Sunday, 6 April 2014

Majors Creek - I

Spent this afternoon in the magic village of Majors Creek and, for a little while, Elrington's Pub - researching the Clark Brothers and the Long Tailor.  In this place, an old mining town, the usual boundaries between the past and the present flicker.

Majors Creek cemetery
A little way from the town - absolute solitude.  The clouds came down to the mountains.

Near Nithdale, on the track between Majors Creek and Ballalaba
I spent a little time talking to the locals about their town.  Sounds a sweet place to live, or visit.

All around are signs of the rush.  The hotel is glorious in its age: patterned tin ceilings, a sign advising that guns need to be left with the bar keep, and a sign advertising the arrival of dancing girls from Sydney, and locals reminiscing about how the internal structure has morphed over time.

Here is a different compass: Braidwood close to the north, Cooma further away to the South, the fertile Araluen valley close by and the coast just over to the East.  And suddenly to hear those magic names spoken by people who use them everyday: Jinden, Ballalaba, Krawaree, Mourya, Jillamtong, Nithdale and Jerrabat Gully.  The accounts of the Clarke Brothers are still real here.

Now I need to find a stock horse to get me down to Jinden.

Peter Quinton
Palerang, April 2014

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