It is amazing to think that we have been here almost a full year! Candelo is such a beautiful little village, full of history and charm, and we are so happy that we live here! We arrived just after the re-opening of the General Store, which has been a major boost to the life and energy of the town. The first general store opened in the early 1860s and was soon followed by a Post Office (1st and 2nd photos), school and churches, until the town took over the role of Kameruka as the main provider to the local population. The first town blocks were surveyed and sold in 1865.St Peter’s Anglican Church was also designed by the Blacket brothers (sons of Edmund, who designed the church at Kameruka- see previous post) and built in 1906.There was also a hospital (1888), a lovely pink Catholic Church (St. Josephs) at the top of the hill (naturally!) and an old convent. The old hospital and convent are now private residences.
We always enjoy our walk up the opposite hill to our house, as it provides a wonderful birds’ eye view of the village, especially in Winter when all the deciduous trees have lost their leaves. Just about every house in Candelo has a stunning view of the mountains. These photos show the view of the mountains to the north; Candelo in Winter and Summer, looking back to our side of the valley and ‘a horse with a view’!In its heyday, Candelo had 3 hotels; 3 blacksmiths- all along Sharpe Street, which is why we are constantly digging up old ironware!; a bakery; 3 butchers; a chemist and its own doctor; a hospital built in 1888; a tailor, a hardware store; banks; a School of Arts and Literary Institute; a newspaper and 3 general stores. The first newspaper ‘The Candelo & Eden Union’ began publication in May 1882. In the early 1900s, ‘The Candelo Guardian’ also operated for 6 years and eventually, the two newspapers amalgamated into ‘The Southern Record’ and continued until 1938. Here are some more photos of the old buildings, now mostly residences, along Sharpe St on our side of the creek : the old general store, which stood to the right of the blacksmiths; an old beauty salon; Candelo Pub; more old stores on our corner; The Crossing Gallery, reopening in February 2016; my neighbour’s house (2 photos); her walking bridge across the gully between her house and garden; and finally, another rustic wooden bridge across the gully on the other side of the street.We were fortunate to be able to view an album of historic photographs of the village, mostly taken by Robert Hayson :
Looking across Candelo Creek from the main street to our neighbour’s blue house and the old stores
Dated 1908, this photo shows our neighbour’s house marked ‘Commercial Bank’ and the hill behind. I’m glad the road has improved!
Our neighbour’s house, marked as ‘Board of Residence’ in this photo
Looking back across the bridge from our side of the creek to William St and the old School of Arts building 1881, which burnt down and was replaced by the Town Hall in 1930.
A 1910 postcard of William St with a closeup of DH Clark’s Royal Hotel and the footbridge, which had been washed away. A little cynicism with the Greetings message perhaps?!
Main St with Royal Hotel
William St : a grocery store in the background, the hotel and then a store owned by Mr Collins, where the General Store now stands
Abraham Levy started the Candelo General Store in 1879, site unknown, then built in the current location in 1882. A fire destroyed the building in 1903 and a new store in its current form was built on the same site in 1904. It has changed hands many times in its 110 year old history and is now owned and run by the Moffitt Family. It is open for breakfasts, lunches and the odd Friday night dinner, as well as providing very well-priced groceries and garden supplies. We feel so lucky to have such a great store so nearby.And we love Barry’s old cars!!! Especially his truck advertising that ‘cosy local wives would fire!!!’Unfortunately, the advent of the motor car and better roads saw the demise of the town as the predominant shopping venue, but ‘progress’ is often a two-edged sword! Perhaps, it is also the reason that so many historic buildings are still intact and have not been demolished to make way for modern shopping complexes – horror of horrors!!! Candelo is an urban conservation area and has a charming atmosphere, which has attracted many artists and musicians to the area. Here are some photos of William St today…
From left down the street : Town Hall, Eric’s Garage, Leanne’s parlour, the old hotel, the General Store and the Post Office. The bridge is on the right of this photo.Eric’s paraphenalia! Eric is the go-to man if ever there is a problem or you need information.
Closeup of Town HallLooking down William St from the shade of the old plane treeThe old bank, still with its vault intact, across from the Town HallBridge across Candelo Creek to our side. Eden St goes straight up the hill. You can just see our laneway on the right.We have a wonderful organization called the Candelo Arts Society (http://www.candelovillagefestival.org/), which holds great performances at least once or twice a month in the Town Hall or St. Peter’s Anglican Church, as well as the wonderful Candelo Village Festival every two years. The first one was in 2008. Here are some photos from the 2015 Candelo Village Festival :
From left to right : Scott Cook (Canada); Frank Yamma (Australia); Melanie Horsnell (local) in the foreground, backed by Azadoota.Talented duos, from left to right : Sweet Jean (Victoria); Kate and Ruth (local) and Elegant Aliens (local)Leanne’s Ragtime Parlour. She often opens her front door and plays on market days. It sounds wonderful!We felt very proud of ourselves, erecting this stage on the back of Barry Moffitt’s old truck!Kids’ artwork on the streetQueen Porter StompJordan C Thomas BandNighttime marketsThe Tricksters’ Caravan of Wonders : there are some wonderful talented young performers out there!The Festival entrance was flanked by creative bamboo cane structures, covered with greenery and lit from within, to create a magical nighttime atmosphere!Proceeds from the organization are fed back into community projects like the wonderful full length swimming pool. The water laps the edge of the lawn and the view over grazing cattle and green paddocks is sublime! Often, we get it totally to ourselves if we swim in the early afternoon on a week-day.It’s a very active community with lots happening from flamenco to Spanish lessons (1st photo); a Beginner’s Orchestra, where the only rule is that you haven’t played the instrument before!; an active Land Care group; Social Tennis every Friday morning with Tuesday night comps (2nd photo); a Kindergarten and school (see 5th and 6th photos); a bowls club (7th photo); a police station and fire station; another cafe and deli (Two Blokes’ Food Cafe); a wonderful wood-fired sourdough bakery ‘Wheatley Lane’, just around the corner from us; a very well-known large market on the 1st Sunday of every month (3rd and 4th photo) and a cute Agricultural Show in January, which has been held since 1883. I will be writing a post about the 2016 Candelo Show in mid-January.
It’s such a beautiful area , backed by the South East Forests National Park and scenic beauty spots like Six Mile Creek, rolling lush green paddocks and dairy farms and a stunningly beautiful coastline, only 20 minutes away. We lie half way between the old agricultural service centre Bega and touristy coastal Merimbula, so have easy access to both. We always enjoy our drives to either town. I will finish with some photos of Candelo Creek and Bega River en route to Bega, then the country drive to Merimbula.
Here are the photos of the drive to Bega :And photos of the drive to Merimbula. I will describe the wonderful Potoroo Palace in more detail in my post on local wildlife venues later in the year.
We feel so privileged to live in this very special area!