CLARENCE AND ULMARRA


SUMMER IN ULMARRA

Posted in ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on January 23, 2010

ULMARRA ON TROVE

SUNDAYS@WIDERIVERCAFE LIVE MUSIC 10.30.2.30.  EVEN IN THE HEAT AND STORMS.

 

BEEN A HOT SUMMER.

My first summer in Ulmarra. Here’s a pictorial run through of Summer so far.

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Down at the end of Coldstream Street, and a quick right hand walk is the boat ramp. Walked down there one morning and saw two water craft coming in. Turned out to be Edwina from the Ulmarra Hotel and Friend in HOBIES. They’re looking to open a hire business down there at the back of the pub. Pedal, Paddle and Sail on the Hobies.

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Summer came in with a strange full moon in a daytime blue sky. It was to be the month of the Blue Moon. December 2009.

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Same December Moon at night. 

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Ulmarra gathered en masse for the Christmas Party at Wide River.

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That meant Carols strangely interpreted by the DROUGHTBREAKERS. Good Food and Friendship. I have made some good friends in the brief half year I have lived in Ulmarra. The Clarence has treated us very well.

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Out the back of the Wide River Cafe is the TREASURE TROVE of Giirwaawa Ceramics. Local artists of the Clarence: painted and fired right here in the Village. There’s some beautiful work from Lizzy and Leanne and Debbie. Brightens my summer, so it does.

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Kerrie di Mattia, Brit and Robyn provided a fine chorus line. Kerrie has a Hair Salon in Grafton and Robyn owns SHELLBOUND next to the Wide River.

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Sundays became a gathering place for locals. It lured unwary travellers who stayed on for the music and delayed their pacific Highway Journeys.

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The days have been long and hot and most afternoons a storm comes over.

Turns out that Ulmarra is a bit of a storm chaser’s paradise.

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I took my first trip to Iluka early in December. I like Pelicans. There was, so I am told, one in the backyard the other day but it left before I saw it.

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The Beer Garden of the Ulmarra Pub became a fine place to eat and hang out. River side. Good Food. Got it all going.

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December still saw Ulmarra mists and dejected birds. The day to follow was a blisterer.

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Summer meant noisy hanging to scare birds off the vegies. The cattle were in the back paddock and way across – big bamboo.

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HALF A YEAR IN ULMARRA

Posted in CLARENTZIAN LIFE,ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on December 1, 2009
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GCOUNTRY COMMUNITY

2009 enters December and I am doing the end of year reflections. I moved to Ulmarra in May, just before “THE FLOOD”. And I am still here. Lets take a look at the first 6 months.

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One of the attractions for me on the Clarence is the presence of car ferries, running free as a part of the RTA system. We used to call them Punts when we were children and they were used on most of the Northern Rivers before the bridges came through. This one is the Lawrence Ferry. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I take this ferry and enter Grafton through the beautiful western drive.

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We began our Grafton experience with Simon and Robyn in their Bunkhouse off along the Gwydir Highway. Solar powered , wallabies browsing, Orara down the back. Long talks over home cooked dinners and shared meals.

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We made the choice to initially locate ourselves in a Village Lifestyle and chose the 100 year old house in Ulmarra which the RTA possesses and takes NO CARE of AT ALL. In fact, the original wee settlement on  Coldstream Street featured three houses in a row. One has fallen down. The next is on offer free to anyone who wishes to remove it and this one remains.Over 100 years of history. For now – it is Home.

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Now – to life in ULMARRA. It is an ‘historic river port’ on the Clarence River. It was a trading centre and once was filled with activity and river life.

CLARENCE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The 2nd remaining Clarence River ferry is on the Northern edge of Ulmarra.

Half a kilometre South, Coldstream St terminates at the wharf on the left.

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I took some walks and photographed what were then unknown buildings and features – unknown to me. After 6 months, they are increasingly familiar and this interesting village emerges more and more from the mists for me. Coldstream Street runs east/ west with River Street following the River.

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Down on the river, at the end of Coldstream Street, is the Ulmarra Hotel. They serve brekkie every morning, lunch every day and dinner Fri and Sat nights.

Heading west along Coldstream are the shops. Most of them. 6 months along – I know a little more about them. 

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May 2009 saw the coming of THE FLOOD. One of the chilling comments that came to us was – THE COLDSTREAM IS FLOWING BACKWARDS. That sounded grim. The street began to fill with water and the Inundation began.

