One of the highlights of driving around the bush is the amount of old vehicles & buildings that you see scattered around the countryside. All have had their day ... but I bet they all would have a tale or two to tell!
Bottle & Can House (Lightning Ridge) - This unique building is located up at Nettletons first shaft. What makes it a stand out is that it is made out of not only bottles, but steel beer cans as well. The cans & bottles were all held together by a rough mortar. I don't know if the house was ever finished, but by the looks of it, it wasn't. I don't know if the change to aluminium cans or liver failure was the cause of the non-completion, but at least some parts of it are still standing today!
FJ Holden Ute (Lightning Ridge) - How this old stager has managed to remain in the Ridge after all these years is truly remarkable. A fully restored FJ ute would fetch many, many thousands of dollars in today's market. I really do hope that the old girl does remain in situ as a reminder of the halcyon days of the past.
Old Service Station (Cumborah) - This old servo is located at Cumborah which is at the T - Section between Walgett, Lightning Ridge & Coocoran opal fields . The extensive use of corrugated iron is typical of these type of buildings out west. Notice in the foreground that someone once tried to beautify the area with a rock garden. However, the garden, like the servo has seen better days.
Mid 60's Commer Tipper (Lightning Ridge) - It may be hard to believe now, but the mighty Commer was once the mainstay of the Australian trucking industry, We imported thousands of this type of truck when the trucking industry was British to the bootstraps & bloody well proud of it! If you notice this model had the 'knocker' engine (see below) & not the Perkins diesel engine in it, a rare find in this vintage of Commer.
Rootes Diesel (Lightning Ridge) - The TS3 was 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine of 3.25 litre engine capacity developed 90 hp (67 kW), equivalent to contemporary 4-stroke diesel engines of more than twice the capacity. This engine was used in Commer trucks & was known as a 'knocker' due to its distinctive sound. The badge featured to the left would have to be worth a small fortune to collectors from the Mother Country.
Ford Tipper (Glengarry) - This is a pic of an old Ford tipper abandoned on the Glengarry opal fields. With the additional 'hungry boards' on the tipper body, I would assume that this truck would have always exceeded its axle weights ALL the time! Any info on the exact year & model would be most appreciated :)
Miners Cottage (Lightning Ridge) -This is a fine example of the type of miners cottages that used to be quite common around the Ridge, this one is heritage protected & is on Morilla St, entry is free. Usually these humble dwelling were made of corrugated iron & many just had earthen floors. These cottages are a long way from the McMansions of today.
Morris WE Tipper (Lightning Ridge) - The Morris tipper & its variants were the mainstay of many Australian local & shire councils throughout the 60's & 70's. These were great little trucks & a real pleasure to drive (showing my age here). Once again this little truck should be recognized & saved 'in situ' from any future treasure hunters. Even today, they still look cute!
Old Dwelling (Drake) - Unlike other old buildings I have placed on this site, this one isn't made of corrugated iron! However, it is an old timber structure from what I guess, was made in the 40's 0r 50's. It has now been deserted & left to the elements in the township of Drake, about 50klms east from Tenterfield. Gold was discovered in the Drake area in 1858 & proved a real bonus for Tenterfield. However, the gold mining days are long gone & when the strike faded so did the town of Drake.
Old Tractor (Lightning Ridge) -This old girl was spotted sitting forlornly along the Lorne Rd next to the 'Red Car Door' opal field road. She was fairly ratted for parts & I was unable to ascertain what make she was in the short time I had to investigate, however next time I'm in the Ridge, I'll do a proper forensic investigation, lol
General Store & Butcher Shop (Telegraph Point) - Located just 20klms north of Port Macquarie, just off the Pacific Hwy on the Wilson River is the sleepy little village of Telegraph Point. It is so named because in 1869 it was where the telegraph line crossed the river. Telegraph Point was also an important hub in the timber getting industry that flourished in the area in the late 19th century. In 1902 a bridge was completed that replaced the original punt & then that was replaced in 1974 by the current bridge. When the 'new' bridge was opened the road was diverted away from the town & as a result that would have caused an economic downturn that eventually closed many of the existing business's in that small community. These two buildings look like they may date from the 1920's or 30's & although the butcher shop may have traded until recently, the march of time finally caught up with it as well.
Commer QX TS3 Tipper (Glengarry) - This old tipper was a real joy to find deserted on the Glengarry opal fields. Judging by the way it was left, it looks like the men may have just gone down the pub & will be returning later, well that was probably 20yrs ago! But, given the pace of life out on the fields it could still be the case. Whilst researching these photo's it is apparent that these old vehicles are keenly sought after by collectors. I do hope that they leave them alone, for they give the area a rustic feel.
Milking Shed (Ulmarra) - As you drive south along the Pacific Hwy from Murwillumbah you'll noticed scattered beside the highway these quaint little milking sheds. All are mostly of corrugated iron & timber construction , although there are a few brick ones as well, but all seem to follow the same design principles of the one pictured opposite. I suppose with new 'agri' business models, over time, these quaint little farm buildings will slowly disappear from the Australian landscape.
1959 Holden FC (Lightning Ridge) - Would you believe I actually owned an FC exactly like this one located at Lightning Ridges Historical Societies Cottage on Morilla Street. Yep, the mighty Holden FC, wouldn't steer, wouldn't go, wouldn't stop. Nostalgia is nice to look at, but be thankful we have moved on.