Its always interesting when you get to a new camp spot in the middle of the night. You never really know what the next day will bring. Lots questions get answered once the sun comes up,… do we have a nice creek to collect water from? Whats the view like? Do we have any neighbors? When we woke up with the van parked at Liffey state school though we had no idea what we were in for.
We had been on the road now for about 3 weeks, having spent only one night at any camp spot and Liffey School was to be no different. Have a poke around we thought, take the place in for the day, and back on the road to Launceston tomorrow. After all doesn’t look to be much around, theres not even a town here, just a boring old school.
Well the sun rose and we got to and started on a morning routine, I got cracking on some coffee and chris got started on breaky. We had only been sirring for no longer than a couple of minutes and we were greeted by the farmer next door, Lindsay.
Do you ever meet a person and as soon as you meet them you think to yourself “geez what a nice guy”. That’s Lindsay He came down to meet us that morning as soon as we woke. He let us know we could have and use all we wanted. Eat my corn, eat my berries, have a go of my wood fired oven there whats mine is yours, do you guys eat rabbit? Being two city kids unaccustomed to country hospitality we didn’t really take him too seriously, after all we weren’t going to be hanging around to long.
Lindsay then let us into the school for a look around “here this is how you get in, I’ll get the electricity on for you and some hot water, theres a fire there, you can use my firewood if you like” the country hospitality getting a bit much I thought.
Liffey State School
Liffey state school was established in 1865 and was used as a school up until 1943. It fell into disrepair over the next few years before the local community banded together, raised some money and had it fixed up a bit. Used as a community hall for a period throughout the 70s it wasn’t until 1993 where a local effort again saw the school saved and revamped for local use, this time the council ordering a toilet block be erected. The school has been used since then for everything from scout meetings to folk music nights.
Lindsay took us through naming all the people in the photos on the mantel and on the walls, grandparents, parents and others whom lived around the area. A great point of pride seeming to be the former pupils whom served in world war one, each with a portrait on the wall and their story of service. Lindsay explained that most of their fundraising now goes to the upkeep of the nineteen trees planted for each former student whom lost his life in the great wall.
As I read through some of these young mens names I started noticing relations with others on the wall. The teach a relation to a young soldier, the lady whom reopened the school in 1993 being a relation of four brothers whom died in the great war. Seems this school is a special place to these guys.
After the grand tour and over the top hospitality we didn’t really have the heart to say we were going to be getting back on the road again. Lindsay explained that they don’t get too many tourists hanging around despite their efforts to attract them. We didn’t really have anywhere to be so his eyes lit up when I told him we would probably stay a couple of nights.
One thing though.
“you might need to move the camper” he said. We have the local markets right here tomorrow. I joked and said we would just stay where we are and set up a stall. His eyes lit up again obviously not getting the joke as he started listing things we could sell including apples from his tree. Righto I thought, I guess this is happening…