Campbelltown City celebrates 50th anniversary and rail milestone

SPECIAL PUBLICATION

Campbelltown City is marking two milestones in May 2018. Take a walk down memory lane, flick through the pages of this special publication, and celebrate Campbelltown's proclamation day and the electrification of the rail line.

Campbelltown City is marking two milestones in May 2018. Take a walk down memory lane, flick through the pages of this special publication, and celebrate Campbelltown's proclamation day and the electrification of the rail line.

Five decades ago the people of Campbelltown were gearing up in their thousands to celebrate the new city’s coming of age.

On May 4, 1968, Campbelltown was proclaimed a city and people came from far and wide to mark the milestone - which was teamed with another significant event.

While historians recount that the city’s proclamation generated much excitement, it was the introduction of the electric train system to the now named South Line which was eagerly anticipated.

Those were the days when Campbelltown was still quite small, it was more of a community where everybody knew each other and they all participated in events, even the school children attended.

Kay Hayes

Kay Hayes, president of the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society, explains that the Campbelltown of the 1960s was vastly different to the burgeoning city of today.

“Those were the days when Campbelltown was still quite small, it was more of a community where everybody knew each other and they all participated in events, even the school children attended. There was a totally different feel to the town compared to what we have now,” Ms Hayes said.

“So, the events of the day, on May 4, caused great enthusiasm and much excitement.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT: News of the city's proclamation was proudly announced in the Campbelltown Ingleburn News (which was to later become the Campbelltown Advertiser).

READ ALL ABOUT IT: News of the city's proclamation was proudly announced in the Campbelltown Ingleburn News (which was to later become the Campbelltown Advertiser).

Share some memories and celebrations in this special publication, Campbelltown City celebrates 50 years.

It seemed everyone in Campbelltown and the region had decided to spend the mild autumn day celebrating the dual events, with historians estimating as many as 20,000 people began to pour into town from the early morning - parking out Queen Street and the surrounding side streets.

Though it was a Saturday, they put on their Sunday best and crowded the railway precinct to witness  the first official electric train pull into the revamped station at around 12.15pm.

On board was Mayor, Alderman Clive Tregear and special guests who had boarded the train at 11.45am at Glenfield for the historic trip to Campbelltown Station.

RED RATTLER: Electrification was pencilled in for Campbelltown, not so much for passengers, but to better haul coal from the Glenlee coal mine, just outside Campbelltown, to Rozelle to be loaded onto ships. Photo: Australian Railway Historical Society Museum.

RED RATTLER: Electrification was pencilled in for Campbelltown, not so much for passengers, but to better haul coal from the Glenlee coal mine, just outside Campbelltown, to Rozelle to be loaded onto ships. Photo: Australian Railway Historical Society Museum.

After the speeches at the station and unveiling of the plaque by the NSW Minister of Transport Milton Morris, dignitaries gathered at the Civic Centre for a formal lunch.

NOW AND THEN: Above, crowds flocked to Campbelltown Railway Station for the official arrival of the first electric train on May 4, 1968. Below, a modern Campbelltown station. Photos: Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society.

NOW AND THEN: Above, crowds flocked to Campbelltown Railway Station for the official arrival of the first electric train on May 4, 1968. Below, a modern Campbelltown station. Photos: Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society.

Meanwhile, mums and dads - with excited children by their side or atop their shoulders - community groups, girl guides, scouts, and school students, were all preparing for a pageant (now referred to as a parade) scheduled to flow down Queen Street. People, up to 15 deep, lined the route of the pageant along Queen Street, between Broughton and Allman streets.

After the pageant the crowd split – one half packed Mawson Park to enjoy the attractions of the day, while others attended the City Proclamation at the Civic Centre.

This story On track to celebrate a city’s coming of age first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.