Flooding in High St Coffs Harbour in February, 1953.
Flooding in High St Coffs Harbour in February, 1953. Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

Headlines in history: 1950s

AS Coffs Harbour came of age as a town in the 1950s, we saw growth, development, floods and a visit from an Olympic Golden girl.

The year that was 1952

- The Advocate reported that the new Woolworths store, which had opened in May, "at times was so crowded that it was almost impossible to move and shopping was carried out under the most uncomfortable conditions”.

- The 1952 Coffs Harbour Show was deemed a huge success, with a front-page Advocate article claiming that "long-time residents of the district who have been at every Coffs Harbour Show for the past 35 years, unanimously agreed that the 1952 show was easily the best on record”.

- Four thousand Coffs Coast locals lined High St in August to catch a glimpse of former Coffs Harbour resident Marjorie Jackson, who had won gold at the recent Olympic Games in Helsinki.

- In August, a report stated that 3542 aircraft had used the Coffs Harbour Airport, which had catered to more than 20,000 people.

The year that was 1953

- 1953 saw the establishment of a Coffs Harbour branch of the Salvation Army.

- The Advocate announced that High St resident Corporal Francis Mackay had been awarded the Military Medal for his actions in Korea. He had been wounded in Korea just weeks earlier.

- T.B. Timms & Sons' Timmsvale Mill was ravaged by fire in February. A total of 24,000 super feet of kiln-dried timber was destroyed in the blaze.

- Coffs Harbour's seafood industry was booming in 1953. The Advocate reported a haul of more than 20,000 pounds of sea mullet by K.T. Richardson and his crew.

- A total of 66,180 cases of bananas were distributed in one week in March.

- Coffs Harbour Golf Club officially opened its new clubhouse in May.

- Five lions escaped from a van after it had collided with a train. An elephant that had been pulling the van also escaped. Armed citizens roamed the town in search of the escaped animals, found on Jetty Beach. The elephant died of its injuries.

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