It is normally a sleepy little village. Its 180 odd residents living a quiet life tucked under the shadows of the southern Liverpool Plains mountain ranges, at the very beginnings of the Mooki River that will weave its way across the plains to Gunnedah. The bustle of school traffic, children’s laughter in playground and the toll of the bell are the only sounds that would break the quiet air during the day.
I know at least one day of the year when the population of Blackville would more than triple.
I witnessed it last Sunday.
The annual Blackville Arts and Market Day.
The road from Curlewis to Blackville was picturesque as the remarkable realm of the Liverpool Plains shone in the morning sun. A carpet of green crops, fading yellow canola and fallowed black clay rolled out in front of us, a band of hazy blue of the mountain ranges bordered the panorama. Pockets of trees lined paddocks, cattle and sheep enjoyed their morning feed as, across the plains farming families finished their morning chores.
Blackville is not really on the way to somewhere or the way from anywhere. It is about a 40 minute drive from Quirindi to the north-west and Merriwa to the south, as the crow flies. I recall my dad used to refer to the Blackville area as “gods own country” – if there was a hint of rain in the skies Blackville seems to always get it.
We rounded the final bend and were greeted by ‘road closed’ signs just past the town signage. There are few places that can close off the main thoroughfare of town for markets. Blackville can, and did.
Smiling faces of the local committee greeted us, the hospitality of rural Australia evident in the air.
Welcome to Blackville.
The stall owners stood behind their wares, a sense of pride as they happily showcased their goods. From watercolour paintings, jewellery of many shapes and material, fashion, wood crafts, hand dyed scarves, straw bags, metal ornaments, clay homewares, photography, home furnishings, local produce from the plains and the tastiest honey I have had for some time. It was an exciting array of goodies.
The homemade lime and coconut cake was delectable with my morning coffee, enjoyed in the spring sun with a wisp of a breeze keeping the heat at bay. We watched younger ones tuck into fairy floss, washed down with a frozen cup of pure delight as a duet played gentle music to entertain.
Ahh this is how Sunday should be!
After our fill of tastes and a bag full of goodies we set off on a different route home. I am a bit like my father in that I try to never travel the same road twice on a road trip. We circled back to Spring Ridge and a pit stop at the local Royal Hotel. The residents of Spring Ridge wont go hungry while ever they have the burgers at the Royal!
One cant help but relax snuggled in this country.
Sunday road trip.
Family, spring, fresh air.
Living a dream.
Some great stalls that were there:
Food River Station – produce and gift ware profiling the great Liverpool Plains
Wattle Tree Love – lovely hand dyed scarves
Buzz Honey – The best honey for a long time – Phone 0429 074 520
or head to the Blackville Arts and Markets Facebook page for more information.