RDP: Bridge

The Tasman Bridge Disaster

image Tasman Bridge, Hobart
crossing the bridge

Hobart’s eastern and western shores are spanned by the Tasman Bridge which was completed in 1964. This bridge replaced an earlier floating bridge that had been built in 1943.

I was not living in Tasmania in 1975 when the bridge collapsed but of course, I saw it on the news. It was only much later when I moved here that I began to understand how it affected people’s lives.

The disaster occurred on the night of the 5th of January 1975. Lake Illawarra, a bulk ore carrier was making its way up the Derwent, as it was a Sunday night there was no pilot on board.  The reports of the accident say that human error and tidal currents in the river were the main factors that caused the ship to smash into one of the bridge pylons. A section of the bridge came down sinking the ship and carrying with it four cars that had been unable to stop in time. The five occupants and seven crew members from the Lake Illawarra died that night. Two other cars were left teetering over the edge of the bridge but miraculously those people survived.

The Tasman Bridge from below.

What I was unaware of until I moved to Tasmania was the social impact the loss of the bridge would have on Hobart. At that time there was only one other river crossing and it was several kilometres away at Bridgewater so getting to and from the CBD became a major problem for people on both sides of the river.  Initially, ferries were brought in to deal with the commuters but later a temporary “Bailey Bridge” was constructed to replace the Tasman Bridge while repairs took place. It was nearly three years before the bridge was re-opened.

The Tasman Bridge, Hobart.

Apart from the delays that this caused for people trying to get to work or appointments it changed people’s lives in other ways. I spoke with workmates who were old enough to remember the disaster and one who was just a teenager at the time told me that she had to move because her job was on the opposite side of the river to her home. Her parents thought it was easier to set her and a friend up in a flat than for them to commute to their jobs. I am sure that she was not the only one who made the move because of work.

The Tasman Bridge, Hobart Tasmania

Probably as a result of the disaster services on the eastern shore were developed faster than they might have been otherwise. The population had been growing for some years but most people worked and shopped in the Hobart CBD. Eastlands shopping centre was enlarged and new shops, offices, medical facilities and entertainment venues started to appear.

Of course what I can never know is how people felt when they heard the news. In a small place like Tasmania. when something bad happens it’s personal because it’s very likely that someone you know has been affected in some way. When people saw the first pictures of the bridge it must have felt as if nothing would ever be the same.

Today a few things have changed. The bridge is repaired but the pylons are in slightly different positions as the Lake Illawarra, now a dive site, still lies on the river bed. There is always a pilot on board any ship that passes under the bridge and when one does the traffic is stopped. A third bridge has been built between Hobart and Bridgewater. The City of Clarence is now one of the fastest growing areas in Tasmania.

image Tasman Bridge
The Tasman Bridge today

Sources:

I have included a few links for those who would like to learn more about what happened. There are some historic pictures as well.

https://roadsaustralia.weebly.com/tasman-bridge.html

https://think-tasmania.com/tasman-bridge/

http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/T/Tas%20bridge%20collapse.htm

https://www.news.com.au/national/tasmania/tasman-bridge-lights-go-out-to-honour-12-who-died-in-disaster/news-story/3e38ff29cf07486a5b747b23d346c6eb

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tasman-bridge-disaster/image-gallery/3ab6314370988d3e65a0978f68dd3e1c

http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/C/Clarence.htm

 

RDP Tuesday: Rain

It’s Raining Again

Whether we have it or we don’t have it rain plays an enormous part in our daily lives.  We can’t live without it but too much of it at one time can cause havoc and not enough of it is devastating.

One of the things that attracted me to the Huon Valley is how green it is. I’d spent most of my life in South Australia, the driest state and the rivers and lakes, green grass and flowers here appealed to me. It does seem to rain more here than some other parts of the state. Naomi says that it always rains when she comes to visit me. She was here Saturday and it was dry until about 5pm and then as she started to think about going home down came the rain.

The view of the Huon River from halfway up Percy St, Port Huon

Not enough rain at the right time of year can be bad for farmers crops but unseasonal rain and hail in summer can ruin the cherry crop and growers lose a lot of money because damaged cherries are no good for export.

