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Showing posts from April, 2016


Jedi and medieval knights, armoured tanks and giant steam tractors, steampunks and blacksmiths, Nazi soldiers and cosplay characters. Where would you find all of these in one place? Ironfest at Lithgow nominally celebrates the birth of Australia's steel industry in that city. As one of the two remaining blast furnaces in Australia stands in receivership down in Whyalla and the other also struggles to compete against cheap imported steel Lithgow's steel history seems all too applicable to today. But while history is fundamental to Ironfest it is also a celebration of the the creative spirit of the Blue Mountains and beyond. This was our first visit to the festival. We wound our way up across the scenic Great Western Highway past townships lined with yellow and red autumn trees and over the kilometre high range to Lithgow's show grounds. Reflecting the festival theme the skies above us were a magnificent and dramatic steel grey. Having prepurchased tickets o

A little local history

It's astounding how much history can be buried right beneath your nose. Illawong has the feeling of a relatively recent suburb. Most of the houses are probably thirty years old or less, though there's the odd single story cottage, a remnant of its farming days. Late last year one of the last farm estates was finally sold. It had a tennis court and playground on site. No doubt it will be replaced by bland McMansions or worse. On this smoky morning I decided to take a rather long way back from dropping Alex off at school this morning and walked down to the Georges River. Before they built the Alfords Point Bridge vehicles and people would cross the river by ferry. Nothing but the concrete landing and the name of the road leading to it, Old Ferry Road, remain on the Illawong side, but across the river in Lugarno there is a seafood restaurant right at the river front. What I didn't realise was that wasn't the original location of the ferry crossing. There&#