St. John’s Anglican Church, Chewton
June 2, 2017

St. John’s is the only remaining church in Chewton still used as a place of worship. It is part of the Anglican Parish of Castlemaine. It is typical of a small country church.

Nothing fancy, as the stone slab for a back step demonstrates.

The church is set on a hill among gum trees and overlooks the township.

I like the coloured glass windows which give me the feeling of being inside a jewel box.

I like watching the play of light as the sun streams through the windows when…..

 

 

…………I attend the concerts held in the church in the afternoon of the last Sunday of the month during autumn and winter.

The concerts are informal affairs with local singers, poets and musicians donating their talents to help raise funds for the maintenance of the church.

The Castlemaine district is home to a wealth of makers of stringed and wind instruments. Here Michael Sweeney is about to play his lute. People with a keen eye will note that Michael who is left handed, has made a left handed lute.

Dave De Hugard is a well known folklorist and musician who has been collecting and researching Australian bush dance tunes for years. He is playing Australian old time dance tunes on his piano accordion and concertina.

Solway Nutting is playing Bach with her husband on violin and friend on keyboards in harpsichord mode.

With afternoon tea provided, the concerts are a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Chewton Sculptures
May 28, 2017

Richard Yates, sculptor, has been busy carving and whittling away since my previous post on this subject, as two more life size sculptures have been added to the Chewton streetscape.

Robert Penney, ‘Bread and Biscuit Baker, Confectioner and General Grocer’, stands ready to serve customers in his shop.

Robert who was born in Bath, England in 1848, accompanied his father to the Chewton goldfields in 1854. He established his bakery in the 1870s and operated the business until 1923. Robert and his wife, Ann Maria, had 10 children.

The yellow tins of Barnes Castlemaine Rock are still sold today.

The building with the peeling white paint housed Robert Penney’s bakery.

Outside the Chewton Senior Citizens Centre, Alice Dennis waves cheerily to passers-by.

Alice, 1923 – 2004, was one of those community stalwarts who help to make small communities function.

She started early, raising funds for the war effort during World War 2. Together with her 4 sisters, they formed a dance troupe, The McLennan Sisters, who performed through out local communities.

The sculpture honours Alice as a Life Time Member of the Chewton Senior Citizens. She served on many local committees including the Chewton Primary School’s Mothers Club.

The containers Alice is holding are a reminder of her famous baked treats.

The Senior Citizens Centre is a former Sunday School.

I was interested to read in the local press that the sculptures created by Richard Yates have attracted some controversy. There are local regulations relating to preserving Chewton’s historic streetscape. These sculptures of Chewton identities are seen by some as being at odds with those bylaws.

Andersons’ Mill Festival, Smeaton
April 9, 2017

Unlike today which is cold and wet, Sunday, the 2nd of April was cool and dry – a good day to attend the Anderson’s Mill Food, Wine and Music Festival in Smeaton.

Situated in a valley on the banks of Birch’s Creek, the Mill is hidden from view by those travelling along the Creswick Smeaton Road. The 5 storey blue stone building with its iron water wheel was built by the Anderson brothers in 1861. The brothers arrived on the goldfields from Scotland in 1851 and were successful as diggers. They went on to become saw millers supplying the gold industry and built the Mill to take advantage of the local agricultural and population boom.

The Anderson family operated the Mill for almost 100 years until it closed in 1959. The Mill remained empty until it was purchased by the Victorian State Government in 1987 when restoration work began. The Mill is currently listed on the National Estates Register of the Australian Heritage Commission.

The Anderson’s Mill Festival is very much a local community event with Parks Victoria and organisations such as the Hepburn Shire Council and Newlyn Football/Netball Club working together.

 

On the day of the Festival, the ground and first floors of the Mill were open to the public.

 

 

This is the top of the water wheel as seen from the first floor………

……..and this is the wheel at ground level. The wheel was operating on the day although it was not driving anything.

The remains of the grind stones. The Mill processed wheat for flour and also processed oats in an oven.

Most of the Mill’s machinery was sold for scrap when it closed.

 

The wood chop demonstration was impressive to watch – not for the faint hearted.

 

 

 

 

 

This colourful steam engine was worth a second look………

………as was this lovely Clydesdale.

 

 

Down and Out
December 21, 2016

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Back in March, some friends and I travelled to Malmsbury on a drawing expedition. I made two drawings that day – one of the Malmsbury Botanic Gardens and this one.

