There is something great about being a kid, climbing fences, sitting on fences, walking on fences -- a delightful agility and freedom. And kids love the show. Most country towns have a show ground. Not much happens there other than once a year for the annual show. Take a ringside seat, we'll be checking out the action at the Rylstone-Kandos show over the new few days. I know I did Bathurst show just a year ago in this blog but I was keen to check out what the show in my new locale was like.
It's a typical country town from top to bottom -- One of several local cafes, I think it is the courthouse and police station you can see reflected in the window Guns and ammo shop which is near the hardware store, newsagent. and a bank. The vet which beside a lolly shop Butcher and baker which are near the supermarket, You can see one of the hotels in the background of the bottom shot. The shire hall and old school of arts (now a Guide Hall) are next door to the Memorial Hall I showed you the other day The CWA is in the show ground. We're going to the show next. I don't yet have photos of the stone churches and some of the rather interesting homes in this town.
The newer buildings use cement from nearby Kandos and brick. Like every country town there is a war memorial built after the awful devastation of World War 1. This hall soon become a hub of the social life of the town. It is also used as the pavilion for the rural show as it borders the show ground. We went to the show recently, photos of that coming up later.
Here is the old post office which like so many post offices these days is not a post office. One half seems to be a private residence and the other side is a real estate agent. Rylstone began as a rural centre in the early 1800s. In the 1870s and 1880s substantial stone civic, commercial and religious buildings were built. These give the town its special character. Today the entire business district is classified as a Heritage Conservation Zone.
I am going to take you on a tour of Rylstone. A pretty little town with lots of great examples of historic buildings. I have been a little reluctant to start this series because my photographs don't do it justice. Perhaps before the series ends I will have collected better examples. Today I am also starting a new bush walk over at Blue Mountains Journal.
Royal Hotel, Singleton Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton Two more Royals for the collection. I am sure there are more in the little towns in this area so I will be back one day to show you more but for the moment our exploration of this area ends here. As we head towards Newcastle the countryside becomes increasingly citylike which does not appeal to my photographic muse. This is also time to announce that I am opening up my Royal Collection to guest submissions. I will be posting a contribution from Julie soon. If you come across a Royal send me a snap and I will include it in the gallery.
And the other thing this area is famous for is coal ... lots and lots of coal production can be seen from the road. I have written of the coal mining that occurs in the Western Coalfield on our drive to Clandulla but here in the Hunter coal mining is even greater. I did a bit of research on the coal fields and this is what I found on the NSW Mineral Council's site. The Hunter coalfield is the largest coal-producing region in NSW, currently concentrated around the Singleton and Muswellbrook districts. It produces the bulk of thermal coal for NSW’s electricity generation needs as well as for export markets. The Hunter coal seams are mostly at shallow depths of less than 300 metres, enabling cost effective multi-seam, open cut mining operations. The Western coalfield extends from near Lithgow to Rylstone, producing mostly thermal coal for local coal-fired power stations and cement manufacture with small quantities exported. Whilst mining has been undertaken in this region for
Lovely rural land around here. The Hunter River Valley is known for its rich produce of wine, olives, cheese and other crops. Horses, sheep and cattle graze on irrigated pastures. This is up market farming.
Then we roll into the town of Denman ... a place of great note because it is the town of fellow blogger Julie's childhood and has a new Royal Hotel to add to the collection, one of the smartest ones we've seen.
Soon we see the drive is winding along with a river. We have been passing through Goulburn River National Park on the left and Wollemi National Park on the right. I have previously shown photos in the Goulburn River National Park entering from the Mudgee side.