Friday, 17 May 2019

Mount Isa to Richmond

After Mount Isa we backtracked to Cloncurry, which we had just driven straight through earlier.  This time we would have a bit of a look around.

Cloncurry is a much older town than Mount Isa, being established in the 1860s.

The Post Office Hotel looks rather substantial and replaces an earlier building that burnt down in 1932.

The old council chambers are overshadowed by a shiny new gallery, library and civic centre to the left of the picture.

The CWA building looks nice and tidy.  It was used as a hostel for expectant mothers in its early days.  What a wonderful service that must have been for women from outlying areas.

There are two museums in town.  The first is John Flynn Place which is all about the history of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Inland Mission and, to a certain extent, the School of the Air.

The Reverend John Flynn established the RFDS, wanting to create a "Mantle of Safety" for those who lived in the remote parts of Australia.  The RFDS was established in Cloncurry in 1927.

There was information about the early planes and how they could reach the patients.

The Dodge Ute is the same as the one that John Flynn drove around the outback.  They had to be well prepared and a bush mechanic to boot.

This is what the early medical kits issued to stations looked like.

It helped if you could explain to the doctor where it hurt.  They still use this diagram now.

Traeger invented the pedal radio, which was an incredible breakthrough in outback communications.  He travelled around installing these and their aerials for many years.

There is also an art gallery named in honour of Fred McKay.  He was also a pastor for the Inland Mission.  I remember hearing him talking to Macca on Australia All Over in the 1990s.

There were a few quilts.  This one by Helen Godden.

This signature table cloth was made in 1913.

This one to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Cloncurry in 2017.

And this one for the centenary of federation in 2001.

The second museum is more general.

They have Robert O'Hara Burke's water bottle.

This is a tree marked by Burke and Wills that used to be just outside the site of Cloncurry.

They had a well laid out display of sewing bits and bobs.

The railway ambulance was used from the late 1940s to the late 1960s,

This contraption was used to roll corrugated iron.

As we travelled east from Cloncurry we noticed many creek crossings had evidence of flood debris from the incredible flooding in February.

Some was very high in the trees.  There were also some cattle carcasses in the paddocks.  There were a huge number of stock drowned in the exceptional floods.

We had lunch at the free camp at Julia Creek.  This town was one of the worst affected by the February floods. We noticed that Blaze Aid were still signing up volunteers to assist with repairing fences and other works still required in the aftermath of the floods.

Despite the recent floods the pasture in this area is browning off.

The railway runs beside the road and there has been a lot of remedial work carried out.  Very necessary, as much of the product from the Mount Isa Mine is railed to Townsville.

The weather was quite warm and of course, our air con in the ute decided it doesn't want to work.  A little disappointing in a vehicle just over a year old.  We'll get it sorted when we get home.  Meanwhile we will go the old fashioned way with the windows wound down.  At least we don't have sticky vinyl seats.

Our destination for the night was Richmond to stay for a couple of nights.


Jenny said...

Like you, I'm always excited to see quilts when we travel. Helen Godden is a big name in the quilting world, isn't she? The latest town looks so empty of traffic, big wide streets but no cars.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Lovely quilts and interesting exploration around town. How are the roads heading east....any damage or in good order?

kiwikid said...

Interesting to learn the history of places Janice. People in the outback must have felt very isolated early days. Great to see the quilts andnthe sewing bits and bobs. Great to see the old buildings.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Wonderful history has come out of Cloncurry, thank you for expanding on it. Those half dolls! There is an Australian children’s book called The Half Dolls which was my Blossom’s favourite when she was young. Safe travels! Wonderful to catch up on Saturday. xx