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]


Anonymous said...

Hi Sally I actually grew up in Coggers lane Mt Macedon opposite Morry and Mrs Cogger.That area was not spared the fires. As far as I know you were swimming in the State Nursery dam. Back in the 60's was a place to stop and water the horses and have a swim

Sally said...

Hey, Liz - thanks so much for that local knowledge. Much appreciated. It certainly was a great swimming place.

Anonymous said...

Should see the RES at Macedon these days.
Kids canoes and kiaks all over it on weekends.
And the fish are huge...

Chris O'Sullivan said...

Hi There Sally and to Liz,
im Chris O'Sullivan, Sally i do believe your 2nd?? cousin. .i'm Roslyn O'Sullivan nee. Cogger's Son. Isabella AND Maurice Cogger's youngest GrandSon.. Mum says to say a big Hello, and Hello to Liz! You must be Liz, Marko and Clare's Daughter, last time i would have seen you i would have been a little kid. i remember you riding a motorbike..?? (i think)..i hope you, your brother and sister are all doing well.
It does sound like you ere swimming down at the State Nursery dam- near Auntie Clara's..or as we used to call it~ Shark Bay... :D

Chris O'Sullivan said...

~~ SALLY & LIZ~~
Hi Sally,
i have just asked my Mum about this, Hi im your 2nd?? cousin, Chris O'Sullivan. Roslyn Cogger's Son.. Isabella and Maurice's Cogger's youngest Grandchild.. i have got a vague recollection about meeting you years go at Auntie Clara's.?. probably 1982-ish..So possibly around the time when you took those Pictures? Mum, says to Say Hello!!

and Liz, if the memory is correct your one of Marko and Clair Speck's daughters?

Was it you that used to ride the motor bike??

i always think kindly about your Mum an Dad, they were always so nice to us as Kids.

We used to live with Nan up Coggers lane after Mum and Dad got divorced around 1982 till the bushfires.

Clinton Clutterbuck said...

Today myself and my friends swim in "The Res" all the time during summer, it has always been one of the favourite place of the locals to fish, swim,bike ride and enjoy an afternoon with family and everyone there has always been nice and friendly :)

katie said...

can you camp near the res?