Similar to the local railway stations, the old general stores that lie vacant tell a story of days gone by and buildings deserted as populations or commerce moves on. It’s particularly sad when perhaps this was the last commercial building in the town and often the centre of activity and frequently patronised by locals of all ages.
The following show some of these local premises in my area.
The old corner store in Kandos – now closed for over a decade – and once the favourite venue for children and their lollies. It’s just around the corner from me and I think it would have been my favourite too. I love the verandah canopy that runs across the footpath.
The country trains runs have been greatly reduced over the years obviously due to cost pressures. I understand this but the trains also mean a great deal to local towns in making them more accessible to the public and providing regular transport to the locals, rather than relying on access to cars.
Train lines track throughout the country and whilst you drive across many level crossings, you may be surprised to find how few of them ever have trains run along them. One of the visible sadder aspects I find are the lovely old railway stations which were once such a centre of industry, social connection and activity now being deserted and forlorn. Whilst many decry the mining industry, for some areas it has meant that the railway lines have at least been maintained for mineral transportation, if not for people. This has kept the train line open to Kandos, even though public trains finish their run at Lithgow.
Very infrequently a heritage train comes through with Kandos being the final stop and resting place for lunch before returning to Sydney. This is quite an event and is usually sold out. The whole town turns out complete with Markets to greet the tourists.
In the meantime, I bring you some photos of the gracious old railway stations in the area. They obviously were once buildings of stature in the community and have a very Australian heritage feel about them.
The Kandos Railway Station has been lovingly restored into a popular cafe, however the other buildings are not so fortunate, and whilst sometimes appearing as attractive heritage landmarks from the distance, stand often abandoned and closer scrutiny tells a different picture. They are often at locations that are less likely to sustain a commercial venture, which seems such a misfortune.