Monday, 1 October 2012

Three interesting near Western towns

A friend needed a lift to Yass so we decided to oblige, as this gave us an opportunity to visit some of the towns just to the North-West of Yass.  There is some dispute whether we visited 3 towns or 4, since Harden and Murrumburrah seem to be slightly schizophrenic!

A late-emerging issue was to avoid the running of the sheep in Boorowa.  A similar event in Auckland for the Rugby World Cup was cancelled as it was considered inhumane (I could put in a number of insensitive comments here, but this blog is riddled with family values so I won't).  We merely wished to avoid the traffic chaos, rather than sharing the ideological (perhaps pathological) view of the New Zealanders about giving mutton a bit of exercise.  In the end we chose to start with Binalong and do the loop clockwise.
This is "pubs new and old".  The old one has been closed for some years but was owned by a Patterson so is referred to as Pattersons Old Pub.  Although the Banjo lived in Binalong I don't think the pub owner was a direct relative
This nice little garden is a War memorial at the centre of the town.
They have setup a Pioneer Park with all the awards they have won for Tidy Town competitions, and in the background is a mural.
The mural shown below links Banjo Patterson and the bushranger Flash Johnny Gilbert who was active in the area until killed nearby.  The former wrote a poem about the death of the latter.
Here is Gilbert's grave, about 1km out of town in what used to be the police paddock.

We then moved on to Harden Murrumburrah where one of the big points was the formation of the Australian Light Horse Regiment in the area.  These next images are from the official memorial.

A bit further up the street were some further examples of the adverts for Mother's Choice (these were first noticed in Yenda and Coolamon).
A Murrumburrah pub.
This is the Court House at Murrumburrah: almost exactly the same design as in Binalong and Boorowa!
An additional War Memorial at Murrumburrah.  The poplars are still there!
We then ascended the hill, passing by a horde of dachshunds (aka wiener dogs).  They were keen to discuss matters with Tammy, who as can be seen was keen to accommodate them.  At 6:1 I reckon she would have lost!  It was most amusing that as we moved along they ran inside the fence all barking furiously: the little one, on the right, got thoroughly trampled in this process.
The latest in my series of Convents in country towns in NSW.  This one has become secular, and is now a B&B.
This is the presbytery of the nearby Catholic Church.  A rather grand building, but I am unsure if the priest still lives there.
One of the old shops in the main street of the town.
We then went up the hill to the adjoining town of Harden.  Apparently Mullumburrah was created first and Harden followed, as it was easier to put the railway in that area.  These days the two merge seamlessly along the Burley Griffin Way.

This is the figure on top of the official War Memorial in Harden, outside the Memorial Pool.  A lot of interesting stuff is visible  about the kit of the soldiers, with of course the rifle reversed.
This memorial to the formation of the Light Horse was in Harden, close to the main memorial.  The rosemary was a nice touch.
A mural on the wall of the pool .  More sheep!
This Magpie took on the job of the wiener dogs (easier to spell than dachs...).  Tammy was equally happy to accommodate the bird which seemed a little surprised to get some fightback.
The Mechanics Institute in Harden.
We then rolled on to Boorowa where the Irish Woolfest was in the process of winding up.  The first building taken was the old Council chambers.

This memorial honours a resident of the area who died in the Boer War.
As we approached the main street the banners for the Woolfest became apparent.
There were a few sheep still present in the petting zoo.
I was surprised that there were no traces of sheep evident in the main street.  (A distant memory from my childhood is the phrase "After the Lord Mayor's Show" referring to an event in London UK where the pomp of a parade displaying the Lord Mayor's wealth is followed by a guy with a sack and a shovel clearing the hoss turds.   Presumably the adage in this area refers to someone with a dustpan and brush following the scampering sheep.)

Some decorative sheep were also in shop windows.

This one obviously needs a better diet.
The Boorowa pub.
Another courthouse  of very similar design.
The Council makes quite a fuss about Superb Parrots in the area, which is fair enough as they are native to the area,  They are spreading to Canberra where they are welcomed by birders, rather than being see as invasive pests.  The contrast with the reaction of many plant folk to the Cootamundra wattle is interesting.  The closest we saw to the parrot was this one on a sign.
The biggest War Memorial in Boorowa is very large.  Rather than show the whole building I have zoomed in on the interesting clock face showing the word ANZAC twice in place of the numbers.
The area is replete with much flowering canola.  It was made even more interesting by the green patterns where the farmers have wisely decide not to take their tractors and seed drills through watercourses.


Denis Wilson said...

Very fine post, and I am glad you were not stampeded by the Rogue Sheep of Boorowa.
I sense a book coming on, re Memorials of Rural NSW.
Interesting stuff - all of it.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Denis.

There is an excellent book about Australian War Memorials "Sacred Places" by K W Inglis. I am slowly reading it. I will have to put up a post about sources of materials at some stage in the near future.

It seems that research and documentation only really started in about 1980 and picked up steam in the 1990s.