I'm talking about the 1950s-1960s. Our van had two double bunks down one end and the table folded down to make a double bed. The car never had seat belts and the front seat was a bench so there were always lively discussions about who would sit where. We were always extremely excited, rushing to get off the school bus and running home to see the van packed ready to go. May was the month because the dairy cows dried off then, leaving mum and dad free from the milking routine for a few weeks.
We didn't go out of the state of Victoria. I remember holidays in the Grampians, Gippsland, central Victoria, the Murray and Bright. On one trip to Bright, I was probably about ten, I remember seeing this huge dredge at Eldorado across the paddock. I don't remember actually getting close to it but last week we did. This time the car is bigger and so is the van but there were only two of us and there were no arguments about not having enough room. We visited the Eldorado area in north-eastern Victoria because some of my ancestors were gold miners there in the 1800s, scratching out a living in the alluvial sands along the valley of the Reedy Creek near where it intersects with the Ovens River. And while we were in Eldorado we drove out a couple of kilometres to see the dredge.
|Cock's Dredge, Eldorado|
Apparently there's still a lot of gold in the area but it's not profitable to mine it. My ancestors never struck it rich but it must have provided a living because they stayed in the town.