Historic York

West Oz 016

Historic York

A couple of days ago my good mate visiting West Oz from overseas – Mr Beelzebub – and I went for a blast on my rumbling black motorbike for a short trip outside of the Perth metropolitan area.  The first such trip.  We headed southwards towards the timber mill town of Dwellingup in the sprawling jarrah forest bordering far-flung, outer suburbia.  Of course, we stopped at various places on the way for photo opportunities.

Today we’re going for a leisurely burn out of the metro area again – an easy 90 minute ride at most, eastwards and inland to the historic town of York, established in 1831.  It was the very first inland town in what became a farming district … mostly of tall wheat, moo cows and dumb, woolly sheep.  Tourists just love the place!  Let’s see why.

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Between dusk and dawn the big grasshoppers come bounding out of the bush and across roads like this, potentially committing suicide in the darkness.  They can make one hell of a mess of a car … and what they do to motorbikes, if hit, just doesn’t bear thinking about.  In daylight, they mostly rest, out of sight.  But we need to keep our eyes peeled all the same for the next 15 minutes as we rumble along the open road.

Yes, Mr B., I’ll slow down a bit along this section.

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  The image
Our Aussie sense of humour, Mr B.  Why not say, ‘G’day!’ and whip out the old camera and take a snazzy pic?  Something to show the folks in Hell.

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Say, ‘G’day!’ as well to this dude with the cheesy grin.  These two buggers replaced Fred, who for years stood near to here giving smiles to passers-by.  Fred was repainted by God only knows who whenever he looked a bit tired on it.  Then a bushfire became his crematorium.  Rest in peace, Fred, wherever you are.

What’s that Mr Beelzebub?  Oh, Fred is in the burning pits, you say.

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Here you are a typical farm scene.  Snap away.  But don’t flick your ciggy butt into the grass, whatever you do.

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Now we’re descending into the valley and are into the outskirts of York.  It’s been alive and kicking for 177 years.

Are you psychic, Mr Beelzebub?  Oh, Mrs B. is the one you can’t get anything past, you reckon.  That’s why Dearest One is She Who Must Be Obeyed.  Ha, ha, ha.  Oh, you weren’t kidding.

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This is worth a piccy, Mr B. – the old York Flour Mill.

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Too late to put in an offer … and what a missed opportunity!  You could have refurbished the joint, Mr Beelzebub, and featured the blacksmith art and craft from the burning pits.

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What does the sign say?  Zoom in with the camera, Mr B.

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Shades of the Twilight Zone, methinks.  I’m sorry we missed it.  We could have whipped out the voodoo drums.

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Now this is spooky!  Let’s have a closer look.

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The spirits must have been on the cider for too long and gone belly up.  The joint is for sale.  You could sell bottled damnation here, Mr B.

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Now this is what I call a town hall!  The foundation stone was laid on 31st May 1911.  It’s worth a look inside.

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I came here once all the way from the Perth metro area to a country dance.  This is where I paid the lady for admission.  Pictures … movies … were also screened here over the years, I think.

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This is one heck of a ballroom dance floor … take it from me!  Let’s walk to the far end for another view.

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See, you can also sit upstairs to watch the movie or the dancers below.

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That’s the grand Imperial Hotel, built in 1886.  It’s a pub with ample accommodation up stairs.  I’ve stayed there overnight.  And it’s not bad at all, in an old world sort of way.

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And this is the competition, the Castle Hotel.  Also a pub where you can stay overnight.  Not that I’ve actually bunked down in this one.  Let’s see what the plaque says about it.

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There you go, Mr B.  Luxury accommodation.  Yes, when compared to the burning pits of Hell.  But the beer is icy cold!

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Here we go, Saint Pat’s Catholic Church.  It was opened on 17th March 1887 and is still saving sinners.  A lot of Irish folk came to West Oz … including many in convict chains.

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Here’s your big chance, Mr Beelzebub … if you have anything to confess.  Yes, I won’t be silly.

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Here, opposite Saint Pat’s is the old convent school.  The schoolhouse was built from local stone.

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 Have a read of this, Mr B.  Thank God I wasn’t sent there … a real mercy!

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Now here, back in York‘s  main street and in that cream and green-lined building, is something that any guy would love to see.  No, Mr B., not nude women, with or without smiles!

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This museum is reputed to have the largest collection of antique and vintage cars in the Southern Hemisphere.  Let’s go in for a sticky beak.  It should be okay to take photos.

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Now just cast your peepers down the full length of the showroom, Mr B.

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If you glance to the left, you will see the doorway to another big showroom packed with cars, and there are also gallery offshoots with even more of them.

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Have a gander at this beauty.  You can see why early cars were called horseless carriages from  this work of art.

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You want to buy this one, you say, Mr B.?  To go touring around Hell in it with Mrs B.?  I guess that would be fun.

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So much for the Motor Museum, Mr B.  It’s coffee time!  Let’s cross the main road and sit at that spare table on the sidewalk, in the middle and under the shady tree.

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Struth, Mr Beelzebub!  There’s Doctor Who’s Tardis.  He’s painted the damned thing fire engine red.  And the silly bugger has parked it on the footpath!  I’d better find him and tell him to move it before he gets an illegal parking ticket.  While I do that, you order the coffees, Mr B.  And a third one for Doctor Who, as well.

It just goes to show that you never know who will suddenly turn up in the most out of the way places.  It really is a small, small world.  Yes, I’ll stop babbling Mr B. and go and find The Doctor.

(Post Script: The York Motor Museum also has a sister motor museum in Fremantle – until this Sunday, April 20.  Then the museum is being  kicked out of the premises to make way for a cafe and a business selling tickets for the ferry to Rottnest Island.  I have no idea what will happen to the huge collection of vintage cars and motorbikes there … they’ll probably be warehoused and then sold off.)

See also:

West Oz (photo essays)

001 My Home City – Perth, Western Australia

002 My home town of Perth

003 Ding-dong in Perth

004 Water and University

005 Fremantle…Hello

006 The Fremantle Markets

007 Don’t look back in the Perth Zoo

008 Head for the Hills

009 Souvenirs in the Condo

010 The Swan Valley

011 Historic Guildford

012 Hopping about

013 Hillary’s Boat Harbour

014 Whiteman Park

015 Roads to My Childhood



About the Author ()

I am intrigued by the proposition that what you believe is true for you - even if no one else believes it or regards it as true. That you will seek and find evidence proving to you that what you believe is true, despite the beliefs of others. Thereby imp

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