At times there are areas that are very prone to flooding. Launceston often suffers from floods in winter but the city has put in levees that they hope will protect the city from the worst of them. We had bad flooding in the north a couple of winters ago when several rivers rose dangerously high.

Huon River in flood at Huonville. photo from ABC news.

The Huon River sometimes floods in winter, usually, it is not too bad in Huonville, just water over the road in a couple of places. Two or three times since I’ve been here I’ve seen water in the main street and a couple of businesses have been affected but a couple of years ago there was a situation created by high tides in the estuary, melting snow and a lot of rain and there was a much worse flood. Homes were evacuated, businesses were flooded and livestock lost.

Tasmania isn’t always wet though, people don’t realise it but Hobart is the driest state capital after Adelaide and we have had serious droughts in Tasmania, especially in the eastern part of the state. The area where Naomi lives in the centre of the state is farming country and she often told me how distressed the local farmers were when they had to destroy sheep or sell them for very little because the land would not support them. Lake Dulverton at Oatlands where she lives dried up completely during a particularly bad drought.

This is the lake at the height of the drought.
image fisherman
Fisherman December 2009

I am fortunate enough that my house is connected to the town water supply but I have friends who rely on rainwater tanks and when the rain doesn’t come they have to buy water.

Mostly I don’t mind when it rains. Of course, it is a nuisance at times, at the Op Shop for example when it is too wet for us to put anything outside the shop and the bad weather keeps customers away. Or when I go to the cricket and the match is rained out.  On the other hand, rain is nice to cool everything down after a hot day and I like the sound of rain on a metal roof. Without rain, there would be no rainbows.

Rainbow in a dark sky.

References:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/weather/2013/11/21/australian-weather-myths-tested-city-fare/

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/huon-river-flood/image-gallery/1a34c091785188721f27c875ecc18d85

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cold

Winter in Tasmania

It is almost summer here so this week’s photos will be mostly reruns.

Compared to the weather some of my blogging friends experience in winter ours are pretty mild. Although mountainous areas get snow in winter low-level snow is rare enough that we get a bit excited about it. If we get some it usually isn’t a lot and doesn’t last long. Here are a couple of pictures from snowy days in 2015 and 2017. In 2015 we had some very heavy falls that came below 300 metres which meant that bus services to Hobart were restricted for a day or so. I was traveling to see David in the hospital during this time and the second photo was taken on one of those trips.

Untouched snow. This is about as heavy as it usually gets in Geeveston although higher altitudes will get more. Near Geeveston 2017

 

Taken from the bus window June 2015

What we mostly get in winter though is rain, frost, and fog. The damp and the greyness of almost everything is what makes it seem colder than it probably is.

We get a bit of fog here, especially in winter time.
frosty morning 2015
Bus Stop in the rain.

It rained almost continuously when we went to Strahan for a weekend. During a stop on our Gordon River cruise, our guide soldiered on regardless telling us about the flora and fauna and while Bruce and I took as many photos as we could.

Our guide braves the rain.
Bruce taking photos on our Gordon River cruise.
A cold rainy day 20 May 2012.

 

 

All The Fun Of The Fair: The Huon Show 2018

I haven’t been able to visit the Huon Show for several years and this year I really wanted to go. I was considering catching the bus to Ranelagh where the show is held when Ally called me and said that she and Matt wanted to go too. Could they come and stay with me on Friday night? Of course, I said yes. Saturday morning came and the weather was bright.  We set off early to be sure of getting a park close to the Showgrounds. Ranelagh is just outside of Huonville so we were there in less than half an hour.

Alpaca at the Huon Show
I love Alpacas.

We all wanted to see the animals more than anything else and we spotted the Alpaca enclosure as soon as we came through the gate. There are several breeders in the area and some others had come from other parts of the state to show off their animals.

Kids and calves

I also particularly wanted to see the cows this year. The reason for that is that I have been reading about the issue of de-horning cows in “Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss”  this week. The Swiss are having a vote on whether this practice should be continued. I do see the odd cow near my house but I wanted to see if the practice was widespread in Tasmania. Well, I saw several breeds of cows, Jerseys, Herefords, Friesian etc and nary a horn between the lot of them I’m afraid. I decided to look it up and found in the RSPCA knowledge base a document that says that it is legal to de-horn cattle in every state and territory in Australia.

