Everything old is viewed again

FUELLED by the power of Facebook, a popular new page is allowing locals to take a nostalgic look back at Tamworth’s history through the foggy lens of time.

UP THE RIVER: Raft races on the Peel, like this one from yesteryear, hold a special place in the heart of locals, according to a new Facebook page.

UP THE RIVER: Raft races on the Peel, like this one from yesteryear, hold a special place in the heart of locals, according to a new Facebook page.

The Facebook page “Tamworth Memories” has attracted more than 5000 members and hundreds of posts in a matter of days.

From favourite concerts of yesteryear to schoolyard memories and even long-gone milk bars, the page traverses the social and pop-culture history of Tamworth over the decades.

Among the most popular posts are memories of the old Tamworth drive-in, Jack the Slasher retail store and Lillyman’s soft drinks.

Owner of Tamworth’s Forget Me Not Marketing Min McDonald, who manages more than 30 social media accounts for local businesses, said the page highlighted the greatest strength of social media.

“You hear a lot of negative things around social media but this is a perfect example of how wonderful it can be,” Ms McDonald said.

“It gives people a chance to reconnect, be a bit nostalgic and to share ideas.

“It really helps build communities and connections.”

Former Tamworth woman and now Newcastle resident and grandmum Gwenda Darling was alerted to the page when her mother’s shop, the old Bissett’s Shop on the corner of Church and Gipps streets, was mentioned among memories of corner shops and even cafes and Facebookers sprang to order to list their favourites.

“It’s just become huge, when I joined there were about 300 people, now there’s over 5000 and it’s quite intriguing to see so many younger people bringing up things we grew up with and remember so vividly,” she said.

“But the really good thing I like about this page is that everybody has been so positive, there’s no mean or nasty stuff anywhere, it really is healthy and positive and just good.”

Lecturer in media studies at UNE Cate Dowd said Facebook used a sophisticated approach to targeting new members of a page.

“Facebook and browser searches can track information about user behaviour, generally using algorithms and search patterns,” she said. 

“From this they then makes suggestions which users see at the edges of their Facebook pages. People increasingly notice these ‘suggestions’ and are quite likely to recognise someone they know.”

Historical news reports and stories that provoke memories and nostalgia are also big reader hits when it comes to The Leader’s published pages and online galleries.

The long running Visions columns that feature old photos and images of times and people gone by have always been a popular read and generate plenty of orders for old photographs and contributions from readers. 

Lately, NDL website galleries of people and faces at play, including football, kids games and school days from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, created thousands of page hits and views and a lot of online chatter as social media users recognised young/old faces and alerted others.

Some of Tamworth’s fondest memories:

* Jack the Slasher

* INXS playing at Tamworth Town Hall

* Diving boards at the town pool

* Tamworth drive-in/going to the look-out after the drive-in

* Roller Rabbit at Skatehaven

* Lillyman’s soft drink

* Original Kmart plaza

* The Peel River Raft Race

* Coca-Cola yo-yo competitions at Coledale Store

* Dominos nightclub

Source: Tamworth Memories Facebook page

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