The graves are part of the Tunbridge “blind church” owned by Margaret & Jack Sonneman, some of the early residents of Tunbridge (and beyond) are to be found there. Thomas Rothwell, the original owner of our shop & residence is buried there as well.
This visit was our seventh working bee, Barbara tendered her trees and vines as well as removing wallpaper in the final two bedrooms, now ready for the soft plasterer. We have decided to do the rooms in the Georgian pinks and blues we found under the masses of wallpaper . . . mal E started the reglazing of three sets of sash windows remaining to be done upstairs, the putty from the mid 1850’s had become almost part of the old timber (and sometimes even the ripple glass). Needless to say it was a horror job but all right in the end. Thanks to cedar and some tools borrowed from our mates in Woodbury – Linda & Allan Cooper.
Every trip to Tasmania revolves around visiting friends and furthering our contacts and when in the area, the antique shops & markets. Clare Pearce who runs Plume in Campbelltown sold me the colour-tinted Rowlandson in original frame and we also spent a great few hours at her house and garden in Oatlands and met Andrew, her partner and fellow artist. A trip to see Barbara’s Mother’s brother Max (and Betty) in Ulverstone meant we could spend hours in Kevin & Linda’s terrific shop in LaTrobe. That’s where the stuffed boar was sourced. Everyone in Tunbridge has something stuffed and on display – so the pressure was to conform, but rather than kill the beast we thought it best to lay down the readies. Our stuffed trout is still out there, somewhere?
Visits to Norm & Nicky at that *architectural perfection, their estate house called Ballochmyle, outside of Tunbridge (with Lil & Luke who spent three days with us). * J. S. Weeding – A history of Tunbridge & Woodbury. A pair of Georgian, framed fans removed from Nick & Leone’s shop; Alpha-Omega, they came from the estate of Diana Cameron, recently auctioned in Hobart but from her Launceston antique business we frequented – called “Den of Antiquity”. Warwick Oakman, Hobart Architectural historian, antique dealer & local saint dropped in for a visit. Paul Jones, the clockman and Rob at Longford Antiques were visited. Most Tunbridge locals graced the flagstones at the shop, Hayden Pearce fronted also but the real shock was the local Blackman River . . . much to our surprise it was dry as a bone!
Our mates Ray & Pat Norman came down from Lonnie and made numerous walks and examinations of the river bed, some of the local fresh water mussels were found burrowed into the mud – still alive. The local black fish were no so fortunate . . . why the local farmers (nine of them) who have dammed the river further up the tiers don’t let at least 20% of the water continuing to flow to maintain the ecology of the river is beyond our comprehension? Where are the platypus that we have seen here in the past? Ray has set up a PanicArea web site that I will link to in the future, it may start more dialogue on this issue. The Southern Midland Council seem to turn the blind-eye to the dam issue and the fact that these larger property owners are a law unto themselves . . . the council pays for water to be trucked in to maintain the Tunbridge water supply but who really pays for that and who is out there asking the hard questions?
Two road trips, the bookshop at Hagley and a visit to Hutton Park again to do some more digging for colonial pottery shards in the company of Linda & Allan Cooper and our host, Andy O’Brien.