Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The FODEN Steam Engine

When gold ran out in Trentham, the locals turned to logging. The Wombat forest during European settlement was logged out although now it has regenerated. Tramways were built to bring the fallen trees from the forest sawmills then directly to the Trentham station to be transported to Melbourne. 

Not that long ago I posted the black and white photo below. It shows a steam engine transporting the wood to the station. After last weekend, it now has much more significance to me. We went to Bullarto, only about 10 kms from Trentham where they had their annual Tractor-Pull, Wood-Chop and car show.

There in all its glory was a beautifully restored Foden steam traction engine. 
It was quite an amazing vehicle of several tons in weight and sounded glorious when in motion.

I'll post some photos of the Tractor Pull competition in a few days.
More on the Foden here;

Saturday, March 10, 2018

"The People are so Friendly"

Last Tuesday the Cool Country Classic Car Club took their cars to our aged care facility for the residents to enjoy our cars as much as we do. Earlier I went for a coffee in town and while Celeste (my demure Citroen) was parked in the street, I was questioned by a couple about her. They are currently visiting with the prospect of buying some land to build in Trentham. Today I met them again (twice actually). 
They have spent the last four days enjoying our town. 
We chatted for awhile and I then asked them the all important question - "What has intrigued you most about Trentham". The answer was as I expected - "The people are so friendly". 
I hope they find what they are looking for.

We have a great car club here in Trentham - the population of the town is about 1400 but our car club has 110 members and we get approx 30 members to our general meetings. We are meeting many like-minded locals through the car, foodie, garden, petanque groups in this intimate village.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

So many stories to tell.

Its a warm day, Sue says to me, "Would you like me to shout you a cold beer." "Yes that would be very nice dear, especially in the beer garden of the Royal George", I said.

Well as I said previously that it was a nice warm day and we had been out shopping for such garden stuff as veggie garden soil and horse poo, I thought a beer would go down very well.

So we get to the Pub, in this case the Royal George and we have a short beer tasting when she samples a few before deciding on what suits her palate - me, just give me a bloody beer, I'm parched after that horse poo thing.

So after Sue discovers that her purse is still in the car, I then have to shout the beers. Not only that but I carry them out to the beer garden - not much of a garden but a parched dusty soil area with rotted garden furniture.

BUT, there's this wonderful old timber building with a picket fence in the corner of the beer garden.
If only buildings could talk and tell us their history. Who lived here? For how long?, did children grow up here?
So many stories to tell.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Back roads of East Trentham

Decided to go for a drive in our latest's plaything - an MG 2003 TF. Had the iPhone in the car playing Spotify via bluetooth - Modern cars do have benefits.
The new toy

I discovered a few new roads in Trentham and some interesting architecture. You never get tired of the surroundings in the Central Highlands.

Lisieux until recent times was a B&B but now is a family home. I pass by this property on my morning rides. 1849 dates this property before the gold rush era of Victoria.

Once a church in Fernhill, today it is a private home. Every St Patrick's day there is a march from here to the Pig and Whistle pub just up the road at East Treantham. Naturally its an Irish pub with Guinness on tap.

I have no idea of this corrugated iron house in East Trentham but once I know, I'll let you know.

Again in East Trentham is this small timber hut. I imagine it was one of the many potato grower's huts that seem to expose themselves when you just happen to take notice.
Next Sunday we are off to a classic car show which is our "Pebble Beach". All the state car club will have their cars on display. We'll bring you some of the finest examples next post.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Over the many years Sue and I've had several pets or more appropriately, additional members of the family. When we first met, Sue had Ella the cat, then came Che the Lab/Shepherd cross.
Another dog arrived in the shape of a beagle. The three, Che, Mac and Ella would lay in front of the fire in winter on their communal rug.

Ella passed away at good age and two cats arrived however one we believe may have been stolen (Burmese) and the other ventured to far from home to the highway - buff said!

Che had a good life but Mac the beagle was lonely and so we eventually decided he needed another friend. Murphy was an Irish Wolfhound and the most delightful and loving big bloke you would ever want to meet. With two dogs in the family, Sue started pining for another cat but it had to be Burmese.

We went to a breeder in Richmond with our son Mitchell. It was a good thing we took Mitch as he actually made the choice or maybe one of the kittens chose him. Our little Burmese was with us almost 21 years. She ruled the two dogs with an iron paw. Gem outlived both Murphy, Mac and another moggy by the name of Rosie. It was only last year Gem passed away and we decided not to replace her now that we live in the country.

Well!!!, that didn't last long as Sue was researching breeders and came across a recommended breeder on the Bellarine Peninsula. We went to visit her and the new litter. The Breeder took us around the garden and we seemed to talk for ages but on reflection, I think we were being considered as worthy "parents". We passed the test.

Sue was concerned how she would pick from the litter and remembering that Gem chose us, I told her it would be the same - the right kitten would choose her. How right was I?
After handling the kittens, one crawled up onto Sue and snuggled into her shoulder with her head under her hair - BINGO.

Her name is Lily - she's still a smuggler and has endeared herself to us as a member of our family.
Until I build and outside cat run, she remains an indoor cat. Living in the country we believe we have a responsibility to maintain her safety and the lives of the native fauna.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A HOUSE that became a HOME.

