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Would you like to publish your poems about the Mudgee region here?  Please send them to the editor. Click here: info@mudgeehistory.com.au

 

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Poems by local Mudgee District Authors

Wendy :Price, nee Gawthorne, sends this poem about her happy days growing up in the Kandos/Mudgee region in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

 

 I was born and grew up in Mudgee, my mother was a Condon and my father a Gawthorne, names that go back quite a few years.  I've always loved Mudgee and my memories of my childhood are of being home and of happiness.  I now live in Port Mcquarie after spending much of my life in Kandos.  I thought this poem may give an indication of what it was like growing up during the 40's, 50's, and 60's. 

 

 

Who are who are who are we?                 

We are we are from Mudgee.

This town that we come from

was born on the banks of the Cudgeegong.

In a cradle of rolling blue hills it nestled,                         

So given the name “Mudgee” the village was settled.

From pioneering, Wiradjuri and convict stock we rose,      

Becoming united through the years, as history shows.

Bred with strength, resilience and stamina for toil,

Our ancestors cultivated diverse produce from the valley’s rich soil.

Their struggles, dreams and undying faith provided the inspiration

Which helped form the platform on which to shape our nation.

In 1860 the village of Mudgee was declared a town,                 

A popular destination when gold was found.

With Market and Church streets the hub of activity,

Traders and buyers would barter diligently.

Citizens in horse drawn sulkies, carriages and wagons, would meet.

And a bullock team, with its great load, could make a full turn in the broadly built streets.

Prominent stores, Kellets, Loneragans, Roths and Wells,

Foundation merchants who sold everything there was to sell.

Pubs sprung up, just about one on every corner.

They catered for travellers, gold seekers and housed many a fine boarder.

Grog and food was served at the end of a day’s labour.

With the local brew, “Mudgee Mud”, a beer of dubious flavour.

 

The Courthouse, Town Hall, banks, Mechanics Institute and the Guardian building amongst the most imposing buildings erected,

Whilst the Post Office, Police Station and Goal, their necessary construction elected.

The rail link from Lithgow bought great changes,

With Mudgee’s rail station the best in the ranges.

Replacing the bark huts used for children’s education

Were fine brick schools built for a growing population.

The memories of High School days, indelible,

That journey from childhood to maturity, incredible.

Where friendships were formed and bonds for life moulded

As our academic abilities gradually unfolded.

 

As you travel towards Mudgee on the Lue Road

You will pass by two 19th Century built abodes.

The first is ‘Havilah’, a homestead of wealth and size.

Its beauty and architecture will tantalize.

Next you will find ‘Gawthorne Cottage’, a quaint two storey home.

Each brick hand moulded from local clay, the best in the district it was known.

Both were built with great hopes and dreams and with great care.

Though far removed by society, Mudgee’s early history they did share.

Many families lived and farmed their land in the shadows of Mount Frome

And along Lawson Creek and the Cudgeegong river , their success today is shown.

 

As Mudgee nears and you take in your first view,

A more charming scene there is but few.

Splendid Gothic Church steeples overlook the village,

As they snuggle comfortably amongst the vivid autumn toned trees, a vista as if from an earlier vintage.

With a stunning backdrop of varying blues of the mountains which surround,

Those steeples stand tall, noble, seemingly ever watchful, guardians over the souls of their town.

 

Take a right turn to the old racetrack, past the present track, to where the airport now stands,

The Bligh Races held there were a drawcard for many race fans.

My memories of early morning track work with my dad, to me a great delight.

Whilst sitting in the silence of the old wooden grandstand, only the winning post and thick fog in my sight.

I’d listen in anticipation for that distant rumble of hooves as the horses jumped from the starting gate.

My heart would pound with excitement, then, through the ghostly fog amid a thunderous roar the horses would break.

With turf flying, breaths steaming from flared nostrils those magnificent thoroughbreds would charge down the straight.

 

Lawson Park set on the banks of the Cudgegong River,

Enclosed in a huge grey fence of stones, which, by horse and cart my grandfather helped deliver.

For me in my youth it was a wonderland of simple pleasure.

We swam, kayaked, played, met friends and dreamed at leisure.

 

The dam wall built across the river, its gaps were just made to jump.

Being so fraught with danger, how our adrenalin would pump.

We’d then climb upon the old cannon conscripted from a world of hell,

And felt the stories of horror from the many soldiers who fell.

Then it guarded a more peaceful scene,  

Though reminding us never to forget what might have been.

 

Victoria Park, the centre of the district’s sport,

Where over the years many a competitive battle has been fought.

Football, cycling, athletics, tennis, cricket, softball, it was all there to be played.

And for sure a great many champions were made.

The seeds of aspiration for greater victories were planted

In those children with higher goals, that, through time would be granted.

 

Mudgee South’s pride and joy, a superb tree-studded golf course,

A testament to its splendour and intrigue each player will endorse.

There’s no better feeling on a bracingly cool frosty morn,

Than to limber up on the first tee as you stifle a yawn.

Looking down the fairway where those splendid old trees make the first shot a little tight,

 The suns rays struggle through the branches creating a mystical light.                                                                 

The undisturbed ambience of the course gives a breathtaking sensation,

And you look forward to your game with great anticipation.

 

  

This lovely old town west of the divide,

Is exquisitely endowed with fruits of the vine.

While you sit with old friends reminiscing the past,

Share a bottle of Mudgee Red and please, raise your glass,

Make a toast to our ancestors who created this wonderful domain,

A legacy for their children and ours it will always remain.

Then, as you travel in this wide world, wherever you may be,

Merely open a bottle of its unique wine and enjoy the deliciousness that is Mudgee.

 

 

                                                          Wendy [Gawthorne.] Price

 

More Australian poetry next page.


 

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