Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Warm fire

We settled on the rather unpromising looking place over the road from the Royal. Pleasant to warm up by the fire.

In light of some of the questions about the closed shop the other day I thought I would add some commentary here about country towns. While we were sitting by the fire I overhead a conversation about where the local people shopped ... Mudgee or Bathurst. These regional cities are each 60-70kms away in opposite directions so they could take their pick but apparently the Mudgee trip involves dirt road.

Now not so long ago, country people stuck exclusively to their own town. All the facilities they required were within the town but that is no longer the case, the banks moved out, the goverment facilities moved out, the hospital closes, the grocery shop is no longer viable because people travel to the big towns to do their business and shop there, the kids have to go elsewhere for jobs, the churches empty and slowly but surely the fabric of a town shuts down. Some, like Hill End have an interesting history and a quaintness that lets them turn to tourism as a lifeline. Others just fade away.

Tourism attracts arts and craftspeople so a form of renewal begins. Also with the connected society of today it's now possible to work remotely and hold down some types of 'city' job in the country. Perhaps we are going to see a new era for country towns.


  1. Such a warm and cosy winter collage!
    I enjoyed readind what you wrote about abandoned cities. Life is a constant change.

  2. Although I was born in the Sydney suburb of Hornsby, I grew up in Denman in the Upper Hunter Valley. At that time it had a population of just over 800 souls. It is sad to see places like that wither and die. However, with the advent of the computer, as you say, maybe there is change on the wind. Thus far, people seem mostly attracted to the seaside, but that is not for me.

    The images here, JE, are wonderfully warm and reflective.

  3. These are wonderful pictures and they capture a "feel good mood"... in fact I like the whole abandoned building "series"...

  4. The town where I was raised started to go into the doldrums as described but has become quite vibrant again ... the land was cheap and attracted "blockies" which in turn rejuvenated the community. 'Twas a terrible shock to the locals some 30 years ago when "strangers" started moving in but in the end it was the pulse of new life.