Monday, August 2, 2010


n an overcast Saturday morning, my old friend Geoff and I set off in his silver V6 Accord.
Our first leg of the journey was to Maryborough where I was born and did most of my schooling.

Maryborough calls itself the Heritage City and for good reason. Here we have the Town Hall.

The Post Office which is unusual in having a clock.

One of the two main streets on a Saturday afternoon when all the shops are shut. A shopping mall opened a few years ago and many downtown shops closed. In my time, the trees were not there and they have been a recent addition to help shade the street. Unfortunately they also are damaging building foundations.

Half way up the street (Kent St) you may notice a gap with three columns. There used to be some shops there and we found out what happened to them. Apparently, one of the shops was being used as a tattoo parlour which apparently annoyed the local bikie gang who told the owner to get out of town or they would kill him or burn down his shop. They didn't kill him but burned the shop along with it's neighbours. The bikies are now in jail. In my time there was a butcher and a small shop that sold cakes and pastries.

The cannon and guns that overlook the Mary River.
The cannon was made in England in 1887. Read here about the fears of Russian invasion in New Zealand which no doubt would have affected Australia as well. And here is another article about the fears of Russian invasion in Australia.
So when I kick the bucket, I am to be shoved up the barrel. Cremated first of course.
My friend, Geoff, in front of the band pavilion. The Maryborough Gardens are worthwhile visiting and this structure is still in use. When I was much younger and my hair was blond, I was once attacked by a magpie and had to take refuge in the bandstand.

The Mary River which was the prime reason for Maryborough's existence. Back when I lived there, the riverbank was lined with wharves. This is where the Black Death came to Maryborough in 1905 resulting in the death of a family and the two nurses who looked after them.

The memorial to the nurses. There is a book about the incident.

A wedding photographer was taking photos so I could not resist taking my version. I can't see the marriage doing very well based on this photo. The tree is small part of the large banyan tree below.
The tree has been a long time favourite with children who love to play in the nooks and crannies.
There is not too much left of the wharf area now. The timber came from nearby Fraser Island and is one of the world's hardest woods. For many years, saw mills were one of the main industries that supported the town.

The biggest employer was Walkers that built railway engines and also ships up to the size of a corvette that were launched in the river. This company, now known as EDI, is all that keeps the town going. If plans go ahead to sell off Queensland Rail, it is possible that the plant will close since a private company could buy their engines cheaper from China. This train would probably be used on the Brisbane suburban lines. The carriages are quiet, comfortable and air conditioned.
This is a replica of the first engine built at Walkers. They fire it up and give it an outing periodically.
On Sunday, one of the local brass bands gave a recital. To be honest, it wasn't that great, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. The city has a long tradition of brass bands, but I suspect there are only one or two left now. TV killed them off.

The model steam train group were out in force. The kids seemed to love it.
The band was raising money selling hamburgers, chips, pies and sausages. Typical country fare.
The Court House which overlooks the gardens and is one of the buildings in the historical area that is on the Heritage City Trail. Here is a bunch of photos of other interesting old buildings.

There are an incredible number of interesting buildings and facade in such a small area. Because of the lack of expansion in the town, these buildings managed to survive whereas in other cities, progress resulted in the destruction of their old buildings.

The town makes a big deal of P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, being born here. In fact her family left when she was three and if you read this interesting article, she was not particularly proud of being born in Australia.

The old flour mill with its gate. Here is a document from 1976 which on page 43 essentially recommended to close the mill.

Geoff is related to the Brennans of Brennan and Geraghty. This is a National Trust property and contains shop contents much as they were in the 1920's.

A restored house next door.
A house in poor condition, that of my piano teacher. The town is full of old houses, most in good or reasonable condition, but some really need a coat of paint.

Like the house I grew up in which hasn't seen a coat of paint since my parents moved to Brisbane at the end of 1967.

Inside the Town Hall. Since we lived two hundred yards away, my parents made sure we attended many concerts, plays and pretty well whatever was on offer there. It very much used to be the cultural centre of town until the new Brolga Theatre was built. It seems to be still in use and I saw a sign about yet another Gilbert and Sullivan production to be mounted.

, but you are welcome to look.

Sauers has closed. Newspaper article here. There is another Sauers that is run by one of the Sauers, but though the recipe is supposed to be the same, the taste is different and the pastry not as good.
High rise has come, down by the river across from the wharf area.
What replaced Boys. What a shame.
And finally, even the Gardenia has closed, the site of my first Cappuccino. Oh woe!


  1. I absolutely loved the "tour" of Australia! The photos are terrific--I felt like I was right there! I loved the musuems, the walks, Wombat Bend and well, just ALL of it. Great job! Thanks for sharing! Lydia

  2. Thanks for taking me on your trip! The architechture, the history, the land--What an amazing country!

  3. I found your picture of Mary Poppins on Google Images and wondered if it would be alright for me to use it in a Squidoo lensI am writing?

  4. I liked your blog post. I'll never visit that part of the world but if I did Maryborough would be on my list of places to see.