Sunday, November 25, 2012

A grand day out (in full)

Luke and I headed north for a day trip to the central Victorian town of Maldon yesterday. Neither of us had been before, but I'd heard it still retained many original buildings from its glory days during the gold rush of the mid-1800s. Since we liked Clunes and I was quite taken with Castlemaine, chances were good that we'd like Maldon too.

And we did. Very much so. Like Clunes and Castlemaine, Maldon is a picture of rustic charm. It sounds like a real estate agent cliche, but that really does describe it perfectly. There's old buildings, flaking paint, rusting iron roofs, lovely old verandahs, and many beautifully restored old cottages and grander homes.  The National Trust has described Maldon as having "the most intact historic streetscape in Victoria". (Incidentally, Maldon is almost exactly the centre of the state of Victoria.)  

Main Street with old Studebaker. I think there was a vintage
 car show on because we saw a lot of cool old cars about town

Also Main Street

 Main Street again

 A closer view of the Phoenix Buildings facade 

 Templeton Street. Maldon is old sign heaven. Everywhere
 I looked...Ooh! Old sign! Ooh, another old sign! 

I'm going to do a separate post with the old signs because there's too many to squeeze into this post (and it's nearly 11.00pm and I'm tired)

This was the first one I saw, on an old produce store. 
The sign just above the red door says 'corn crushing'

Scotch Pie House! We had lunch at the nearby bakery which 
has a Scottish wood-fired oven. There must be a connection

This is the back of the croquet clubhouse

Stupid cars. If I had to choose a superpower, it would be to 
render vehicles, powerlines and rubbish bins invisible

Flying saucer clouds!

We visited the town's small, but quite impressive museum, where we were attended to by an older gentleman who was endearingly passionate about the history of his town.  The book above - Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book and Household Guide - caught my eye for two reasons: one, because I find these old housekeeping books hilariously archaic; and two, because it was published by the eccentric E W Cole, of Cole's Book Arcade fame.   Unfortunately, it was locked in a glass cabinet so I couldn't leaf through it. 


This pine tree in Maldon's compact, but enticingly shady, public garden was propagated from a seed from the Lone Pine at Gallipoli. It was presented to the Maldon RSL in 1983 in memory of Major Alexander Steele, who served in World War 1, so I think the seed was taken from Lone Pine well after WWI.  

Maldon has one of the most - if not the most - impressive
 public schools I have ever seen 

Before heading home we drove to the top of nearby Mt Tarrengower and climbed the poppet-head lookout. Yes, that's what it's called. Poppet-head! Here's what it looks like. 

It was sunny and quite hot when we got to Maldon, but the clouds moved in while we were there, which made the view more picturesque. 

 Overlooking Maldon

You can just see Cairn Curran Reservoir in the middle,
and the Grampians on the horizon

We saw this dilapidated cottage and sheds on the way in to Maldon and stopped to take photos on the way home. I was half-expecting someone to come out and tell us to go away, especially as the faded sign near the front gate said Private property. Keep out, but no one did.  Phew.

Give me an old shed among the gumtrees...

With lots of rusty things... 
After we got back to Melbourne, we headed off to my friend Bertie's place for a scrumptious roast dinner and a glass or two of bubbly. Bertie has a new job and Lauren, another friend from my old work, recently got engaged, so champagne was definitely in order. It was a fun night to end a long day. Luke and I were very happy to crawl into bed when we got home.

Speaking of sleep, it's nearly midnight now so I'd better post this and go to bed. Apologies for typos and poor formatting. I'll fix that later.  

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