The West End Advisory Group has cleverly cleaned up the appearance of the bins along Hunter Street by decorating them with a series of then and now style photographs.
The popularity of then and now photographs has increased since the advent of digital photography and social media apps such as Instagram, and this was seen by the project group as an ideal way to showcase some of Newcastle’s history to locals and visitors.
Each bin panel features an old black and white photograph of a building with some text about its historical significance, and the bin on which it’s installed is positioned near the relevant building. This way the viewer can easily see how the building appeared then and how it looks now.
The objectives of the project were to create interest, educate people about some of Newcastle’s historical landmarks, to generate community spirit and of course beautification of the bins.
Project Manager, Jan Lay, is a member of the West End Advisory Group and owner operator of Imprint, a design, copy and printing business located at 543 Hunter Street. Jan spent many hours, weeks and months visiting the local studies section of the City Library to source suitable historical photographs and learn the story behind each building.
A total of ten bins has been refreshed, starting at Union Street and stretching west to the old Museum building. Each panel is made from a matt laminated print mounted onto foam PVC making it easy to remove unwanted marks and graffiti.
The project has been well received with many people stopping to read a piece about old Newcastle on their way to a café or restaurant. Jan has observed that the further bins are to the East the more popular they are as there’s more people and places to meet.