Saturday, 4 January 2014

Plugging a gap in the Lachlan

This is going to be about a gap in our coverage of the towns of the Lachlan valley.  I have previously posted about the Upper Lachlan and a series of posts (starting here) about further down the valley.  However these entertainments skipped the town of Young which is pretty much in the same area and today was:
  • the chance to plug the gap; and
  • get some of the famous cherries grown there.
As shown by the following two images the country is very dry.  Today, which peaked at 36oC according to the car thermometer wouldn't have helped!

Before getting to Young we found the settlement of Murringo.  The first indicator of a settlement was a large cemetery - far bigger than would be needed by the 20 or so residences currently evident.  Reading the linked website, the history of the settlement mention gold mining and bushranging as popular activities in the 19th century.

As the sign talked about it being 'historic' we kept an eye open for a War Memorial   Even though there wasn't an entry in the Register up popped this nice Hall.  (It was just past the junction where the Boorowa-Young road took a sharp turn, so easy to miss: the omission will be rectified.)  The plaques beside the door list 31 names, of which 7 were listed as 'The Heroic Dead': a death rate a little over 25%.
Across the road was this nicely restored building which is the workplace (and presumably home) of leather workers producing hats, whips and other goodies.
They had an artistic duck coop off to one side.
This residence had a sign indicating it was the Plough Inn from 1859.
On getting to Young we first swung into the Visitors Centre at the railway station.  Surprisingly I didn't take a photo of the station, but it seemed that passenger services were now provided by bus rather than train and the function of the station was to provide services to visitors.  (The rail line closed to everything in August 2009.

The area is marketing itself as the Hilltops foodie region so the services available included a rather good array of local wines which were available for purchase.  They were a little expensive (fair enough as they would be small scale activities) but I got a bottle of Trandari 2010 Shiraz which was one of the cheaper offerings there.  It has been subject to quality control since we got home, and proved to be rather good.

Just below the station was a major War Memorial.  This was dedicated in 1997 (I think) and thus not around when the recorders for the Register came though.  Another addition to the Register will be made.
The area around the Memorial was Anderson Park named after Lieutenant C G W Anderson VC MC whose story is told on a sign in the park.  As well as being a war hero he also served as the federal MP for a couple of spells on returning to Australia.

As I said the area is famous for cherries.  I don't think this sign was sponsored by the local pawnbroker!
A view over the town.
Apart from the generally interesting appearance of this set-up I was intrigued by it bearing a name plate "Ural".  That turned out to be the brand of the bike, which are made in the Ural Mountains in Russia.  The couple had been touring the West of the State for a week and were now heading back to Sydney.
This is the Shire Council Chambers, which used to be the site of the official War Memorial, and a statue of a digger in still included in facade.
Next door to the Chambers is a bakery, which proclaimed itself to have won a competition as the best bakery in NSW/ACT.  There may be some substance to this claim as the pepper steak pie I got was very tasty.  However the place was very chaotic and very noisy.  Also hot: when I emerged I commented to Frances that if you looked down from the 9th circle of the Inferno you'd see this place on the next floor down.  We also got a large quiche - too large for the box they provided - but that has not yet been tested.    Frances then carried said pastry for the rest of the walk: in hindsight I should have carried it back to the car rather than her schlepping it.

This imposing building was created as a Court House in 1884.  However it was only used infrequently as an older building in the centre of the town was more convenient for the punters.  Thus in 1926 it was provided to the Education Department and became a school - note the more typical school building off to the RHS.
This is the old building.  One can see why a Judge might see this as not befitting the dignity of that office (according to material I have read, similar thinking underpins the design of the High Court).
The Catholic Church - just round the corner from the school - was of appealing design but one could get into the nave for an internal snap.
Click on the next image to read the story of the unfortunate Lupton: the only person killed in the Lambing Flat riots..
When the nae of the town is an adjective some oxymorons can arise.
The riots concerned sentiment against the Chinese miners on the Goldfields and are now celebrated with a most excellent Tribute Chinese Gardens.   It was interesting to compare their approach with that of the Japanese Gardens at Cowra.  These win as they:

  • are free;
  • allow dogs; and 
  • have a lot of amenities in the surrounding gardens for locals to enjoy.

 A few images follow.

The lake was very popular with a small dog.  She initially jumped on to a rock just below water level but then found she couldn't get out and had to swim to an easier haul-out spot.   A Good Thing on a Hot Day.  The surrounding lawn then provided an excellent writhing spot.
I have a small birding project through Bird a Day and had hoped to see Superb Parrots as my bird for this day.  We had failed on that, but as we got out of the car at the gardens a Little Friarbird - much rarer in Canberra - hopped around in a nearby tree.
That became my bird until a Blue-faced Honeyeater flew by.

The cherry sales venue advertised in the official guide was 12k out of town whereas we had seen one advertised 2km off the road as we drove in.  As we headed there we were a little surprised to see a Mosque and Islamic Centre just off the road.  Quite a few cars parked outside as one might expect for 2pm on a Friday.  Cherry venue was operated by one Waseem Ali so obviously there is a strong Islamic culture in the area.  2Kgs of Cherries and one of apricots were acquired: both were slightly tested and are excellent.

We then poddled down the road home, pausing only to refill the Jetta with fuel in Yass.

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