statistics (or just plain, smelly b/s) but I don’t agree with them. In the same vein our local council did recently decide that swimmers in Lake Macquarie don’t justify a netted area for protection against sharks. I might do a little checking on that. I don’t remember any questionnaire on this topic being included in our last rates notice. That, apparently, just went through with other mundane business. I have a little poll running on that question in the post on sharks. Thanks for commenting.

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      • Councils are useless. I seem to remember when it was an unpaid honour to serve. Or do I misremember?

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      • I’m guessing, but I think like a lot of other things, there are good and not so good councils. Some seem to do the job and others are sacked in total by the powers that be!

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  2. I remember those Brylcreem commercials all too well, followed just a few years later by a new hairstyle for men: “The wet head is dead!”

    Great photos of the bus stop. We have the same problem here with pedestrians, and when oblivious driver meets oblivious walker, it’s usually the car that wins.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Bruce.

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    • Hi Charles, yes the Brylcreem ads (thanks for remembering ‘wet heads’) also remind me of little white, or other colour, bits of fancy cloth draped from the top of lounge chairs around hair height. I guess that was to stop a Brylcreem head from oiling up the lounge material. I’ve never actually asked a woman if they would have liked running their fingers through oily hair, have you? No wonder ‘the wet head was dead’ and the guys became the hot, handsome and liberated, dry hair blowing in the wind types. The crossing pictured is a bit of a worry and as you say, the pedestrian loses whether at fault or not. The bus shelter still does not have a bench in it. Talk about minimalist.

      Thanks for the good wishes Charles. Happy New Year to you and your family as well.

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  3. ‘Brylcreem, a little dab will do ya, Brylcreem, you look so debonair, Brylcreem the girls will all pursue ya, dab a little Brylcreem in your hair.’

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    • Hi Mary. No doubt a catchy jingle. Are you able to comment as to whether women liked to run their fingers through oily hair? Thanks for visiting and setting the toe tapping jingle off in my head. Bruce

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  4. I can only comment on this woman – eeuw! Can’t get that Brylcreem (jingle) out of my head. 🙂

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    • Right. A no for you.

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