Weekly Photo Challenge : Relic

Settlers cottage, 1920's relic

Settlers cottage, 1920’s relic

In 1921, Western Australia embarked on a group settlement scheme which saw 6,000 British families migrate to Western Australia to become farmers. The scheme aimed to increase Australia’s population after World War I and decrease the reliance on imported agricultural goods.

Each settlers group was made up of up to 20 families who were placed on 160 acre blocks which they cleared in return for 10 shillings a day. After the land was cleared, families were allocated their own area to farm.

The Department, then called the Workers‟ Homes Board, built houses for many of these settlers farms. The houses were “Type 7‟ timber cottages which consisted of three bedrooms and a kitchen/living area. Most had a rain tank, an out-house toilet and no electricity.

Slowly disintegrating.

Slowly disintegrating.

A sad reminder of happier times, sitting watching the sun set and relaxing after a hard days work.

A sad reminder of happier times, sitting watching the sun set and relaxing after a hard days work.

By 1927, many of the settlers farms had been abandoned due to isolation and financial hardships caused by inadequate government planning and support and lack of reliable transport of their goods to the city.

In 1930, the scheme was dismantled and labelled a “glorious failure‟.

As a result of the failed scheme, the Workers’ Homes Board was faced with the issue of hundreds of relatively new cottages being abandoned across regional Western Australia in areas such as Manjimup, Busselton, Augusta and Denmark.

In 1931, the Board began dismantling, removing, re-erecting and enlarging the cottages to sell to workers on leasehold land.

“The purchaser gets the home for about £50 or £60 less than he would if he paid for the erection of a new building, and, in addition, the Group Settlement Branch, which is paid for the cottages by the Workers’ Homes Board, is saved the loss which would ensue if the building was left on an abandoned block,” reported The West Australian, 25th July 1931.

Carroll looking inside

Carroll looking inside

My Margaret River friend Carroll took me for a girl’s day out to have lunch at St. Allards Eco Resort. On the way we stopped to take a closer look at this small part of history slowly disintegrating.

We tried to imagine what it must’ve been like for the English families, many of them with no farming background, as they struggled to adapt to the harsh Australian conditions. A very basic structure for a house, no lining on the walls, no insulation on the tin roof, no electricity, no shop at the end of the street. Most of them simply gave up and walked away. Where did they go? There is no record of that. 

Here's a toast to friendship

Here’s a toast to friendship

We drove on to St. Allard’s Eco Resort for our lunch. Maybe we could also be classed as a couple of relics of times gone by, but, I hasten to add, well-preserved ones. Also very thankful to be living in this day and age. Life has never been as difficult for our generation, and it is with gratitude that I look back on the struggles of the pioneers.

We finished the day with a wander through the beautiful regenerating bush that surrounds the Resort.

Board walk across the wet land area

Board walk across the wet land area

The path winds through the bush

The well-formed path winds through the bush

I finish with a relic of another kind. The mighty forest giant now laid to rest and supplying nutrients and a home for many other creatures of the bush

I finish with a relic of another kind. The mighty forest giant now laid to rest and supplying nutrients and a home for many other creatures of the bush

After a 4 week absence from the “Weekly Photo Challenge” it is a good theme this week for me to show you a relic or two from Western Australia.

 

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Categories: Australia, Margaret River, photography, relic, weekly photo challenge, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge : Relic

  1. Great selection of relics, and I enjoyed your words 🙂

    • Thanks Sue, it is good to be back in cyberspace again… 🙂

      • Isn’t it just…I was only absent for a week, and realised I did miss it – longer for you!

        • It certainly becomes a big part of my daily routine, better than watching telly. In Geraldton the house we cared for did not have a TV and we certainly did not miss it….

  2. Perfect girl day! Fascinating stuff. I love your perspective, it really makes me think.

  3. maamej

    The buildings are surprisingly well preserved, for nearly 100 years old. Love the moss-covered log at the end.

    • I am also surprised that they are still standing, maybe because they were on private land. But they are disintegrating fast.

  4. looks like a super fun day out pommel!! and thanks for dropping by my blog – I lit up when I saw your gravatar – woo hoo – welcome back.
    also, I enjoyed the whole flow of this post – the toast to friendship shot is a true treasure – and I like how you wrapped up the post with three differing paths – the trio at the end had a sort of life rhythm – like the straight bridge with depth that pulls you in with the strong rails – followed by the paved path that had the wave and inviting bends – with the trees and leaves – followed by the third one – and I like how you noted the benefits of this mighty tree now laid to rest – that was cool – but putting it into the feel of the other two “path” photos – it added to that path feel by offering us one more path option – the lighting in this tasty photo – with that soft green moss almost whispers of maybe finding a niche life path – or it just offers an alternative to the first two – instead of the straight and narrow bridge – and instead of the bends in the wavy paved path – we get this special feel to a path that could be all our own. well I think these three photos could be printed and hug together and called “pathways” or something like that – ha!

    oh – and enjoyed the mini history lesson you give – esp. to learn about a type 7 house and other little factoids.

    have a nice week dear Pomme – ❤ ❤ ❤

    ~signed…
    your "artistically inclined" amiga! (and thanks again for that cool adjective for me…)

    • G’day Yvette, I love it when you leave such insightful comments. It made me go back and re-look at those photos of the paths in the bush with a new eye and perspective. It is the artist in your soul that gives you a different way of seeing things, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me… 🙂 Ps I hope the weather is kind to you and you are enjoying your gardening…

  5. I’ve lived in buildings like that before, no power and outside loo. Good times, but I wouldn’t go back to that now! 😉

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