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23 October 2009 - Marriage Lines

G'day. Driving northwards from the Clare Valley it was clear that we were leaving the sophistications of big city Adelaide far behind, and even the rolling hills of the Clare Valley gave way to prairie and small-town Australia. One such was Terowie, with a population of 220 all but three of which seemed to have disappeared when we stopped in the late afternoon. It was as if we were in a time warp with much of the town built in the 1880s - a general store, blacksmiths, and Printing Office - like the set of a Spaghetti Western. The railway made Terowie a regional centre until droughts and  rabbits led to its decline and when the railway was removed there was no reason for the town's existence. It had become a ghost-town, underlined by lines of old cars and trucks slowly rusting away in  a nearby field.

We stayed overnight, a little further north, in Cradock, which was also once a bustling township boasting a school. police station, two hotels, three churches, two stores, two blacksmiths and a saddler. The Australian Government supported grain production in the area but this failed and so did the town. Now there's nothing but the Cradock Hotel with a population of three but we were made very welcome by the owner and offered a hearty dinner. I noticed a couple of photos, one showing the 1925 Cradock Cricket team full of beefy chaps from the outlying farms, with alongside the 2006 equivalent with nine chaps and a boy - not quite an eleven.

Phil the Pom


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