Farmers, Artists and Miners

Brickendon – a World Heritage Listed Colonial Farm Village is in Longford, just down the road from where we were staying. Click on the link to learn about this amazing place and the history of the Archer family. It was settled in 1824 by William Archer, and the farm has been run and lived on by seven generations of his direct descendents. There are currently three generations still living in the beautiful old homestead.  We spent a good few hours wandering around exploring the site and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. An unexpected find was meeting a lady who works there but who spent her childhood living in Hilton around the corner from where Jude and her family lived. Christine and Jude had a great time chatting about people and places in common and it would appear her brother was in some of Jude’s classes at school.

Yet another town with UK connections is Sheffield and it is in the Kentish Council area. Talk about feeling like you were travelling through England!  Sheffield, Tasmania is known for the murals which are painted on the side walls of most of the buildings throughout the town.

There is also an international mural painting competition which has been held since 2003.  “Mural Fest, a mural painting competition held in Sheffield since 2003, sees nine artists engaged in a public paint off, over six and a half days. Each artist must complete a 4800mm x 2100mm mural, all using the same poem as their mural’s central theme and concept. Each year a poem is selected from the ‘Poem Competition’ to be used as the artists’ inspiration.”  

There is so much to see in and around Sheffield, such as Devils Gate Dam, Mount Roland and Lake Barrington to name just a few. Call into the Visitor Information Centre.  Talk to the lovely, chatty, informative ladies – you will go in as a stranger and leave feeling you have made new friends!

For those of you from our home state of WA, you may know Beaconsfield is a medium sized suburb just out of Fremantle and the area where Jude went to high school. But here in Tasmania, Beaconsfield is a town, a town with a history of gold, wealth and survival.

The town began its early life as ‘Brandy Creek’ because of the colour of the water in the creek where the gold was originally discovered. It was renamed Beaconsfield, after Lord Beaconsfield, the then Prime Minister of the UK.

Gold was first discovered in Beaconsfield in 1847.  At the peak of the gold rush 700 men were employed in the gold mine and 26 tonne of gold was recovered.

It is the survival part that put Beaconsfield on the global radar back in 2006.  Ten years ago (Anzac Day,25th April) two miners were trapped one kilometre underground for 14 days after a dramatic rock fall. Tragically a third man was killed in the rock fall. The Beaconsfield gold mining operations finally ended with the closure of the mine in June 2012.

The history, the mine buildings and the story of the rescue are now within the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre and if in the area, we would thoroughly recommend a visit. However don’t leave it too long to visit as some recent news may change what is available to view – “There are concerns a 35-metre sinkhole could form at the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania’s north, swallowing the mine’s iconic headframe and part of its heritage museum. Cracks were discovered at the mine yard in July and part of the concrete yard has since collapsed by more than one metre. West Tamar Council General Manager Rolph Vos said recent rainfall had liquidised the underground soils which were pouring down the shaft.”Those clays and sands have become wet to the point that they are moving,” he said.”As those soils disappear, it has a resulting effect in the soils above and ultimately at the surface level.”We’re advised that it will collapse, it’ll take down the winder frame, it’ll take down the sky frame.”
“It will result in a crater that they estimate to be approximately 35 metres across.” ABC News, 12th October 2016.

One thought on “Farmers, Artists and Miners”

  1. Your travels continue to be awesome and I can see why so many stunning books etc are created of this amazing earth on which we live. We are coming to an end of our New Zealand trip also with stunning scenery only to be more gobsmacked by photos our 78 year old cousin showed us of her Nepal trip only 3 years ago !!

    Liked by 1 person

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