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The Coldstream Street went first – that’s our street – with the bins afloat. Introduced us to the neighbours pretty quickly. Sooner than might have happened otherwise. It also explained why the rent was so cheap.

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Before long, the Neighbour’s advice to get the vehicles out was making sense but we were less sure about HOW to get them out and had no idea in this flat village about WHERE to get them out to.

The SES hotline didn’t know either.

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By June, the floods were down and  Izzy was eating lunch in the Beer garden at the Ulmarra Pub. Lawns to the River. Fine Foods. We often have trouble getting fed, due to the ‘no meat’ request. Down at the Pub, they fix meals to suit us perfectly. My own favourite is the stuffed mushrooms.  Edwina , who has the restaurant, was the one we met pedalling the canoe early yesterday.  Check her HOW TO vid on you tube ready for the canoe hire.

http://gcountry.ning.com/

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Mid way through the year, one of the empty shops filled with BOOKS and BRIC A BRAC and opened its doors as ULMARRA BOOKS AND BRIC A BRAC. This one is a treasure trove alongside JACK A DANDY and LILY’S LAIR. Russell deals in secondhand books. Having a quality bookshop just down the street is a long desired thing for me. I often browse for a goodly time and we talk of this and that and listen to retro music. Russell has a shop at BROADWATER if any of you are looking for him and now is based down in ULMARRA.

http://gcountry.ning.com/

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Next to the Bookshop is JACK A DANDY’S and the diminuitive Lily’s Lair. I don’t know how to describe these two shops. Impeccable good taste. Like Russell with his books, Paul in JACK A DANDY “KNOWS HIS STOCK”. They also know their trades and how to run a business. I always enjoy dealing with experts and these are experts. In  JACK A DANDY, there is some scrimshaw work.  I LOVE scrimshaw.

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Ulmarra is an Heritage listed Village.

It is also a septic village and with floods like this year, there have been some odd smells. Sandy from Wide River tells us that some of the smells are Dairy Smells. We have a dairy over the back paddock  and a lot of Friesian Cows.

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Its a place of Mists. A Village along the river. The mists come down and the Highway traffic slows.

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In October , the dust came. It covered most of the east coast of NSW and Ulmarra didn’t miss out. Huge storms of dust.

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October also saw my 60th birthday and I had planned a lazy weekend in Ulmarra. I had been concerned about the dust but it passed, the weather warmed and Ulmarra delivered the perfect weekend. It has become, for me, a landmark in my life. Wherever I go from here, I take this period as a Gem.

Village, Community and Companions.

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November brought jacarandas and the festival. Down Coldstream Street, behind Dorothy’s Coldstream Gallery, is the RATHGAR LODGE opshop. Open Thurs-Fri all day. The Opshop was in the Jacaranda shop display comp and I believe it won – again. Opshop is another treasure trove down there in the shopping centre.  We acquired our yellow click-clack lounge there. At the time of purchase it was covered with a purple fuzzy cloth as part of the jacaranda display. Just by this Fairy section on the verandah.

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Last thought about the Village for the moment is the WIDE RIVER CAFE. My 2nd home and 2nd family.

 

FOR MY ANNUAL REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR JUST PASSED – GO TO

NELLIBELL49

SOME LINKS TO SITES ABOUT ULMARRA AND CLARENCE

http://www.facebook.com/gcountry1?ref=ts

http://wideriver.ning.com/

http://gcountry.ning.com/

GCOUNTRY COMMUNITY

http://www.facebook.com/izzyforeal?ref=ts

SUMMER IS COMING TO ULMARRA

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Took a walk down Coldstream to the boat ramp this morning, lamenting the brownness of the water which is deterring me  a little from swimming in the Clarence at Ulmarra.  Took some shots of the yachts moored on the far bank.

Yesterday at Wide River Music, two of the yachties who had sailed up from Tasmania, were telling us that they had come up the river because they had heard it on the grapevine that the Harwood Bridge was to be permanently prevented from opening and allowing tall masted vessels through. Get a grip, Councils etc!

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I have become reclusive again and haven’t been to the River for a while. I would prefer to live right on the river. Once, I lived in a boathouse in Urunga right on the Bellinger River and later in the Pilot House at the mouth of the Twin Rivers of Kalang and Bellingen but now I am 0.6km from any river at all. Saw two pedallers coming along from upriver and as they came in close recognised Edwina in a Hobie Cat. I have never seen one of these. They can be pedalled or paddled or sailed. Then, on alighting, just attach the wheels and they can be wheeled. Most impressed I am.

