RARE ITEM FINALLY FOUND
TO SOME they’re an oldschool tool used to navigate through unknown streets.
For Tregear resident Michael Cartwright, old street directories capture a moment in history.
One particular street directory eluded his collection for 30 years until the latest notice he placed in the The Daily Telegraph just before Christmas received the response he was after.
“An older man from the south coast had the directory I was after – the 5th Edition of Gregory’s Street Directory for Newcastle (NSW) 1965 – and sent it to me,” Mr Cartwright said.
“It is great; it’s like getting the missing piece to a puzzle.
“It’s like starting to watch a television show when you’ve missed the first three or four parts, I just wanted to know what happened.”
Mr Cartwright estimates he has collected thousands of Gregory’s Street Directories since the publications first took his interest in 1974.
But the space they take up has seen him narrow down his focus.
“I prefer to collect those for Newcastle, Wollongong and Canberra because they are always growing but not like the city,” Mr Cartwright said. “I used to collect street directories for Sydney but they don’t interest me as much.”
Despite the navigational collection, the 56-year-old doesn’t drive.
“I’m also a Greens but I also like new development,” he said. “I can’t explain it.”
Mr Cartwright said his other passions included music by Johnny O’Keefe, writing and creating his own maps and towns. “There is so much garbage on TV, I need to be creative,” he said.
Michael Cartwright with a copy of the prized 1965 Newcastle street directory.