Last post showed our garden as it is today - it made me follow up on what the property looked like during the build during the winter of 2016. We took the keys 3 days before Christmas so that's 14 months ago. I reckon we haven't done too bad in the scheme of things, particularly since its been mainly our own work except for the major part of bringing in the gravel and soil.

Our next post, we hope to introduce you to the new member of our family - her name is Lily.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I never thought of myself as gardener but since retirement and moving into a new home in Trentham, the desire to improve our surroundings has become a bit of a passion. Sue of course finds it difficult to do the physical stuff but she's the expert supervisor. Having said that I do tend to rush off to the nursery to purchase plants the "I" tend to like without consultation with the "Supervisor".

We also have had some great advice from one of our neighbours, Wendy who is an avid gardener. Trentham also has a gardening group and our local nursery has been helpful with advice on the best plants for our climate. Being situated at 700m above sea level we are part of "the Cool Country" and yet we have had a few high 30 to 40 degree days. This summer we've had to keep the water up to the garden and fortunately its survived very well.

This post is to show where we are at after 14 months since moving in to the house. The hard part was shifting the left over builder's rubble, and then getting top soil in, laying gravel drive and pathways.
Then came the satisfying project of building our gardens and seeing them grow.

Recently we had an arbor built - at the base we planted climbing roses that we hope will eventually soften the structure with green, creamy white and pink.
When we first moved in, this area was a mass of builder's rubble and uneven ground.

Just outside our dining room window we've planted a cottage garden that now has got wild. It's a mass of Cosmos, Bluebells, Lavender and Iris amongst other plants that this newborn gardener has no idea of their names. BUT, gosh they all look great.

I've personally loved fern gardens and I found a spot that survives under a cover of several overhanging trees. There's tree ferns with baby tear growing around their base, smaller birds nest ferns and several ground cover plants amongst the mulched garden bed.
A grave path leads you to the fernery and I hope in time that some of the ground cover with border the path and give it a softness.

As we emerge from the fernery, the gravel path takes us to what we call, the maple walk where we have planted four maple trees and to the very left along the fence line we are planting a rosemary hedge.

At the front of the house, we've set-up a little sitting area. This area faces the house with our cypress hedge behind it. The hedge gives us total privacy. Either side of the garden seat are two potted olive trees. The elysium has gone rampant as have the petunias and some cosmos are sprouting delicate white flowers. We are very please with the way this small feature has progressed.

Currently I'm working on the laundry side of the house with the planting of more ground cover plants to grow among gravel pathways I have laid. Most probably we'll add some potted shrubs/trees to add height. This side of the house gets full morning sun so the plants should grow well with TLC.

Another future project is a combined one with my son who has been a wonderful help with the garden. He wants to add a personal vineyard of pinot noir and chardonnay which should grow well in this cool climate.

I wonder where we will be in another twelve months!

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Down the Track a Little

MUSK is a hamlet no more than 15 kms from Trentham. 
The railway up until 1974 ran from Daylesford thru Musk, Lyonville also stopping at Trentham and Fern Hill on its way to meet the main line to Melbourne.
Today its a tourist train stopping at Bullarto just pass Musk and returns to Daylesford.

We must try it one day.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Hitching Post

Believe it or not!
We still have a hitching post in Trentham. It must have been here since horse carriage days. Later the building behind the post was an automotive garage. There is still an old petrol bowser to be seen behind a high fence. I'll bring further updates on the history of the hitching post and the old garage after I visit our Historical Society.
The old garage is now my favourite cafe/coffee house.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Guildford General Store No.3

The third in the series of the Guildford General Store.
Tucked away in a corner is another room where you might just like to partake in a comforting cuppa.
There's books on the shelf and photos of days gone by on the walls.

Not many people ventured to this room while we were here - well, none actually except me.
It had a soothing and relaxing ambience that invited me to stay longer.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

General Store at Guildford

Sitting in a small general store in Guildford while having a coffee and cake you get to observe the locals and the occasional tourist wanting a break in their day.

We park out front, and walk towards the store. There's a couple of craggy old local blokes sitting outside with the equally craggy old dog.
G'day they say with distinctly country drawl and a big beaming smile which exposes a long time reluctance to visit a dentist.

I reckon that the two chairs that they are sitting on are theirs. They may not have their names on them but you just know that the locals know who they belong to.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

An Occasional B&W iPhone Photo

Sometimes, just sometimes posting enthusiastically and consistently on a BLOG can occasionally wane.
Maybe the daily photo think might be easier - I guess it depends on your daily life.
Sue and I have now been in our new home and new life in Trentham about two weeks over 12 months and we couldn't be happier. It's a great community with new experiences every day.
We should share more of them with you so here's our nonsenical photos for Trentham Tales.

I met this door latch/lock in a nearby village of Guildford. Other than a General Store, Post Office and a Pub, there's not a lot more but with the outer perimeters of the actual town, there's a thriving population that keeps these businesses alive.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Time and Commerce moves on.

There was a time when Trentham became a logging town - that is when not so further afield that the gold ran out. There was much mining for the precious metal no more than 10 to 15 kms away towards Blackwood. My last post mentioned the Trentham railway which was where the logging was transported to for shipment to Melbourne. As time went by, the area would reinvent itself.
Gold mining, logging, then potato growing and now tourism.

Wood logging in Trentham area

Mining in Blue Mount Rd, Trentham