Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Relics of a not too distant past

Something else I've always wanted to check out are the old WWII fuel storage tanks at Wolsley, right on the Vic/SA border. I'd always assumed they were miles off the main drag (since you can't see anything when you look down the road) but since we got up early to see the sunrise on Green Lake it was still pretty early when we hit the border. It's not often I hit a border without any sense of urgency to get to the destination, so a quick U-bolt after flying past the (tiny and hard to see) brown road sign (top marks for visibility guys, geeze) and we were headed down a dusty road in search of some old wartime relics.

To be honest, they were a bit of a let down, just some crumbling brick tanks in some guys paddock really. However, the sense of history in that tiny hamlet is quite surprising. Railroad tracks pass right in front of the old fuel tanks, with the low clouds keeping the sun from thawing the morning crispness, and the tall dry grass whipping at my legs I could just imaging young soldiers filling these tanks way back when. It made me stop and wonder what ws going throught peoples minds back then, the fact that there was a fuel storage facility in the middle of nowhere which would only be acessable by train, aeroplane (plenty of fields to land in) or a very, very long truck ride. What were these people expecting? My history isn't the greatest, but did they ever expect the war to actually come so far onto Australian soil that we would need storage out here? Did the poor residents flinch every time they heard a plane fly past?

Like I said, that was all in my head, reality is: A couple derelict old tanks in some codgers paddock. Rcommendable tourist attraction? Sorry, no. Worth the 12Km round trip off the main road for a history buff or WWII enhusiast? Absolutely.

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