I am even more impressed with the information that, within a few weeks, canoe and hobie hire will be opening from the back of Ulmarra Hotel. I haven’t written a lot about the Hotel or the other shops in the Village as yet – but I will. This Mighty River – THE Big River – which is still rather brown and a little intimidating for the Swimmer ( namely Me, This Swimmer)  will then be accessible from your very own beer garden !!!!!! With the great meals and atmosphere. December 13 is the Social Clubs Xmas Party and the Droughtbreakers from Wide River are playing. 10-2 at the Cafe and then 4 onwards at the Pub. I LOVE VILLAGES !!!!!

http://gcountry.ning.com/

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That’s the Levee which holds back the Floods.  They build it back when Vision was operating. Its a fine , solid levee that one.  I might once have thought it aesthetically unpleasing but 2009 means that anything which holds back the water looks ‘ beautiful.’

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There is a Big  Boat moored up near the Norco factory. I don’t know her story but she was here when we came in May. There are more stories  up at the Norco Factory where a lot of revamping seems to be going on. I like to take new communities in small morsels and let the Stories tell themselves.

I think I might have met the owner in  SLUGGO’S antique shop up along the Pacific Highway, just after the floods. The man I met was sitting in  the front of Sluggo’s chatting with him. A lot of slow chatting goes on in Ulmarra and thereabouts. If that was indeed the Owner of the Big Boat, then his anchor chain snagged on the Ulmarra Southgate Ferry Cable during the Floods.

GRAFTON PAGE ON FACEBOOK

A WALK ALONG COLDSTREAM STREET ULMARRA AND BACK.

Posted in ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on August 23, 2009
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THE ULMARRA SHOWGROUND IN SMALL PARK. THE TIMBER MILL.
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THE OLD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.  
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BUSHFIRE BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS. BUSHFIRE, ART COTTAGE AND WIDE RIVER CAFE.
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ULMARRA POOL. ROUND THE CORNER IN RIVER STREET
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WIDE RIVER CAFE

Posted in ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on July 16, 2009
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Most days we take a walk or drive down to the Village and have our regular sandwiches, apple pies, coffee and smoothies or juice at the Wide River Cafe. The Botero Coffee girls gave them the thumbs up for being the happiest, cleanest, most efficient of the coffee shops they visit. How’s that ?

ULMARRA SCHOOL

Posted in ULMARRARIAN TALES,ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on July 16, 2009
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and other matters.

Official Opening Ulmarra Sesquicentenary Celebrations and
2007 Festival of the River.

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Northcott, Clarence Hunter (1880 – 1968)

http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150572b.htm

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SISTERS OF MERCY

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FLOODS IN ULMARRA 2009 MAY.

Posted in FLOODS AND OTHER WEATHER EVENTS,ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on June 27, 2009

 

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COLDSTREAM STREET IN MAY 2009. TO THE EAST OF THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY.

3 HOUSES JUST TO THE EAST OF THE TENNIS COURTS IN COLDSTREAM STREET, HAVING BEEN PURCHASED BY THE RTA NOW SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT PURCHASE. ONE IS ALREADY GONE. SAID TO BE ONE OF THE EARLIEST HOUSES IN ULMARRA. THE SECOND IS STILL STANDING AND IS SHOWN HERE WITH FLOODWATERS ON ALL SIDES. IT AVAILABLE FOR FREE SO LONG AS YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE SITE. THE THIRD WHICH IS STILL STANDING BUT SADLY NEGLECTED WAS BUILT IN 1908. LETS ENSURE THAT IT DOESN’T VANISH AS WELL. A GRAND OLD HOME IT IS – BUILT BY W.B. HAFFENDEN AND THEN SOLD TO HUNTER CLARK AND LATER TO ALF CHARD.

THANKS TO KEN FOR THIS INFORMATION.

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THE WETLANDS ARE INDEED WET IN 2009. THE WATER HERE ATTRACTS MANY SPECIES OF BIRDS INCLUDING BROLGAS.

The floods took hold of boats as well.  One which was moored at the NORCO FACTORY dragged its anchor which caught in the ferry cable. Another is shown here at the wharf at the bottom of Coldstream Street near the Beer Garden of the Commercial Hotel.

ULMARRA SITES TO SEE

Posted in SITES TO SEE,ULMARRIAN LIFE by nellibell49 on June 17, 2009