Evening walk through the village

Walking down the deserted main street one evening with a friend visiting for the first time, ‘In Dreams’ by Roy Orbison comes floating out from the pub… the line between past and present in this village can blur at times like this…

road through the village

gum trees on the outskirts

You’d never know that this had been such a big town; there’s a lot of space between the old miners’ cottages now. The pubs, oyster bars and opium dens have fallen down, been burnt, abandoned. But in a way this allows the town to breath- it’s not all bunched up tight like other country towns. Plenty of grassy spaces for the kangaroos to graze on.

the General Store

There’s always some tourists around, but it doesn’t seem like a ‘ tourist town’. Not everything is signposted – there are still some things you can discover for yourself.

the letterpress/cafe

interior of one of the historic cottages

There is information about; little plaques next to historic mounds of bricks and holes in the ground. And signs with reproductions of paintings of famous Australian artists who came to the village in the 40s and 50s. You can look from the representation to the reality, filtered through the artist’s eye.

Nuns Picnic by Jeffrey Smart

the church from the painting

Opposite the pub is a rusting German machine gun- a reminder of Australia’s very high casualty rate in the first World War. You see these memorials in so many country towns. Reading the list of names of the men who died from the village, there’s sometimes 2 or 3 with the same surname, brothers, listed as among the ‘fallen’. Often killed by the same type of German machine gun, dead before they hit the ground, described by their companions as seeming to fall.

the captured WW1 German machine gun

sweet scented lavender outside of one of the cottages

Heading back to the old schoolmasters house, night coming on quickly – the sudden thump of the kangaroos by the side of the path bringing you straight back to the here and now – & into the magic night!


4 Responses to “Evening walk through the village”

  1. Can’t believe you’re showing a german machine gun and then the amazing pictures with the kangaroos. What a great shot of them…. hope you are well x

  2. Annemarie says:

    You’ve captured the colours of the landscape beautifully. I love the rust and ochre shades in the trees, the sky, the earth and the old roofs.