Tuesday, 26 February 2008
"The Res", Macedon, Victoria
Roger Deakin's story-telling in Waterlog (see post below) inspired me to think of some of the more unusual places I've swum in Australia. Many of my father's maternal family, the Coggers, lived around the Mount Macedon area 60km outside Melbourne, and his sister Elizabeth returned there in retirement. We went to visit her in January 1982 - a rather hot summer. My cousin was also around. He took us to a number of local 'hotspots'.
My aunt lived a short walk from "The Res", which I believe was off Nursery Road. I suspect it may not have been legal to swim in this, one of the water reservoirs of the Macedon area. It forms part of drinking water catchment. Nevertheless, it was a great place to slip into, thanks to a bit of local knowledge about its existence.
I’m not sure of the name of this particular waterhole – we just called it “The Res”. According to maps I've looked at, it was probably a small dam on Middle Creek.
We spent a few afternoons down at The res, and I recall swimming out to a dock or platform a hundred or two metres from the bank.
On February 16, 1983, bushfires, known as the Ash Wednesday bushfires devastated Macedon, and many other parts of Victoria and South Australia. When we revisited in September 1984 you could clearly see "The Res" where trees had previously hidden it. That strange smell of dampened ash was STILL in the air that much later.
Below: photo by Peter Smith from The Melbourne Age - the Mount Macedon bushfire from melbourne, 60km away.
[My aunt's house was spared, one of few in her street - the capricious fire just gamced off it, and moved on]