Take a self-guided walk through the history of Gloucester depicted in art. The Gloucester Mosaics Walk takes you on foot to see mosaics on walls and on footpaths around town. There’s even some works that Gaudi would be proud of: planter boxes and creative seating in the Meeting Place plus the large platypus covered in mosaic tiles in Billabong Park.
The mosaics scattered around the township depict stories of Gloucester from the earliest days to the present time. Take yourself on a journey and learn about Gloucester through the mosaics. Start outside the Visitors Centre with the tables in the meeting place and the wall mosaics opposite. Then follow the pavement mosaics starting on the corner outside Channell’s newsagent and walking anticlockwise down to the roundabout and then back up the other side of the street crossing overat Hume Street to complete the circuit back to the meeting place.
A. The clear, clean upper reaches of the local rivers of the tops provide excellent trout fishing while white water canoeing is exciting on the Barrington River.
B. The first settlers began dairy farming, in Gloucester’s green valleys. Technology and economic efficiency has changed dairying from many small to a few large producers.
C. The steam train records the importance of transport for the district from the earliest bullock teams and stage coaches to the XPT of today.
D. Gold mining- in the early days there was gold in the hills you can still find specks in the rivers if you are lucky.
E. Thunderbolt, the bushranger rode this country: he was said to have never killed a man and was gentle with women.
F. Timber getting has been a vital part of life in Gloucester from the earliest days.
These represent the cattle industry of the area and many of the breeds of cattle, which flourish in the Gloucester district. See if you can find a Friesian, Galloway, Highland, Murray Grey, Brahmin, Hereford and a baldy black Angus.
1. The Butter Factory – mosaics on the corner by Channell’s Newsagent holds the key to all the mosaics in the footpath. It seems a puzzle to work out until you realize the yellow mosaic is butter. This depicts a machine producing butter in the former prize winning butter producing area. The closing of the butter factory is the reason we have the mosaics in the footpath. A federal government grant was given to Gloucester for the retaining of the butter factory workers who had been made redundant by the closure in 2001. They became known as “the orange men” (due to their orange safety vest) as they learnt new skills commencing with the concreting of the pavements of Church Street. They left squares in the pavement for the mosaics.
2. Clear, sparkling, waterfalls tumble into beautiful swimming holes in Barrington Tops National Park. Tourism is now a vital part of Gloucester’s economy.
3. At aged ninety years Dorrie Ridgeway remembered the Gloucester diphtheria epidemic. As a young girl she helped nurse the patients who were isolated in a kiosk in the park. Bread, milk and other provisions were brought to the fence and the nurse and Dorrie were isolated with the patients. Her sister was a patient and instructed her in the art of cooking for the patients. Dorrie remembered the bath in the tent in the park.
4. Mr. Robert Dawson, the Australian Agricultural (AA) Company’s chief agent in 1825, almost all of the lands within the Gloucester Shire today were originally owned by the AA Company.
5. Gloucester ShireCouncil, today’s Council Logo celebrates Gloucester’s Centenary in 2003.
6. The 1929 floods- Kimbarra Lodge residents remember with amusement the haystack floating down Church Street with its load of cackling hens on top.
7. Gloucester Church Street in 1930, a horse-drawn coach and ladies dressed in their best on a visit to town.
8. Going to school in 1939 these girls doubled on their horse and rode four miles to school; others had to walk all the way.
9. These silos were an old landmark as you drove into Gloucester. They were demolished in 2000.
10. The bullock team pulls a load of logs to timber mill.
11. The ring tailed possum peering out between tree ferns and Antarctic beech leaves remind us of the importance of the ancient, mossy Antarctic Beech Forest (Nothofagus Southern Beech). The genus is found in other southern lands including as fossils in Antarctica proving that Australia was once part of Gondwana.
12. The first train to arrive in Gloucester in 1913 (with some artistic license).
13. St. Clements Anglican Church was the very first church in Gloucester district. It was built by the AA company and stood in what is now St. Clements Historic Park.
14. The Clock Tower in Gloucester, Memorial Park was built as a tribute to Diggers involved in World War One and honors all those from Gloucester who died serving in later wars.
15. One of the many gold mines, which dotted Gloucester area. This could be the Mountain Maid mine at Copeland.
16. Hard work in the early days clearing the land and ploughing with horses.
17. The endangered broad- toothed rat is the only surviving species of the Mastectomy’s genus. A small isolated population lives in the sub alpine swamps of Barrington Tops. It eats half its body weight of snow grass every day and survives the winter in communal nests under the snow.
18. The goanna mosaic with the sun warming the land recognizes the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Barrington Tops area, the Worimi and Biripi people and their beautiful land with its many sacred sites.
19. The milk cart –dairying was a vital industry for Gloucester, the women remember the hard work milking by hand and churning of the butter.
20. The Royal Hotel in Park Street survived the big flood of 1929 only to be burnt down a few years later.
21. Fred Ward, the bushranger known as Captain Thunderbolt waits by his fire, outside his cave near Gloucester, for the damper baked in his oven to cool.
22. Wood cutters standing on boards felled the massive trees.