To Launceston

To Launceston, Tasmania
 
 
 
 
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After breakfast we left Cosy Corner with its amazingly blue sea and incredible coloured boulders and set off for Launceston. Unlike ours that is pronounced Larn-ston or Lawn-ston, here it is pronounced Lawn-cess-ton.
 
 
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We left the seaside and headed into the country.
 
 
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Farmland and winding roads.
 
 
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We passed a pretty little church.
 
 
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Up into woodland.
 
 
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A hairpin bend took us past some beautiful ferns and then we were in Dorset.
 
 
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Bowling along the Tasman Highway, we looked up at a painted rock on the bank above the Ringarooma River before we entered the Derby Township. Later we found out it was a trout – don’t ask, we didn’t.....
 
 
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Whatever next.
 
 
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Then there was the the sign for Derby, is that a ‘One Careful Owner’ shack we can see. Yes it is.
 
 
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Quaint houses.
 
 
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The High Street.
 

The area was surveyed in 1855, but was not settled until 1874, when George Renison Bell discovered tin in the area. The Krushka brothers discovered a large lode of tin, and set up a mine (named The Brothers Mine) in the area, assuring the town's economic future. The town was originally known as Brother's Home until renamed Derby (believed to be after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom).

Brother's Home Post Office opened on the 1st of August 1882 and was renamed Derby in 1885.

Derby reached its peak in the late 19th century, when its population reached over 3,000, and the Brothers Mine (renamed the Briseis Mine after the winner of the 1876 Melbourne Cup) was producing upwards of 120 tonnes of tin per month.

On the 4th of April 1929, the dam used by the mine burst after heavy rains and flooded the town, killing 14 people. The stories of the devastation and tragedy included an entire family, the Whitings, being swept away and drowned when their house was carried away by the dam waters; twelve draught horses and their three team-drivers all being drowned; and Senior Constable William Taylor saving eight men across the raging torrent in a small two-man rowing boat eight times. He could only save one man at a time. The mine was closed, but re-opened five years later although it never reached the same level of output as it had in the last century and closed in 1948.

Derby was served by a branch railway line which extended from Launceston to Herrick, 4 kilometres short of Moorina. The line through Derby station opened on the 15th of March 1919 and ran through the hills 2 km from the town. The railway closed in April 1992.

 
 
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The cute bank is the smallest in Tasmania – possibly Australia too.

 

 

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An interesting property at the other end of town, complete with corner bath.

 

 

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Then a classic carefully owned shack with adorable front step ensemble.

 

 

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We filled up with diesel at the fuel station, the first since we picked up Mabel and found it was the cheapest we have seen. Tank full for forty pounds.

 

 

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Our next stop was Scottsdale where Bear had a scallop pie, I would rather chew my own flip flop but he was happy. I had a puff pastry Cornish pasty that sadly failed, the inside looked like compressed cardboard and it tasted very similar.

 

 

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As we left town fire smoke filled the air. 

 

 

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The road rose steeply and as it flattened out we saw a lookout sign. This is the view we should have seen.

 

 

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This is what we saw.

 

The news report said: Tasmanian firefighters may seek help from the mainland today, with more than eighty bushfires burning across the state's north and conditions expected to worsen. A total fire ban has been declared in the northern regions, and authorities expect the number of fires to grow as blazes sparked by lightning strikes last week flare up.

Sadly, the next bit of the report said.......Police are also asking for public help as they investigate about a dozen deliberately lit fires between Launceston and Scottsdale. That is shocking news.

 

 

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Smoke filled the rest of our journey to Launceston.

 

 

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Smoke over the hills behind Launceston.

 

 

 

ALL IN ALL SAD ABOUT THE FIRES

                          SUCH ISOLATED VALLEYS