The October 2013 fires in the beautiful NSW Blue Mountains have caused great devastation in the area. In support of the communities striving to rebuild, and needing tourist and Sydney-siders to visit we thought we would re-share Adiana’s photography. Back in mid 2012 Adriana, a resident of the Mountains, was our Guest Photographer. She shared with us through the month of August the beauty of the area as seen through her lenses.
This week’s post is brought to you from the township of Blackheath, a few kilometres west of Katoomba and 1065m above sea level; where it’s not uncommon to find a light dusting of snow in the middle of winter – as if you needed the excuse of seeing snow in winter so close to Sydney in order to visit Blackheath! There are some breathtaking lookouts, Govetts Leap immediately comes to mind and the bushwalks that begin from the various lookouts are nothing short of spectacular. But really, a visit to Blackheath isn’t complete until you’ve called in to the Victory Theatre located in Govetts Leap Road.
The Victory Theatre closed its doors as a theatre back in the mid 1960’s, and currently there are approximately 50 vendors who sell their collectables, oddities, rarities and bric-a-brac within the walls of the building. I spent a good couple of hours wandering through, making my way around each of the stalls – old stanley stanford school cases, albums from the 60’s and earlier, original retro kitchen containers that are so very fashionable at the moment, stereoscopic photographs from the turn of the 19th century, complete sets of crockery that even Mrs Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet’, of course) would be envious of, clothing and millinery from the 50’s, items that I fondly recalled from the days when life seemed to be much simpler – there is so, so much to look and smile at, as all the memories from those simpler times come flooding back. I spoke with two of the consultants, Roger and Susan who told me many a tale of their time at the Victory. The rarest item they’ve sold would be a Victorian era armadillo ladies clutch purse – complete with armadillo head attached – now that would have been an item to see! Also from the Victorian era, a small cast iron laundry mangle was purchased and shipped back to Arizona, USA – imagine travelling so far from home and discovering the item you’ve been searching for is in a quaint Blue Mountains town! From the odd to the rare to the bizarre to the nostalgic, as Roger says, there’s “something in here to delight everyone”.
The Victory Theatre as an expansive repository of antiques and old wares is fast becoming an oddity in the Sydney metropolitan area. So many of the larger Sydney based antiques businesses are closing their doors, economic times are hitting hard, however the Victory remains and is now one of the largest still operating. If it’s been a while since you last visited the upper mountains, set a date to visit Blackheath and take yourself down memory lane as you browse the many little pieces of nostalgia that fill the hall of the Victory.
If you need an excuse to visit, there’s always the Rhododendron Festival held in Blackheath on the first weekend of November- but do you really need such an excuse in order to wander down memory lane at the Victory Theatre?