Sunday, 23 September 2012

The official visit to Queanbeyan

We realised to our shame that we had started to roam widely in our project of visiting every town in NSW without 'doing' our nearest town, Queanbeyan.  Of course I have blogged about the place before - for example see here and there - but that was before the project had been initiated.

So today we remedied that.  I had got two suggestions for historic walks from the city's Visitor Information Centre and decided to take the longer option, based on the original walk published some years ago and only available as a photocopy.  It was pretty good and I suggest the VIC should republish it.

We started off at Queen Elizabeth Park on the River, opposite Riverside Plaza.  The pool above the weir  is a well known haunt of feral Mallards.
The first place we viewed was Hibernia Lodge built in 1865.  The brick was hand made and 9" thick (the original typing here had it "9' thick"  which would not leave a lot of room indoors!).  It is listed by the National Trust and has obviously been well cared for.
 Nearby was this house, not on the official list but very interesting design!
The Western part of Antill St was more or less full of Motels.
We had wondered why:
  • Queanbeyan had so many motels; and
  • they seemed frequently all to  be full.
On questioning some school groups visiting the NGA it emerged they stayed in Queanbeyan as it cost a lot less there than in Canberra.  Presumably the high occupancy today reflected the first weekend of Floriade.

Moving along we came to this poor old (c1850) building.  We have always thought it a shame that no-one has done it up, with the nice ironwork (apparently from the old Royal Hotel).  My guess is that when purchased it will be flattened for business premises.
The City is well supplied with War memorials.  In sequence we have those for the Boer War, WWI and the rest.

There are also a few non-war related memorials around, commemorating local identities such as Farrer (developer of rust resistant wheat) and John Gale who was an advocate of the area near Queanbeyan as the National Capital.  His memorial is part of the HAPI Apostles project.  Although it is planned to have statues of all 12 eventually, I suspect the statue of Gale is the only one completed thus far.  Information is a little scarce and what is on the website does not inspire me to follow up!

The ACT is greatly opposed to circuses with animals in them.  As a result Queanbeyan gets a lot more circus entertainment, well patronised by the less touchy-feely elements of the ACT.  This one had done its last show the previous evening and was busy knocking down.
Although not covered in the official tour - and the Mayor is going to be hearing about that - a number of shops in the main drag have interesting rooflines.

 The library has moved to new premises with some literary ct-out works outside.  They are "Floating Pages" by Neil Dickinson.  As they were opened in August 2012 you are right at the edge of the Queanbeyan art secne!
 This is an old convent which has now been converted to an art gallery and various other purposes.  I am beginning to develop an interest in old convents, since they seem to be major buildings in many towns.  As far as we could see Mary McKillop didn't visit this one!
 This is a Ukranian Catholic Church with a magnificent camellia by the front door.
 Here is the standard view of Queanbeyan: a bunch of bland walk up apartments.  Hopefully this set of snaps shows there is a bit more to the place than that.
 On the way home we were thinking about the lovely weather and noticed that the fire signs have all gone up to High after many months on Low-moderate.  (Even in a downpour it is never zero.  The arrows are removed in Winter!)

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