My mind is constantly wandering off, thinking about locations to take my seasonal photos. As some of you know I have visited orchards searching for the perfect autumn leaf or the perfect display of spring blossom. I have set up tables in the paddock at home in blistering summer heat to capture that summery feel. None of this is absolutely necessary but it is how I like to roll.
Recently I stumbled across a photo of a magnificent old building not too far from home that I was previously unaware of. I knew immediately that I had to find the owner and visit this building. After a few calls and emails a deal was done. I paid my way in bread, lamb and quinces and we found ourselves on the deserted streets of Wilcannia on a crisp Saturday morning.
This building is a two storey warehouse with full size cellar, built in the 1870s from local sandstone. It was used for storage and sales connected with the river-boat transport on the Darling River. In 1875 it was described as ‘the extensive premises of Mr. Kirkpatrick, wine and spirit merchant, receiving, forwarding and commissioning agent, who in conjunction with Mr. Frew carries out the business of stock and station agent’. Early photographs show the original verandah configuration and sign writing on the parapet as ‘Frew, Wright & Co.’ and then later as ‘E Rich & Co.’ all with ‘wine, spirits and general merchants’ below.
Entering the weathered doors felt like an actual step back in time. The original timber staircase took me to the top floor where the light floods in and major renovations have been carried out. Interestingly some of the windows are from a disused local power station and they have been re-purposed into these walls. Other windows have been meticulously made by the owner to replicate the originals. The bright top floor has a spacious, warm warehouse feel and will make the perfect creative space for a local artist, one day. Can you even imagine?
I felt privileged to spend a morning in this space. I set up some food photos around the windows and absorbed just a tiny bit of the history within these walls. In this fast paced digital world we are very fortunate to have people who have the dedication and vision to renovate and care for a building on this scale. One day I hope to return, next quince season perhaps.
Thank you to Terry and George for constantly supporting my ventures and helping with the inevitable heavy lifting.
Last photo thanks to Ramiens Timber Co, Dubbo, NSW.
Historical information in the third paragraph thanks to the Central Darling Shire Heritage Survey, 2017.
Thank you to the owner, Anthony for your generosity.
Happy Sunday, friends x