I don't know if there are many people still around who can remember, but Garden Place was a totally different scene when I was young. I moved from Taupo to Hamilton in 1971 at age 17 to do a five-year apprenticeship. Garden Place was the place to be and was so much fun, no one was ever around at 2am in the city.
It was so different than the grim picture painted by the letter. You would drive into town about 7pm and the whole width of Garden Place would be filled with young people, all teenagers and I guess early 20s. You couldn't move without disturbing groups of friends dressed up and in full social interaction. It was a party atmosphere with lots of laughing and shrieking and showing off. It was a safe and happy place to rendezvous with your girlfriend and meet your mates.
Then you would walk down towards Woolies and all along there would be more young people arriving in town and all the Bikies parked. If you were lucky you could park your car along there too. It was not at all threatening and certainly not dangerous.
It seems that life was more innocent back then, there wasn't as much drinking and pubs closed early, life was different, plus there just weren't as many people around. The populations of our cities have exploded in the 40 years since. It's a shame that the joyful party Garden Place has been replaced by the bleakness of modern-life Garden Place
It would be nice to re-create those halcyon days, but I guess they're long gone now.
- (Live Matches)