Posted 8 months ago
Some of these postcards can lead me astray and this one certainly did on this occasion. It is unusual I suppose because it shows a snow scene on an Australian postcard. The image some may have of Australia is of a hot continent somewhere down south. But there is also a vibrant winter tourist industry that dates back to 1861. This card falls into the winter tourist category of Australian postcards, I suppose.
The card was sent by M.Wright to Maude Lankester and reading the message you get the feel that (s)he was visiting the area for a few weeks holiday. Mention is made of J. C. Neil , who had a general store in the town of Narbethong and perhaps had a post agency too! The return postal address is via J. C. Neil. Narbethong is a small town about 120 kilometres or 75 miles from Melbourne. Perhaps (s)he was skiing or hiking in the area?
The card is written in a style that is a precursor to the modified English we see in texting today: stream-of-consciousness little punctuation but spelling still accurate.
The scene is of Tommy's Bend. This is a stretch of road 10 kilometres from Marysville on the Woods Point Rd up to Lake Mountain. Today it is a favourite climb of cyclists testing their physical skills. The climb from Marysville is 21.3km long and rises at an average gradient of 4.3%. The first 4.3km of the climb are the most challenging with an average gradient of 8.1%.
There's a story that suggests that Tommy was a horse that dropped dead there because of the steep climb!
The trees are part of old growth mountain ash forests that existed in the central highlands of Victoria north-east of Melbourne. Bush fires and logging have changed the area considerably since the time of the postcard. These forests were home to endangered species such as Leadbeater's possum.
Title: TOMMY’S BEND IN THE SNOW MARYSVILLE.
Publisher: Osboldstone and Atkins (?). Printed in Australia.
Size: 14.1cm x 9cm (5½" x 3½")
Description: Colour postcard, with image of Tommy’s Bend in Snow.
Materials: paper, ink.
Associated content: Miss M. Lankester, Emu Park, Ettamogah, Albury, NSWales.
Dear Maude just a card hope you are well, it is snowing up here just now and very cold & wet I will be home probably next month, love to your Father & yourself from M.Wright
c/- J. C. Neil Narbethong 23/6/11
Post Card Printed in Australia
Victorian one penny stamp franked June 23 1911 N(arbethong?) Victoria or M(arysville?) Victoria.
Associated place and context: 120 km north east of Melbourne – a very leisurely 2 hours from Victoria’s capital city is a popular destination for tourists interested in hiking, cycling and winter sports. For skiers and hikers there are more than 10 trails, 7 toboggan runs and a skiable area of 2,400 hectares for beginners and advanced skiers too.
Other attractions include Steavenson Falls which these days is a major tourist attraction with some 180,000 visitors a year. Steavenson Falls are one of the tallest in Victoria, with 5 cascades, a total descent of 122 metres, the last having a clear drop of more than 21 metres.q..