Saturday, 3 January 2015

Colonial Past

Ella took us out and about through the vineyards of the Coal River Valley to Richmond, some 27km NE of Hobart. Richmond has a colourful colonial history. There was a lot of what is termed 'heritage architecture' which looked like common UK buildings to me, particularly the Georgian buildings which were somehow comforting to see again. We browsed the stores including a fake vintage shop, the sweet shop (which sold great tasting ice-creams) and a woodwork shop specialising in Huon Pine, where apparently the Royals, Kate & Wills, had stopped and brought a box during their recent visit.

Richmond town bridge was built by convicts from the local gaol in 1823. Australia's oldest surviving bridge is still in use today. There is a story about how the convicts were managed by a cruel Superintendent who treated them very harshly, even by standards of that day. He regularly beat the convicts on a whim and they despised him. One winter morning dung the construction phase a heavy fog hung over the bridge and the convicts seized their chance. They beat the Superintendent to death and flung his body off the bridge.

We took a brief look at Richmond Gaol, which was built over a peroid of fifteen years between 1825 and 1840. One of the men that past through the door in 1832 was Issac 'Ikey' Solomon (1785-1850). He was an English criminal who was famous for dealing in stolen goods. Issac is alleged to be the model for the character Fagin in Charles Dicken's Olivier Twist.

Walking along the river we spotted a pair of eels in the water. The ducks seemed oblivious to them until they collided!

Dolphins in the Derwent Estuary

Australia's oldest surviving bridge in the picturesque setting of Richmond

The girls strike a pose!

Slithering eels tickle the duck's feet

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