The challenge this week is to share some of the attractions of ones home town and play Travel Guide. Our town is tiny – hamlet might be a better word for it – but we do have a lovely old Hall, recently upgraded with nice new toilets and a storeroom, which houses a collection of photos of district pioneers.
I was walking down that dusty road this afternoon when I noticed that the neighbours were out and about at the bottom of the lane. There were two kookaburras also, but by the time I’d hurried home and back with a camera, there was only one.
For seven long years we were without a shop, and had to remember what we needed in Ararat, or do without. Now we have it back, and it has transformed into a cafe with excellent coffee and above average food. The deck was built several years ago, and I for one have been waiting (as patiently as possible…) for the Saturday morning when I could walk a couple of blocks for coffee and the paper out there, overlooking the oval and the passing traffic.
Science tells us that coffee taken before exercise is a good thing, and if you are going to the Gramps, obviously you’ll be taking a walk or two, maybe climbing some rocks. So, if you are on your way through here to Halls Gap and the Grampians, I advise you to stop at our shop (Moyston General Store) and enjoy a leisurely coffee first, for your own good.
Time for reflecting this week – and once again the week is running away from me.
Our lounge room is quite small, so a collection of mirrors hangs above the fireplace to make it seem bigger and brighter – lots of reflections there!
Our local Hall has been upgraded recently – nice new toilets, better kitchen facilities, all-abilities access. The fine old floor in the main Hall had a makeover, too, with a light sand and refinishing that brings up the colour and makes the floor glow. We are looking forward to dancing on it!
All the old photos were taken down and stored during the upgrade – now the Committee is faced with the task of putting them all back up. The collage of photos of local men and women who served in World War 2 is a subject for reflection of another kind. All these people went off into the unknown to defend the freedoms we take for granted. Fortunately most of them survived and made it back home. I had the pleasure of getting to know some of them, including Cpl Chris Wilton, whose brother lived across the road from us when we moved here over 32 years ago.
The prompt for the Weekly Photography Challenge this time is “Local”, which I took as something nearby to home, although there’s a long tradition of The Local being The Local Pub. Our tiny hamlet doesn’t have a pub, although it did for many years. It had closed before we came here (over 30 years ago) and the building burnt down one night when it was a private home. So, no local pub! But we do have our local Hall, which has served the community as a gathering, meeting, party venue for over a century.
We had a celebration for the centenary in 2014, which is when I took these photos. I and another photographer spent some time taking photos of interesting details – like the hand-made “Exit” sign – some of which were used in a book of the Hall’s history. The pictures on the wall are of Moyston pioneers, some of the people who settled the district in the late nineteenth century.The other two photos are from the book launch and the afternoon tea that followed.
Right now, the Hall is undergoing a much need upgrade – that brick bit in the corner is the old toilets. They were a vast improvement on the original pan toilet (ie a metal bucket placed under a wooden seat in a tiny shed, no lights), but 40 or 50 years later, they were inaccessible for some and just tired for everyone else. It took some effort and several applications, but we gained State Government funding and early next year, the Moyston Hall will reopen with lovely new accessible toilets, improved storage, restored historic stage and dressing rooms, and all abilities access via a new frontage on the supper room – which is what that cement truck and attendant workers are doing this morning.
We are all looking forward to our new improved local hall!