In the afternoon after we had been to the sculptures we decided to do as the Visitors Centre advised and ‘take a walk around town and explore “our place” on foot’. This is truly an amazing town, although really now only a main street with a few diversions. Although not at its prime now the town is still very proud of what remains of the history and has displayed and told of the history in a fantastic way with a series of rusty steel figures reflecting just some of the folks who lived here long ago. We have found it really hard to decide which ones to put on the blog as they are all fantastic and tell a tale of the prosperity of the town now a little faded. There were 13 hotels and 3 breweries when the town was in its prime as well as newsagents, stores and a post office employing over 20 people.
As with all the areas we have seen so far water has played a role in the demise of the prosperity, either because they couldn’t sustain stock or as in Menzies because water was critical for the health of the people who worked here. In some of the information ‘food famine’ is mentioned as a reason for some people either leaving or dying. Gold was the reason for setting up the town and development of the railway, and of course as it became harder to obtain people moved on to other hopefully more successful places. We visited the cemetery on our tour and you can see from all the children and adults who died that it was not an easy life at all.
Our visit here has been a wonderful experience and if you are going through Menzies – stop. Now for our photos -
the first one bears a plaque: "How on earth do I STOP this infernal Machine" - Local Mining Warden, William Owen, test riding the first motorcycle in Menzies.
Next we just couldn't resist a poke a Local Government - apparently not too much has changed either!
This one, located outside the town hall says "oooooh - my head! But gawd, those councillors can go on and on and on and on ........" . A bored onlooker taking a break from the public gallery.
"Carry him carefully, young Joe Wright - the fever is enough for him to deal with .....: Matron Andrews, first nurse appointed to Menzies Hospital in 1895
And last, but the funniest of all - just to show the oldest profession went everywhere. the plaque accompanying this gem read :"Step inside, you handsome man - my sheets are clean and my price is keen ....." The Red Light Lady.
Off tomorrow to ......