One of my friends likes to draw derelict buildings and these abandoned structures were ideal subjects. Situated beside the Old Calder Highway, they look very forlorn.

I used wax crayon in this drawing.

The Gold Coast
August 14, 2016

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I am guessing that not many posts about the Gold Coast commence with a photograph of the bronze head of this man, Peter J. Lacey, who was an Australian Surf Life Saving Champion from 1963 to 1984 and also, a Gold Coast business pioneer whose interests included real estate and development. This man encapsulates two main aspects of the Gold Coast – beach culture and a love of high rise apartments.

The Gold Coast which stretches south of Brisbane in Queensland to the New South Wales border is one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations. Early in August, I visited family who now live there having moved from Castlemaine to be closer to their daughter and medical facilities.

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In September 2015, I was holidaying in the historic fishing village of Port Fairy – what a contrast to the bustling, high rise, urban development of the Gold Coast!

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I admired these sculptures in the Broadwater parklands. The seagull kept an eye on me but had no intention of moving from its vantage point.

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I sent a text to my cousin saying I would meet her near the big horse in Victoria Park, Broadbeach.

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My cousin took me to the botanic gardens where my aunt volunteers. I liked the mosaic highlights on this statue.

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I loved this mosaic panel at the centre of the sensory garden.

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My cousin also took me on a day trip to O’Reillys in Lamington National Park. The sculpture commemorates the rescue of the survivors of an aeroplane crash by Bernard O’Reilly in February 1937.

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This photograph gives an idea of the subtropical rainforest which Bernard O’ Reilly and other rescuers had to navigate to reach the site of the plane crash.

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Alpacas are irresistible. My cousin’s children relished the opportunity to feed them.

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The alpacas had this magnificent view whilst they munched.

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I couldn’t ignore this dramatic skyscape dwarfing the high rise.

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The Streets of Port Fairy
March 1, 2016

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My visit to Port Fairy in September 2015 has generated a number of posts. There were so many things begging to be photographed.

The centre of town is dominated by the bluestone square tower of the Anglican church. There are other churches in town but this one makes the biggest statement because of its size and location.

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The photograph of the Anglican church was taken from the front of the Methodist church.

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It took a little while before people discovered the advantages of a verandah.

This is the old customs house.

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Susan, you might recognise this knocker from one of your posts. Only this one is on the front door of an old inn on the other side of the world.

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Port Fairy In Words
November 11, 2015

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This plaque was the genesis of a series of photographs taken when I was holidaying in Port Fairy in September. The notable historic buildings have similar plaques attached to their walls or fences. This sparked my interest in other signs on buildings or structures in the town. Below is a photograph of the historic Methodist Church.

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Some of the plaques have weathered quite a bit unlike the bluestone former courthouse. I didn’t need to read the plaque to know the original purpose of the building as its design is typical of courthouses.

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An apothecaries hall was a first for me. The building which is now a private home, bears an image of a pestle and mortar.

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The Lecture Hall was another first for me. Inside were beautiful examples of pressed metal and painted cherubs.

The plaque on the wall said:

Lecture Hall

1881 – 1882

Land grant 1864

to Belfast Temperance and Philharmonic Society

(Port Fairy was known as Belfast for some years)

The building is still in use as a lecture hall. I attended a lecture given by Clive Blazey, one of the founders of The Diggers Club, as part of the Port Fairy Festival of Words.

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In front of the Lecture Hall is an area of new bluestone paving.

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Perhaps the Russell Clarke reserve was a place Grandma Jean liked to frequent.

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This sign had a sternly serious tone…………

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………….whilst these were light hearted.

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Charcoal Drawing: State School No: 1124, Muckleford South
June 16, 2014

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I have been wanting to draw this gem of a building for some time.

I decided yesterday, Sunday, was an ideal opportunity to fulfil this ambition.

It was a bitterly cold day so I was glad I could park the car directly in front of the old school and use it as my cosy studio whilst Katie snoozed on the back seat.

The school was built in 1871 of local sandstone rubble and red brick with a corrugated iron roof. The school had a single classroom and was typical of its era. It was built to serve the needs of a more densely populated rural district due to the gold rushes and people taking up small holdings.

The building ceased being used as a school in 1941 when it became a public hall. The school room had a single fireplace to provide heating and the blackboards have been retained.

I wonder when the corrugated iron annex with its own chimney was added (not shown in the drawing). Who on earth decided that was a good idea?

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