This has to be the largest cow I’ve ever seen.

https://kb.rspca.org.au/is-dehorning-of-cattle-legal_274.html

https://www.ava.com.au/policy/84-dehorning-cattle

There are some guidelines about what age and how this should be done and apparently it is recommended that a procedure called disbudding be used instead.  Disbudding is the removal of horns before they attach to the skull but I wish it wasn’t done at all. At least the Swiss cows get a referendum to support their cause.

Popular with the children.

We went to see the dog judging. It’s a small dog show compared to a city show but it’s always fun to see the dogs. I find dog show people are a breed of their own too.

Golden Retrievers in the judging ring.
Bedlington Terrier. I had to look this up.
A group of dogs with their owners.

On the main arena, the Tasmanian Light Horse Society was giving a demonstration of riding and training exercises that the troops would have done. Of course, we stopped to watch this for a while and to look at the Draught Horses in their pens nearby. There was some show jumping too but I had not brought my long lens so I could not photograph that well.

A riding demonstration in WWI uniform.
Two of the horses in the riding demonstration.
Meeting the horses
Draught Horse
The Draught horses were popular with the crowds too.

We saw goats and poultry but missed the sheep who were penned in an area of deep shade. Good for the sheep as it was warm but not very interesting to photograph.

When I saw this guy I just thought of ZZ Top
Feeding goat.
This bird was a prize winner and I think she knew it.
Wyandotte, an American breed.
I am not sure if this is another Wyandotte. They come in different colours

There was wood chopping, which I forgot to photograph and wood carving with a chainsaw. There were carnival rides, sideshows, and Showbags.  There were vintage machinery and farm equipment, handicrafts and afternoon teas.

To finish off here are a few more photos. WordPress is not letting me do galleries today or it could be this computer because I can usually do them on the laptop. The computer is seven years old so I forgive it.

Working on a carving.
Chainsaw carving of a wombat.
A Seahorse carved with a chainsaw.
Another restored vehicle from the vintage machinery club.
Not sure what this if for but it makes a lot of noise.
The Laughing Clowns game.
Lucky tickets at the sideshows.
A carnival worker
Lethal Weapon Ride
Energy Storm ride
I think the recorded voice in these things is the same one I remember from my teens.

 

Snapshot Sunday: Poultry in Motion

A chicken being judged at the Huon Show.

This was taken in the poultry hall at the Huon Show. I assume that this man is a judge and is examining the bird but when I saw him holding it I just had seconds to take the picture so I didn’t inquire.

There will be more pictures from the Huon Show in another post very soon.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Places People Live

Homes of Hobart

I love walking the streets looking at old or interesting houses I love to photograph them too and I hope their owners don’t mind me sharing these pictures. I don’t photograph local houses as much because it seems a bit cheeky. I know I would think it odd if some random person were standing outside my house taking photographs. Although, if they came and asked me if they could photograph my house for their blog I’d probably say yes.

These old houses are in North Hobart. I like the colour and style of them very much.

A street of terrace houses in North Hobart.
Leitrim North Hobart.

 

Terrace Houses

Heading back into Hobart, these apartments at the end of Salamanca Place are in a converted grain silo.

The old grain silos at Salamanca now converted to apartments

If we walk up to Princes park or climb Kelly’s Steps we come to Battery Point.

These houses on Arthur’s Circus in Battery Point are some of the oldest homes in Hobart and are frequently photographed by tourists.

Arthur Circus, some of the oldest houses in Battery Point.
Art Deco apartment building, Sandy Bay

In nearby Sandy Bay, there are many interesting and expensive houses and apartments. This is one that I could not resist photographing because I love this style of building.

Snapshot Sunday: Fire Engines

On Friday I had to go to Hobart to pick up a parcel from a shop just outside the CBD. As I walked back down Campbell Street I noticed that there was some activity around the open roller doors at the fire station. When I saw vintage fire engines, of course, I had to grab my phone and take a few photos.
We do have more modern fire engines for actual firefighting though 🙂