We all love Peel Street - unless we are looking for a parking spot!
Some "old-stagers" may remember that we actually had two Peel Streets, until 1936 when the West Tamworth version, originally on the separate AA Company town side of the river, changed its name to Bridge Street.
Surveyor Thomas Mitchell had planned Marius and Darling as our main streets, but gradually Peel Street became etched in stone as the main thoroughfare. The easier availability of water from backyard wells was a factor. Another was that the original river crossing, co-incidentally adjacent to our new Jewry Street bridge construction, led to the bush track running parallel to the river right through to today's King George Avenue, then the main road to Armidale.
James White, on temporary suspension from the AA Company, opened the first store in 1835 on the eastern "Government side", approximately adjacent to today's Joe Maguire's Hotel. It also served as our first Inn and later our first Post Office, now long since gone. In the same vicinity, the original CBD, is the oldest surviving building in Peel Street, being Munro's Mill (1863). Nearby was the first of three Cohen & Levy Store sites. The current PCYC incorporates part of our second Courthouse (1861), with the first "National" Public School (1855) and second Town Hall (1896) both nearby on the site of today's Community Centre, together with the Power Station (1888). Our second hospital was located nearby opposite today's skate-park.
With water flowing down from rain on the Wentworth Mounds above the town, low sections of Peel Street became swampy and boggy, particularly around the Peel/Brisbane Street corner, where there was a small lagoon frequented by ducks.
Soon after the first Town Plan, Roderick Mitchell presided over the first government land sales in Peel Street in 1850, the blocks between Brisbane and Bourke going for between 5 pounds and 30 pounds.
With water flowing down from rain on the Wentworth Mounds above the town, low sections of Peel Street became swampy and boggy, particularly around the Peel/Brisbane Street corner, where there was a small lagoon frequented by ducks. It took some time before landfill and drainage was fully effected. When a sewer main was being laid at the nearby Treloar Lane in 1929, the top of an old fence was found nearly four metres below the street level. Today's high gutters along Brisbane to Darling Street are a remnant of these early drainage problems. Peel Street became known locally as "Mud Street", with occasionally bullock teams being bogged. In 1860 three butchers were fined for allowing their pigs to roam in Peel Street, which was not uncommon also for goats, cattle and horses in the early days.
The impressive Royal Standard Brewery (1879) was also at the far end of Peel Street, where Spotlight is now located, running back to Brewery Lane. With Paradise Gardens (1877) formed at the opposite end of Peel Street, local beer drinkers can now rejoice that Tamworth was the only town whose main street started with a Brewery and ended in Paradise!