Monday, April 20, 2015

20 April - A Ride Back in Time (Old Gippstown)

I guess it's a human trait to travel afar to see things which are sometimes just under our noses. About 30km from my house is a cultural park called Old Gippstown. Over the past few decades countless dedicated volunteers have struggled valiantly to find, collect and preserve artefacts which are a vivid reminder of Gippsland's history. For the past 20 years I have driven past the place countless times without ever stopping for a visit, and today I thought I'd combine a short motorbike ride (on the Beemer) with a nostalgic adventure and hopefully, an opportunity to capture a few nice images. As always you can click or double click (depending on browser) on the images to enlarge them.

When I arrived, I thought it was closed as there was no-one else in sight but I was able to walk straight in and had the place to myself. What greeted me was a collection of old buildings and sheds, transported here from all over the region and these in turn housed furniture, farm equipment, steam engines and just about everything you would associate with country life a hundred years ago.

There were steam engines everywhere and when you consider what it would take to get one of these ready for work to clear the bush or plough a field, you gain some appreciation of the hardiness of our ancestors.


The other striking feature greets you when you enter old houses. They are so small that life must have been very cramped.



One building which particularly fascinated me was an old coach house which provided meals and beds for people travelling to Gippsland via the Cobb and Co coach company. The whole building, bar, dining room and bedroom would fit in my family room.
One of the most evocative exhibits was an old schoolroom complete with desks and blackboard and open fire place. I sat in classrooms like this and I suddenly felt the smells and sounds coming back to me.
Many of the other buildings, such as this old bank have been restored internally to look as they did back in the 1800's.
One very pleasant surprise was the photographic museum I found in another old building. It housed hundreds of items of photographic equipment collected and donated by people from all over the region. I particularly found this scene of the old enlargers quite moving. In my younger days I spent many a happy evening processing black and white images with equipment like this.
I will return to have a more leisurely look at the place in the near future. It was a fascinating day and only a short ride away.




Total Distance 70km

7 comments:

  1. Wow theo that is a step back in time isn't it.

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  2. It certainly is - well worth a visit next time you ride in Gippsland

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  3. Dang cool! Such places and their collections are essential: Through them, history is accessible, something we can more easily relate to. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Beautiful photos. Such a nice contrast of the black and white and color photos.

    That first photo is my favorite. The combination of red truck and the lines on the flooring. Simply beautiful.

    What a great place to stop and wander.

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    1. Thanks, I was quite thrilled with my 'catch'

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  5. Theo it's true how we can live somewhere and fail to visit a place that tourists surely will.

    That bit of long gone history so well preserved is really very interesting.

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    1. Since visiting this place I am now determined to plan my future rides to visit all the 'tourist' features in my region.

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