That sounds a bit ominous, doesn't it. Never fear, it isn't.
"The End" is "Hill End's festival of arts, culture and heritage", according to their brochure.
On Thursday, I saw a little article in the local paper mentioning it, so when Mick got home from work I mentioned it to him. He then announced that he was scheduled to work on Saturday morning, but no worries, he called the fellow he was working for and told him he was going to Hill End instead. (No, he isn't a slack worker - anything but.) Fortunately the job was not time critical and can be done over the next couple of days.
So yesterday we hopped into the car again and headed to Hill End. It was another perfect day to be out and about.
Hill End is a historic mining village, about 90kms from Bathurst, which has been managed by the National Parks for many years. Over the last ten or so years it really has become a lovely and popular place to visit. We have camped one weekend and visited their annual open day on a couple of occasions. It is a very popular destination for artists, with Bathurst Art Gallery managing a couple of the old houses for their artist in residence programme. The countryside is steep, rugged and wild, which coupled with the legacy of the gold mining history creates a really interesting artistic subject.
Let's go for a quick stroll.
As you can see, Hill End is a little quirky as well as historic. We noticed lots of kangaroo dung around the place and then were somewhat amazed to see large roos just lounging around in the middle of town and even in some gardens. They are not the least little bit scared.
There was a makers market, with workshops scheduled during the day.
Next there was a row of providores.
We may have bought morning tea from these two lovely ladies.
Mmm, mmm. No, we didn't eat it all in one sitting. Some came home with us to be eaten today.
The main stage area had rustic seating and plenty of room to bring your own chair or picnic rug.
There were plenty of food and drink stalls, all provided by regional supplies.
We arrive nice and early, so were able to set ourselves up quite comfortably. Yes, we forgot the chairs, even after reminding ourselves while eating breakfast. We did remember the hats and sunscreen, which were both very much needed.
As the day progressed the area filled up nicely. It was such a relaxed day, good music and fun people watching.
I was rather taken with this lovely crocheted rug.
We'd watch some music, then go and get something to eat and drink. There were a variety of artists, with the biggest drawcard being "Smith and Jones" from Bathurst who are doing very well on the country charts. It's been great watching their progress from just small beginnings.
We tasted some goats cheese.......it was such a hard way to spend the day, but someone had to do it.
Mind you, you could have enjoyed the whole day for the price of your petrol if you brought a picnic with you. There was no entry fee.
It did become a bit much for this fellow.
Eventually, we decided that we'd better have a bit more of a wander before we headed home. Anyone familiar with Hill End will recognise this view looking down the street, it is on so many photos and paintings.
The hall looked nice and bright in the afternoon light. There was a concert held here on both Friday and Saturday nights.
The Gramaphone Man was amusing. He had old gramaphone records playing and he sang along and did some actions. Too silly. The two little girls got right into the swing of things with him.
Finally, as we were walking back to the car some of the roos were starting to become a bit more active. A reminder to keep an eye out for them on the drive home. No, we didn't see any.
We are so glad we went out for the day. This was the third year the event has run. Apparently, it is up in the air as to its future, as there was only initial funding for three years. We do hope it continues, as when they asked the audience, the majority had travelled from out of the area, so a great boost to the area's tourism. There may have been quite a few more from Bathurst come out if there had been more publicity, but there are so many competing events taking place a this time of year. There were two major events in Bathurst and another in Lithgow, all on this weekend.
If it does run again, we would look at taking our van out there and camping for a few days so that we could attend the evening performances, and take more time to have a wander around. Well done to the organisers.