Morven with a population of 250 people is an Outback Queensland town where we spent a few sleepy days camped at the Morven Recreation Grounds. That was in 2018 on the start of our road trip to see Australia. A lot has happened since those lazy days and I am again grateful for diary entries made along the way.
Facilities at the campground were basic but adequate: a shower and two toilets, one for Rams, the other for Ewes. A donation box hung outside the facilities and the suggested $5 for unpowered camping and $10 for one of the few powered sites that also have water.
It is arid land and the fine red dust shifts easily in the slightest breeze to spread a film of red earth on everything.
The town was an easy bike ride from our camp into town along the Warrego Highway. Information boards along the main road tells of a town steeped in pioneering history. Several museum displays spread across one side of the town each highlighting aspects of outback life. Several buildings were part of the museum as was the one we checked out that housed miniature buildings displayed.
Today there is no hotel in Morven yet the miniature buildings carefully crafted by a resident tells a different tale. There was a time when the hotel played an important role in the community situated on a main mail route and serviced by the stagecoaches of Cobb and Co who brought mail and supplies into the town.
Housed in a separate building was a grand assortment of farming and household items from ‘the olden days’. I like visiting this type of museum with Basil as few items beat his knowledge of farming implements.
The story goes his father and Uncle Roy were fixing a piece of machinery but had difficulty loosening a stiffened nut. The spanner they needed was missing from the shed. Aunty Jean was sure she had ‘something that would work’ and the men waited, keen to see what she came up with. She rounded the corner triumphantly brandishing what became known as an Äunty Jean Spanner” (pictured below).
Far from being the tool to do the trick it was apparently: absolutely useless because it wouldn’t fit a nut properly, burrs the nut making it even more difficult to work with. The men decided it made a better hammer.
We stopped at the Post Office and spent time with the proprietors. After fourteen years the husband and wife team want to sell up and move to be nearer their children and grandchildren. It would be a hard life with only public holidays off. At one time the Post Office was the hub of the community. The couple kept an eye on the elderly as well as reading and writing letters for illiterate community members. I hope they sold their business and are now on the road travelling as we are.
- Having journal entries to rescue the day
- The laughs from reading this entry
- The campground at Morven that was a peaceful place to spend a quiet few days