All the boat ramps around the Clarence and Richmond Rivers display this very serious warning. Between Yamba and Evans Head is a Defense Force bombing range. The bombers fly from Amberley Air Base near Ipswich.
Yeah I know I have cheated but X is a hard letter to match to a picture.
The terrible weather a few weeks ago caused major erosion on Whiting Beach at Yamba. The Council have been busy trying to shore it up as the water/erosion is now threatening the road to Turners Beach.
Two weeks before Christmas, at the height of WW2, a party of Boy Scouts sailed across the Clarence River for Susan Island opposite the Grafton CBD. On the return journey a series of events resulted in the drowning deaths of 13 young boys. It is hard to recount the events of this tragedy, if you would like to read more click here for Peter Langston's poignant yet damning article.
Nine of the graves are located in the centre of the Old South Grafton Cemetery, high on the hill and away from the river in which they drowned. There is also a small memorial in the Boulevard Gardens overlooking the site of the catastrophe.
Completed in 1885 and designed by Colonial architect James Barnet, the Lismore Courthouse ticks all the boxes in the Classic Revival/Italianate Style. To the west sits the 'new' Courthouse built in 1983. It's style mimics the original and also ticks all the boxes of the Post-Modernist style.
It is easy to be critical of the new addition on grounds of unoriginality but then we would have to lay the same charges against Barnet, so therefore I find both buildings guilty of theft but hand down a suspended sentence on the grounds of simplicity and beauty.
This is a replica of the original Yamba Lighthouse. It houses the local community radio station 2TLC. Work on building the replica began in 1989 but was never quite finished. Over the last 2 years a huge effort has been put in to finish it. Those involved should be very proud of their efforts.
Here is the original that was built in 1879 and pulled down in 1957. I cannot be sure but it looks like a Carl Ehlers photograph.
Armidale Post & Telegraph Office was designed by colonial architect James Barnet in 1880. In 1897 the Queen Anne style loggia was added by the NSW Government Architect W.L Vernon. It is a true gem in the Beardy St Mall. The Arts & Crafts lettering on the dutch style gable is beautiful.
Popular Yamba retro lolly shop and cafe, Sweet Vintage, has packed up it's jars of old fashioned sweets, laminex tables, juke box and closed down. It will be sadly missed by lovers of red licorice, caramel butters and milkshakes in anodised cups. Sweet tooths will now have to make a trek to the Chocolate Box in Maclean.
On a personal note I will miss the lifesize Betty Boop that has graced the main street footpath for many years.
Last weekend a severe weather system brought havoc to Yamba with torrential rain, high winds and a cyclonic ocean swell. The Yamba Surf Club, one of Australia's oldest, was struck by an enormous freak wave that caused a great deal of damage, the caretaker is lucky to be alive. To read more about it click here.
Main Beach is in a sorry state with 3 feet of sand missing after the storms. There is lots of shingle on the beach which is a very rare. If we can have some calm weather and seas, the golden sand will return.
There is a delightful exhibition currently showing at the Grafton Regional Gallery. Lesley Apps and Simon Hughes have compiled a photographic essay on Clarence Valley houses from the 1950's, 60's and 70's. The 67 photos include Housing Commission bungalows to vast brick mansions and everything else in between. There is also a small but interesting display of typical household items from each decade.
Something that does standout is how many houses are built using Want's cream bricks, the commons from the local brick works. It does give the houses from these decades a real sense of being local and creates a regional vernacular.
After yesterdays post I thought I would show you the headquarters of Espresso Botero in Maclean. They have a fantastic cafe and shop attached to their coffee roasting factory. To read more about this flourishing local business click here.
They have also recently introduced a range of teas. Jilly's Tea is named after one of the owners.
The Lachlan Valley Railway has been in Grafton for a few days as part of a month on the North Coast of NSW. The LVR is based in Cowra and their Manchester made Beyer-Peacock steam engine is a real beauty.
It doesn't matter how young or old you are, everyone loves a steam train!
This sculpture is entitled Furcula 2011 by Cass Samms. You can find it on the rocks next to Turners Beach in Yamba. I discovered that a furcula is the scientific name for the wishbone that you find in birds.
The bronze has quickly developed a nice patina in the sea air. What I like most is how they reused concrete floor of an old 1950's picnic shelter as a platform for the piece.
This row of impressive marble monuments in the Old Uralla General Cemetery belong to the Blanch family. They must have been at least middle class to afford these impressive tombstones. They are only a few metres from the cemeteries most notorious resident, Captain Thunderbolt.
I wonder who used to write these little epitaphs. Did the monumental mason have a book that you looked through and then select the appropriate piece? Did families sit down and write them? I like Elizabeth's epitaph, the term 'beautiful throng' is a lovely piece of imagery.
Meet Delias nigrina, the Common Jezebel Butterfly. On they outside it is vividly coloured but when it's wings open it's a different story.
In flight it is a crazy mix of white, black, red and yellow that has an almost strobe like effect, it does not look graceful but clumsy.
I wonder whether it's all a brilliant survival strategy against predators; maybe it should be called the Clever Jezebel.
On the 9th of February 1954 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip arrived in Lismore for an overnight stay, no surprises it was raining!
The Royal couple were put up at the Gollan Hotel. I wonder if Phil had a schooner of Grafton Lager in the corner bar while Betty sipped a dry gin in the Ladies Lounge.
Of course a civic reception was held with the old mayor weighed down in his robes (it was almost certainly a typically stinking hot summers day) and the proud big bossomed mayoress in a dowdy frock, however, the young couple certainly looked happy to be there in front of so many loyal subjects.
Not long after Betty and Phil left town a cyclone struck and the Wilsons River burst it banks and inundated the city, perhaps an example of 'pathetic fallacy'. A distinct memory of locals was Royal Visit bunting still up flapping about in the breeze above the turgid brown flood waters. Lismore had traveled from frenzied joy to bitter despair in just a few short weeks.
There has been comment over the last few weeks how very few celebrations, civic projects and memorials have been planned for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee on the throne of Great Britain, (and Australia). One article in the Sydney Morning Herald compared what the then colony of New South Wales did in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's 60 years on the throne.
They mentioned a number of marble drinking fountains that were erected across the colony. As luck would have it I walked past one in Lismore it just the other day.
I wonder if Queen Elizabeth took a refreshing sip from her Great Grand-mama's marble bubbler when she visited Lismore in 1954. More on that tomorrow.
There are few more tranquil places in the Clarence Valley than the isolated village of Sandon River. In the cooler winter months you will often have the beach and waves to yourself. In the background is Plover Island which I blogged about recently.