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Friday, June 22, 2012

Stanthorpe visit...

Last Monday DH and I drove to Stanthorpe to 'catch up' with old friends and to visit an exhibition in the Stanthorpe Art Gallery. It's about a 3 hour drive to the south and west of Brisbane.

We stopped for a break in the city of Warwick. A friend of ours, Rod, is the rector of St Marks so we dropped in to the Rectory to say hello to Dianne and him and share a cuppa. They wanted to hear updates on our family and of course we wanted to hear what their 3 were doing :-).

St Mark's Warwick

The rectory

An intersection in Warwick

Then we headed off again to Stanthorpe. Here's a few photos of the main street...

The grand old Post Office building is being restored and renovated

One of the old pubs

My father had farmed (orchards and vineyards) in the area (Ballandean) with my godparents way back before I was born. My dad sold out his share of the farm and had moved to Brisbane in the late 1940s. I spent many holidays on the farm with my godparents; it was like a second home. My godparent's daughters are like sisters to me. Eventually in the late 1980s the farm was sold and split up into 4 parts.

One of the daughters met us at our motel and took us on a bit of a tour. We went out to Ballandean; we saw the old saw mill where the old wooden fruit boxes were made, the old building where the old telephone exchange was, the old station etc. Dorrie told us that many of the farms were being broken up or orchards are being pulled out as those varieties of fruit are no longer wanted by retailers. The area is changing from fruit growing to more diversified cropping.

She then took us to the Granite Ridge Winery which is on one of the parts of the original farm. The old house is on this part and the owner of the winery very kindly allowed us to wander up to have a closer look. We saw the old outside laundry, the old garage is there (it was for cars, trucks and tractors), the fuel pump, the workers' hut, the chookyard is empty,  the packing shed is visible but is on another's piece of land. So it was quite a trip down memory lane!

Inside part of the winery

Dorrie (Dorothy) and DH

Looking towards the cellar door building of Granite Ridge Winery

On Monday evening we all dined together, shared memories and the 'girls' got great delight going through my dad's old photos as well as photos I took when I was a teenager on school holidays there.

Dad's photos

On the Tuesday DH and I went to see the photographic exhibition, 'Echoes of Italian Voices' which depicted the influence of Italian settlers (like my dad and godparents) on the history of the area. I had a great time looking at the photos and reading all the captions.

Dorrie very generously gave me a copy of this book

Then later on Tuesday, it was time to head for home. The length of our stay was determined by our commitments. The next day, Wednesday, was to be a very busy day with 3 commitments!

The next photo was taken in a public toilet in Warwick...this was on the back of the door of the cubicle. So no 'rearranging of clothing' etc as you walk out! lol
Part of the highway heading home


Mary said...

That looked like a cute little town, nice trip. It's always good to see old friends. Haahaha public view.

bettsylyn (Lynda) said...

My family comes from Warwick and my Dad was baptised at St Mark's on Nov 8th 1930 ( I have the certificate) I must visit the Church some time. We love Ballendean too - we've stayed there so many times. I can recommend the Shiraz restaurant to you too)

Claud said...

I always enjoy your road trips. They make me feel like I'm part of them too. Glad you had a good time catching up with your friends. Hugs,

Lea White said...

It looks like you had a great trip!