Albion is a tiny suburb in Brisbane approximately six kilometres north east-ish of the city centre. A busy major road runs directly through the centre of the suburb which boasts an interesting history.
I set off with a friend to explore this little gem of a suburb, best known to me for its harness racing track, which was, I discovered, established in the 1880’s.
Following a city council designed heritage trail we discovered a hidden history. We admired historical buildings, grand old homes and tiny workers cottages in varying states of repair. We called on our imaginations to visualise buildings and historic sites, replaced now by modern factories and vacant lots.
We were intrigued to learn there had been a vibrant Chinese settlement here with thriving market gardens in what is now a well known park and football field.
One architectural and cultural icon that was sadly missing was the old flour mill. Built by Scottish migrants in the 1930’s it was sadly destroyed by an arsonist’s fire late last year. The historic mill produced flour for 72 years before being shut down in 2004. The desolate site is soon to be transformed into a ‘lifestyle precinct'(high density yet elegant housing).
Completing the circuit we pulled up a stool in a little cafe in what was once the Albion public hall. The ground floor of this gorgeous building is now a thriving hub of cafes and restaurants while upstairs is soon to be converted into loft apartments for short term lease by tourists and visitors to our city.
This was a fun way to catch up with my friend. We talked and laughed while we puzzled over the map. We caught up on a months worth of life events as we strolled through this modern suburb while recreating the past in our minds. We enjoyed the winter sunshine, each other’s humour and easy company. We got in a little exercise (there was a hill) and didn’t have to fuss over food or expense.
I’m keen to know: How do you catch up with friends? Have you explored an interesting place close to home recently?
How To Be An Explorer Of The World
1. Always Be LOOKING (notice the ground beneath your feet.)
2. Consider Everything Alive & Animate
3. EVERYTHING Is Interesting. Look Closer.
4. Alter Your Course Often.
5. Observe For Long Durations (and short ones).
6. Notice The Stories Going On Around You.
7. Notice PATTERNS. Make CONNECTIONS.
8. DOCUMENT Your Findings (field notes) In A VAriety Of Ways.
9. Incorporate Indeterminacy.
10. Observe Movement.
11. Create a Personal DIALOGUE With Your Environment. Talk to it.
12. Trace Things Back to Their ORIGINS.
13. Use ALL of the Senses In Your Investigations.”
Keri Smith, How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum