Heading south on the A1, the main highway around the country.coal on it's way to the export port
That's enough science, let's have some history.
This is not a pleasant ride. It's hot. There's lots of traffic. There are limited overtaking opportunities. There are roadworks to stop at. Did I say it was hot? After only about 45 minutes I took a break in the sun opposite the Raglan Tavern. Tavern? tempting, but there where actually things to do this afternoon.
But, fear not, this is actually a (short) road to somewhere.
Years ago, many years ago, more years than I realized, I used to live down this way. So, this is a little trip down Memory Lane.
The railway line. See the pylons holding up the wires - I marked out their position. Back in about '86, I walked this line with an engineering plan, a bag of wooden pegs, a tape measure & a marker pen marking the position of the pylons. Then I would go back and change them because the engineers had either given me the wrong plan or changed their minds. After the hole was drilled, the formwork was in place and the bolts/reinforcing rods hung, I would go back & check that it was the correct one in the correct place. Exciting, not, but it paid very well.I did (some of) that
Turn left at Mt Larcom onto the Gladstone Mt Larcom Road. Wanna guess where I'm going? Yep, Gladstone. A port & industrial city. That I moved to, in '77. With my family - I was in my first year of high school.
I had thought I would make a video of my tour - to show my family, not you. It was quite interesting, in a personal way. But I didn't actually turn the camera on. But, fortunately, I found this out before leaving so I could do some of it again. But this time I didn't plug the microphone in properly. Destiny! Anyway, here are a few stills from the video.the old port
Down there, in the garden, used to be where we would abseil down the cliff, back when you could just turn up and do it. We had proper ropes tied to proper rocks - or was it trees? lengths of seat-belt webbing to tie into a harness, a couple of carabiners to hold it all together and some gardening gloves to run the rope through. It was an awesome time!no more abseiling then
There was a movie theatre in town, just the one, but it did have a red/maroon velour/velvet entrance, with canvas hammocks for sitting and a wooden floor for rolling empty drink bottles & jaffas down (I didn't, as I sat near the front). I remember seeing the first Star Wars movie there.goneschool - lots of new buildings, and a few old memories
Do you remember when Pizza Hut was a hut? The stand-alone building marked a sense of occasion, where you could eat inside, rather than a characterless shopfront for just collecting. Well, it was over there. But I don't think we ever went. I do remember not wanting to eat pizza as it was just too weird. Seriously! I've got over that.progress
My old streethouse looks the same, I wonder if they still have the brown carpet, it wouldn't have worn out
Ah, the things you remember. A couple of weeks into the new school year I crashed my bike at the bottom of this hill - it's a hard right, hard left & another hard right, but I didn't even make the first one this time. I woke up in the ambulance with concussion, a broken collar bone and a couple of weeks off school to watch the cricket on tv. So not all bad then!ouch
Just down the road from here was the take-away shop that had, wait for it, pinball machines AND computer games. But I couldn't go there, I just wasn't tough enough - some of the boys even had ear-rings and smoked.too cool for me
And now for another look-out. But this one used not to actually be a lookout. It was just a big hill with a communications (?) tower and a washed-out dirt track for access. So we would go up there in the old Land Rover, bouncing left & right, spitting rocks, in & out of drainage channels. It was great. And no permission required. But today it's a bitumen road that isn't even open.more fun back in the day
And the Land Rover, a series 11a my father says, but I remember it as a series 3, was great for going to the drive-in movies too - plenty of space for deck chairs. But that's gone too.gone, no more drive in movies
Time for one last photo - the old scout hut. Well, this is where it was.gone too
That'll do for the history, I would have done more if I hadn't messed up the camera and wasted an hour as there is lots more to see - the ten pin bowling alley, skate rink, the supermarket where I had my first job, the alumina refinery & aluminium smelter, the beach (the other spot for fish and chips in the park by the beach like we did in the old days), the car dealer which had a Lamborghini Muira on display, the tennis club where I didn't go to school disco's (yes, they were called "discos" then), the soccer (ok, football then) fields that have been taken over by the airport...
Hey, did your Dad ever make the joke about the cemetery being in the very middle of town?the dead centre of town
On the far right are the 3 smoke stacks of the power station.off to Calliope