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Eyesore update May 1, 2008

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Wondering how the gutting of the Rex is progressing? So are we. If you peep through the wooden hoarding you’ll see a sea of iron mesh awaiting a concrete pour. 

Mushroom season 2008 May 1, 2008

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, though with little rain as yet it’s slim pickings.

Beneath the pine needles we uncover out treasure. 

Only the young jucy ones are picked. 

Finally the mushrooms are cooked with onion and bacon then served with bull-boars and potato mash.

Why Daylesford is going to the dogs 2 November 8, 2007

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Eight months ago !!!!!! this self same rear angle shot of the Rex showed virtually no difference. (See The Wrecks.) Have the geniuses who ruined one of the great regional cinemas run out of cash?  

Rex cinema Daylesford

 “They are taking their time,” was one comment from someone in the know. Apparently a bit of electrical work was done last week.

This is the second Daylesford icon vacillating at the mercy of people who can’t see beyond the bottom line. What sort of completion clauses does council insert in the construction permits? Demolition sure was swift. 

You can apparently rip the guts out of anything you want, then let your handiwork rot.

Stalag Rex today (and for the past 8 months) 

Rex cinema Daylesford

Why Daylesford is going to the dogs 1 November 8, 2007

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St Andrews Daylesford

The steady decline in the Presbyterian population of Daylesford led to St Andrews being placed on the market a few years ago. Back then it was hard to sell. A key difficulty was the slanting floor of the church, which made any kind of conversion problematic and expensive.

After only a $650,000 vendor bid at the auction, it was eventually sold and some years later the new owners came up with a grandiose plan for nine townhouses. A state of the art website complete with downloads of architectural drawings from Williams Boag Architects offered this inovative development to the astute investor who may not realize that the anticipated $1,000,000 + price tag was a massive mark-up from the original purchase price – even after factoring in the cost of permits and architects. See http://www.standrewsdaylesford.com.au/

St Andrews Daylesford

Our opportunity to purchase this dream came and went on June 24th. Perhaps the potential buyers had studied the designs and done their sums and realized that the whole thing didn’t add up.

So the razzamatazz wore off and we have what we have today – an overgrown decaying beautiful building completely at the mercy of backroom money men. If you peruse the real estate websites today you will notice a modest price drop. This Daylesford icon can now be yours for a mere $990,000. If you’re looking to add insult to injury, agents Nelson Alexander describe the church as a “warehouse conversion” with one bedroom and one bathroom.

The picture below shows what could be the driveway leading to the lower level town houses if they ever get off the drawing board.

 Proposed driveway to lower level town houses

 St Andrews has been a key Daylesford landmark for over 100 years. Let us hope that it overcomes the joint imperatives of greed and development and perhaps we’ll once again hear that magnificent organ in the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields festival.

St Andrews Daylesford

Mushroom season! May 4, 2007

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This year after such a long dry spell, all sorts of stuff sprouted from the rotting pine plantation floor.

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Of course there were saffron milk caps and Slippery Jacks which ended up in a traditional Latvian mushroom sauce poured over some of that rugged rye bread from Himalayan Bakery.

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Swiss Italian Festa – 2007 May 4, 2007

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Grande Parata 2007

Once again the schools of the region flowed onto the streets of Hepburn Springs, this time taking a different route due to redevelopment works down at the spa.

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The wildest burst of color came from Daylesford Primary School.

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The Daylesford Secondary College Concert Band percussion section pounded out nursery rhymes.

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The usual suspects pass Swiss Italian landmarks.

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It is unfortunate that some sponsors felt the need to have an intrusive presence in what is basically a community festival. Instead of branding the parade, a superior approach would have been to give away samples of the product on street corners.

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Despite the crush at the end where too many revelers attempted to fit into what was basically a glorified back yard, fun was had by all.

The Wrecks February 13, 2007

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You can kiss the Daylesford International Film Festival goodbye as the bulldozers take to the Rex – soon to be converted into an arcade with bowling alley and car park.

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The stage has completely vanished, as have all the chairs and the floor.

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Lake Daylesford refilled September 30, 2006

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Lake Daylesford redeveloped

The monumental Lake Daylesford reconstruction appears to have reached the landscaping phase.

“Just how safe is it?” is the hot topic of discussion amongst locals who witnessed the massive earthworks. Has this new removal of rock actually weakened the overall integrity of the dam wall?

As the waves reach the overflow steps, water gushes over, sounding like a grandiose backyard water feature.

Unfortunately, the obsession with concrete in this venture has led to the creation of a monstrosity along the spillway. Surely this piece of new brutalism is unnecessary – and it is certainly out of place. The landscape geniuses will have to work overtime to hide this structure, rather similar to a wall in the West Bank.

Flag fracas July 20, 2006

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There seems to be a hell of a lot of hyperventilating going on about a colorful piece of cloth up a pole.

As I understand it, the Australian flag will retain its central prominent position on the Daylesford Town Hall as per the official flag flying protocols explained on the It’s an honour Australian Government website.

Other flags could be flown in conjunction with major community events such as the Swiss Italian Festa and Chill Out. I wouldn’t expect a council employee to raise the swastika every time the town hall is booked by a group with national socialist leanings, but I would expect Council to look at co-operating with an established and internationally promoted event such as Chill Out.

But they already do by blocking off Vincent Street for the festivities, so why not fly the flag as well? After all, thousands of dollars from the proceeds of the event are donated to local agencies, such as the grossly underfunded library. The Councillors should be ashamed of themselves. Get with the program kids.

Swiss Italian Festa – 2006 May 4, 2006

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Grande Parata

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