Here is Honour Avenue as it appears today. It was made into this two level construction with stone retaining walls back in 1928. It is one way traffic up each side and there is no longer access to the highway from Honour Avenue. We find ourselves going round and round in circles when we drive up to the shops these days but we mostly walk. We are going to head back down this central path to home. It is flanked on either side by the Anglican Church, the telephone exchange, Community Health centre, Guide Hall (formerly the RSL hall until they run out of people), old folks accommodation, pre-school and a number of old mountain homes.
Honour Avenue was originally called Broad Street but renamed after the first world war. Just as the trees are now beginning to soften the hard construction of the of the road widening work, they have over the years greatly softened Honour Avenue. I will show you some more shots tomorrow. The original simple arch was replaced by the more imposing war memorial in 1923.
Over near the shops they have installed this exhibit. It is part of the old road uncovered during the road works and was moved here to show us what the road was like in 1832 - 1860. I am glad it was not me bumping along this road on hard carriage wheels. No wonder the railway which came through in the 1860s was popular.
Around the corner from the pub on Honour Avenue are the shops that have kept us going when the others disappeared. This shot shows how it looked in the 1920s. I have to say not everything improves with age.
The Blue Mountain Hotel on the corner (leading to the new shops) has been nicely restored as part of the widening. Here is how it looked in its hey day. I reckon they have done a good job of making it look nice again. it was an ugly duckling before this transformation.
We are very excited. Back in 2010 they demolished our local shops and since 2011 we have had just the one set of shops at the far end of the strip (as well as some around the corner in Honour Avenue). Now all of a sudden the empty holes are turning into shops nearing completion. There are rather a lot so we are all eager to find out what type of businesses are going to fill them.
I used the railway underpass to get to the railway platform so I can show you a shot of the progress of our shops (which I will show tomorrow). The railway is very important to we mountain folk connecting us to the big smoke of Sydney. Lots and lots of us commute daily. I am so glad that is not me dragging my way home at the end of a long day.
Camera Girl asked the other day if the widening was because of increased traffic so I did a bit of research. The highway serves three functions as: The chief road freight route to the west so big trucks A major tourist road being not far from Sydney with unique sights to see. So especially busy on weekends. The 'main street' of many of the towns and villages along the 100km length of the road over the mountains. Because of the terrain there is basically just one access road across the mountains, and there are parts where we have no alternative but to use the highway, there is no side road around it. The highway was narrow and undivided (two lanes) and in parts very bendy so difficult for trucks to negotiate. The work has been to make it four lanes divided all the way from the bottom of the mountains to Katoomba and 3 lanes after that. So there has been aspects of road safety as well as carrying an increasing load of traffic and improving local amenity. The
The old Mechanics Institute lost its more imposing entry but was saved and has been restored so is now once again in use (I actually have never been inside). Click on the link to see a series of shots showing the transformation of the building over a period of 5+ years.
I am going to take you on another walk in Lawson, this time to see a little bit of before and after history. With the highway widening work that began in 2008 and finished last year 2014 there has been quite a bit of change around here. We are heading up our street to the highway and are going to turn left instead of right this time. You will notice that the railway line runs parallel to the highway, which is does most of the way up the mountain.
This is Mary Street which goes down from the top of the hill where the water reservoir sits and leads back towards home. The top right hand corner shows a glimpse of the highway. It is only when I start walking I realise how up-and-down the neighbourhood is.
Ooops I have run out of shots and not taken another walk yet ... been very busy in my garden. So I have gone back and picked a couple more shots from my last walk. I often notice this house, snuggled as it is beside the water reservoir on the top of the hill. I looked the Reservoir up on the web. "The Lawson Reservoir is of historical, aesthetic, and technical significance as a key element in the first and current water supply system to Lawson and for its landmark qualities set on the rise above Mary Street and the Great Western highway on the eastern approach to Lawson. The reservoir is one of a series across the upper Mountains that form strong visual elements in the landscape. The site also contains the remnants of a tennis court and stone walling that pre-date the reservoir use of the site." The home is facing the highway and looks out on the blue view . It backs onto Mary Street which I will show you tomorrow. As for the old tennis court, the current pub
Well having decided to begin posting here again I figured I had better go out for a walk to see what there was to see. It is a surprisingly long time since I have walked in our neighbourhood. I love garden watching when I walk. This is looking over the fence at my own garden.
It is nearly a year since I posted on this blog so perhaps it's time I rectified this by joining in this month's theme day. If I had to leave the Blue Mountains for ever what would I miss most? I would miss the bush but that can be found elsewhere in Australia so what I would miss most is the glimpse of blue that can be seen at nearly every turn. I would miss standing at the cliff edge gasping all over again at the beauty of the great blue wilderness. Click here to see what others would miss from their cities.