Welcome to Day 2 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
Today, we’re cruising from Ashgrove Farm in Elizabeth Town to Bridport, in North-Eastern Tasmania. Driving from nearby Deloraine, it’s a a 129km drive, taking about about 1 hour 34 mins. However, it could take a lot longer if you stop off at any of the vineyards around Piper’s Brook. With our supplies of cheese and crackers from Ashgrove Farm, it only seems fitting to wash them down with a drop or two.
Bridport is many things to many people but for Geoff’s family, it was also where Nanna and Pop lived and they weren’t far from the beach either. Nanna was known for her canaries and she used to bake the canaries a form of sponge cake loaded with egg yolks from the chooks as well as caraway seeds. Nanna was also renowned for her homemade bread, which took out prizes at the nearby Scottsdale Show.
Anyway, since you can’t go to Bridport to see Nanna these days, I’d better keep moving and I’ve actually gone back in time to 1883 to provide a local description of the place as well as a mention of a local ghost…
“We are now having beautiful weather, so good that it makes us think summer is close at hand. The approach of summer always sets people thinking of excursions, picnics, and visits to the seaside. Here we are always at the seaside, and perhaps do not realise quite as much enjoyment from a ramble on the beach as people who only get a sniff of the briny once in 12 months. Still we sometimes take a stroll on the sands and enjoy it. I often think if Bridport was better known, and there were better facilities for getting from Launceston to it, in time it would become a favorite seaside resort. On the east side of the bay there is a splendid sandy beach (none better in Tasmania) for upwards of 10 miles at low water. This beach is hard and firm as a macadamised road, being a splendid stretch to either ride, drive, or walk on. The west side of the bay the coast is rocky, making a nice resort for robust ladies and gentle men to scramble about on. There is also good bathing, boating, shooting, and both salt and ‘fresh -water fishing ; in fact Bridport is the very ideal summer retreat that plenty of people are looking for. We were enlivened for several nights with the visits of a “real genuine ghost.” I don’t think it was a bad sort of ghost in the way they generally go, but it managed to frighten two -or three people very muchly. I think if anything the ghost scared the people more than the earth quakes have done, so we may conclude the ghost has scored one on the earthquakes. A few evenings ago some of the ghost friends went to interview it, but as it did not come up to time they all went home again very much disgusted to find they had no chance of offering it the stock whips, stones, and other things they intended presenting his ghostship with. We have had no visitations from it since. Most likely his satanic majesty has found work for it in another quarter.”
Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 – 1928), Tuesday 2 October 1883, page 3
In addition to sharing with you about the beautiful beach and coastline, I thought I should also mention Bridport’s wombat population. I have vague memories about Geoff’s aunt telling me about a local wombat which walked around the shops back in the 1940s and was well known around town. I couldn’t find any reference to it online. However, I did come across “Norma’s Ark”, which operates out of Norma Baker’s Bridport home. We were quite conscious of the sheer number of dead animals besides the road, particularly Bennett’s Wallabies and Norma does a fantastic job nursing injured animals and then returning them to the wild. You can read more about Norma and Norma’s Ark Here.
While this is hardly a comprehensive tour of Bridport, it does provide a few insights and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I look forward to catching up with you tomorrow!