It is the only shop for 160 kms between Grafton and Glen Innes. It sells all the essentials one needs in life; petrol, ice, beer, fishing hooks, hamburgers, milk, newspapers, bottled gas, lollies, ice creams and toilet paper. You can buy a stamp and post a letter. It even has an ATM these days!
In the mid 1930's the Department of Main Roads (DMR) decided that rather than reconstruct the road to Glen Innes ( see posts on Old Glen Innes Road/Dalmorton) an entire new route would be built. It took another thirty years for this project to be realised. In October 1961 the new bridge over the Mann River at Jackadgery opened.
An original DMR map showing the old and new routes between Grafton and Glen Innes.
An old photo of the official signpost detailing specifications in imperial measurements and currency.
Here are the remains of the old low level Jackadgery bridge, replaced by a new flood free bridge when the Gywdir Highway was built in the early 1960's. I have a personal connection to these old concrete piers. My grandfather, Stephen Conroy Bellamy, built them with a Jack Eaves in the 1930's.
In those far off days everything would've been done by hand and it must have been very hard work. At least they didn't have to go far for the river shingle to mix with the cement.
Steve learnt how to build bridges in the Great Depression on the massive Grafton Bridge project, it would've been his 108th birthday a few weeks ago.
Jackadgery is a very small village on main road to Glen Innes, Highway 38 Gwydir Highway, about 45 minutes west of Grafton. We will be visiting this locale all this week on Clarence Valley Today. Here is an image of the Mann River with the bridge in the background, Jackadgery's raison d'être in the 21st century. More on the bridge tomorrow.
Angourie is famous for its freshwater pools which are only metres from the saltwater surf. The Green and Blue Pools have an interesting history which I will do at another time. The focus today is the 'rite of passage' by the local youth in jumping and diving off the cliffs. Yes there have been accidents over the years but for the thousands and thousands of people who have done it over the decades, it seems minimal. However, I'm sure they will try and stop it one day.
It is known by many names, yarn bombing, urban knitting, guerilla knitting etc. It has become popular in Grafton over the last few weeks. Here is a Flame Tree in Skinner St South Grafton with its new attached art.
It sits forlornly in a Yamba park going from no-where to no-where. What was once a good idea now seems an embarrassment for a once noble and useful structure. It's riddled with termites and now sheathed in garish orange construction netting; rank weeds grow through its boards. What will become of the old Palmer's Island Bridge (1925-1986)? Moved into Yamba in 1988 and in a comatose state since the early years of the new century!
The South Grafton Common is low swampy land that acts as a giant reservoir when we have downpours. After yesterdays gales and rain the Common is a sheet of water and now home to thousands of feeding birds.
I am always reminded of S. T.Coleridge's poem when I visit Ebor Falls.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
South Grafton's main street contains some lovely historic buildings. My favourite is the closest with its Art Nouveau cement mouldings, blue glass and wooden shingles. At this time of the afternoon it is a very quiet and laid back place.