Sunday, 9 February 2014

Been away to Binnaway

When we were up at the farm  a couple of times ago I went for a drive into Binnaway ,our soon to be local town and took some photos through a tourists eyes. Binnaway is located about 460 klms west of Sydney. It was founded in around 1876 . I grew up  on a large farm near  this town which then was a thriving  little railway town with a population of about 1500 for town and surrounding area.
 We had a  busy railway, hospital, 4 grocery shops, butcher, 2 bakers, 3  garages, a couple of cafes, a movie theatre and various other  shops and businesses.
When the railway service was down graded, we also lost our local hospital and many other bussinesses and services  went by the way.
Now Binnaway has a smaller population of about 500 people.

 This is an aerial photograph of the township, I didn't take this but thought I would include it in this post.

The road into town from our direction  is quite pretty, efforts have been made to plant  lovely deciduous trees either side of the road, and as they grow they are starting to give a wonderful display as the seasons change.
You enter town from this direction over the Castlereagh River, a lovely meandering river most of the time with great fishing spots along its banks but it can at time of heavy rain be a threatening raging torrent The view up and down the river off the bridge is beautiful, a lovely place to spend a lazy afternoon.


.Just over Corry Bridge(named after a wonderful Doctor who spent his life time  as our greatly valued GP) is a lovely little picnic area, one of a few in the township.
Directly across the road  from the  river is the Binnaway  Central School. It has classes from Kindergarten up to year 12 senior High School and has a wonderful reputation and  excellent staff.
Binnaway has a pretty tree lined main street where most of the shops and businesses are located.The Railway signals,clock  and station signs were placed here to acknowledge  the great part the railway played in Binnaway's history.This is maintained  by dedicated local volunteers.
Also along the river is a wonderful caravan park/camping grounds.It is known as the Pump House camping grounds..This is the old pump house that used to supply the township with water in days gone by.

This is a free camping site beautifully maintained by the Binnaway Progress Association and the Lions club, a very  dedicated group of volunteers.,  there are free unpowered sites available as well as powered sites for a small fee. The only cost is for hot water( $2 per 5  min) and power if needed .There are plenty of shaded area ,BBQ's and facilities, a really pretty spot to spend a few days.Contact number for this facility is  02  68492144.
Binnaway  has  two Hotels, The Royal and The Exchange, both excellent watering holes, offering meals on certain days and regular raffle draws, usually as fund raisers for local groups of volunteers.

We also have a local police station to keep law and order, not that ,that is a big problem.
 Across the road from the Police Station is the little church that  we got married in, now no longer in service  and has been  converted into a residence.
Binnaway also supports a local Bowling club,
Golf club,tennis club,
Small bore target  rifle club, and a very good and successful  junior sports club and a beautifully maintained stadium and sports oval.
Binnaway main street is at times quiet and slow but at other times busy and really alive.
There is a newsagents/ post office/rural transaction centre, and a rural supply shop.
There is also a local craft shop,ran by volunteers, and a local supermarket and garage.

Across the road from the supermarket is "Len Guy Park" so named after a very dedicated man who still lives in Binnaway, that while running a local business and raising a family still gave many,many countless hours to the town in many volunteer positions.I think this park is maintained by the "Lions" club volunteers and is a credit to them.
Also in the main street is the place where I first worked upon leaving school, The bank !
Also nearby is the local council swimming bathes , many an afternoon was spent there with friends  and is still a very popular place in summer for children and adults alike.
With such a large rail history ,when it was downsized the  local  people organized a volunter group called the "Rail Heritage Society" and raised money to convert the old  Railway mens barracks to  more up dated accommodation. They restored the old building and now maintain it as excellent  visitors accommodation, which is regularly booked for  local functions.
It supplies 11 rooms(twin singles) at very reasonable overnight rates. It has disables access both entry and bathrooms and  has communal, breakfast  and lounge rooms on a help yourself basis.There is an onsite caretaker  and has had excellent feedback from past visitors. For anyone interested in booking accomodation at the barracks the contact number is :  0400477355 or if that number is  not available you can try   02 68441593.Also nearby of interest is the old water tank towers, they were used in the old steam train days for  refilling the water in the steam engines.

Binnaway is in a rural area, well known in the past as a big wheat growing are, and now mixed crops,cattle and sheep. The photo below is one of two  grain storage silos that operated  along side  the railway.Also  a big part of the rural sector is the sale yards which  still have regular  cattle sales.
One of the other wonderful volunteer groups that we have in town is "The Men's Shed", it gives local men a place to meet and share  talents and stories and  work together doing joint  works to enhance their skills and friendships.As well the town benefits from many of their projects. They use the  building that used to house the local fire Brigade ,which now has a newer home.
As we leave Binnaway by another  direction we cross a lovely old low level cement bridge. When I was a child this was our only way into town and when the Castlereagh was in flood  it was usually impassable. It was replaced with Corry bridge  in  the late 60's or early 70's.
The above photo shows the same location during a flood a few years ago.
 This is a very picturesque  spot on the river that is always changing after each and every  flood that passes down it and  it  always hold very special childhood memories for me.
 I know , there are many more  places, groups and area that I have not mentioned  or photographed in this post and that is not to say what a great part they play in this wonderful  small town.A small town like this these days needs all the support and  help it can get. Times are hard everywhere and many small towns like this are suffering  and they  rely more and more on the tourists dollars. If ever you are passing by this way, stay a day or two and relax, you won't be sorry.I'll keep a lookout for you !.
So until we meet again
Cheers to all,
Jane.

2 comments:

  1. I like small town recollections like this

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  2. Thanks Matt, I love small towns, they seem to have such a great spirit about them.
    Cheers,
    Jane.

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