Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Jerilderie Blogpost

All true Australians will recognise this title as a reference to a manifesto given orally by Ned Kelly to his associate, Joe Byrnes, in the course of a bank job at Jerilderie.  We visited there yesterday and this is the story of that trip.

We set off about 9am so the fog had lifted.   No problems getting to Bookham where a driver reviver was nu operation.  We didn't need more coffee, just to get rid of the stuff we'd already had.  
 On on down the Highway.

Just after Gundagai an ambulance came past us going in a serious manner.  We hoped that whatever it was attending was on the Albury road.  Wrong.  

It was difficult to work out how the car and van had ended up in this situation and at least one person in the car was in a neck brace being loaded into an Ambulance.

Refueled in Wagga and stopped in Collingulie to photograph the Memorial Hall.  
Here we turned off the Sturt Highway, heading for Lockhart, "the Verandah town".  Before we got there we saw the first example of Farm Art.  The title "Spirit of the Land" is given to an annual Farm Art competition in the town.
 I'll come back to the Farm Art later.  The next work, found in a park, is art by John Wood about farming as it memorialises 9 guys jailed as a result of an 1889 strike by shearers about pay and conditions.
 This is the 2010 Fram Art award winner "The Good Old Days" by Keith Simpson.
 2012 Winner "Bonnie Dog" by Stuart Taylor
 2008 Winner "Get around the back" by Stuart Spragg.
 This was one of the best examples of country pub we came across.
 Here is a fine set of verandahs!
Many of the pavers under the verandahs have images printed on them.  They seemed to celebrate local families.  I would say 'local identities', but the second word in that phrase word is often used in contexts such as "racing identities" to refer to ethically dodgy characters.
 This entrance way was not a war memorial but a memorial to the Pioneers of the area.
 This was the Memorial Hall in Lockhart which I am pretty sure was a War Memorial.
 The Urana Soldiers Memorial Hall surely is a War Memorial.
 We had hoped to check out Lake Urana for birding but couldn't find an access to see beyond the surrounding trees.  (From checking the hotspot in ebird it is possible one attacks from the North rather than the South where we were travelling.)

The roadside along the stretch from Urana to Jerilderie was well endowed with flowers.  This was the only place in the trip which was.

 I was also impressed with the girth of this grasshopper!
 On getting to Jerilderie we found the caravan park and set up the camper, experimenting with lashing the awning up on the roof.  This surely made the process a lot quicker than erecting all the frame for the awning.  Then off for a walk around the town.

The first sighting was this building which appears to be the haunt of the RSL, but is named the Jerilderie War Memorial Building.
We then got a hint that another War Memorial was in the offing (or that Jerilderie was about to declare something bad on Narranderah).
Fortunately it appears to be the former.
 That was set in a really attractive lakeside park, which also featured this 16m high windmeill.
 Adjacent to the park was a very interesting walk around Billabong Creek.  This scene epitomises Murray watercourses (muddy and beset with red Gums).

Yellow Rosellas were flying around in the gums.  In past visits to the Murray I have had trouble finding them but at Jerilderie they were everywhere.
 As I mentioned in the preamble to this post the town is famous for being the locale of Ned Kelly's letter.  This is the Post Office, although he didn't post it but handed it to someone who was supposed to publish it (but didn't - such is life).
The figure of Ned features prominently around the town, as well as in Sidney Nolan's paintings.  I'm fairly sure he didn't wear the suit of armour at Jerilderie, but it is, if you like, part of his brand!

Back at the caravan park there was a persuasive argument for turning off the lights in the dunnies.  (Of course, energy conservation would also work as a argument for me.)
 As well as annex-erection avoidance we also learnt how to use our camper stove  for the first time. Only for cooking tortellini, but definitely a bit more learning.

Awards time:

Bird of the Day: Yellow Rosella.  I suspect only likely on the trip at Hay or Balranald right at the end.
Bad taste of the Day: An astonishing array of statuary of animals (tigers, elephants, kangaroos), parrots and native Americans in a garden at Jerilderie
Art of the day: many contenders.but a sculpture of an ammonite in a gallery in Lockhart gets the gong.
Scene of the day:  Billabong Creek in Jerilderie.

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sandra h said...

there is an unmarked dirt road leading down to Lake Urana, off the Urana to Jerilderie road. I will explore it next time I have to go to Deniliquin (in about 4 weeks), but according to the Murrumbidgee Field Nats, the road, which I did identify last time I drove to Deni after searching for it via Google Earth, leads into the Lake Urana Reserve. sandra h

Flabmeister said...

Many thanks Sandra. With that knowledge I looked again at Google Earth and the most likely suspect appears to be a road about 5kms after the U-J road leaves the visible bit of the lake. That leads to an area approximately where the Ebird hotspot is located.