Published: December 3rd 2010November 28th 2010
Sunday 28th November – Happy Birthday to our lovely friend, Wilma, who lives in Wangaratta. We hope you enjoyed your birthday.
Today we went on a little excursion up into the hills above Noosa. The scenery up through the Blackhall Range was lovely and the road wound round continuously until we got to Mapleton - a journey of some 54 klms. We had a quick look round including a brief excursion into the Mapleton State Forest until the gravel track became a serious 4WD trail when we decided to turn back. We then drove on to Montville, a picturesque old town ‘on the ridge’ – in fact it used to be called ‘Razorback’ but was renamed Montville in 1897. It’s very much a touristy spot and there were lots of people wandering around when we arrived but we managed to get a parking space. We were in the historic end of Montville which seemed to be full of rather trendy expensive shops and it certainly seemed to be the place to go on a Sunday morning. We had lunch in a very posh bistro that had extensive views across the valley below and we were lucky enough to get a
table where the best, uninterrupted views were.
After lunch we had a wander around the older part of the village where some of the historic buildings were – the village hall, the school and the original school bell. The bell had been donated by the owners of Buderim Mountain Sugar Mill where it had once been used to call labourers in from their work. Montville was definitely worth another look, perhaps when it wasn’t so busy, but for now we went back the 10 kms to Mapleton where we were planning to spend most of the afternoon. We parked by a lily pond which looked lovely with dozens of yellow flowers in full bloom. The plaque there told us that the area was originally a swamp and a local lady donated the money needed to turn it into the lovely village facility it is today. Just across from the pond was a café called the Fish Tales Café. On the fourth Sunday afternoon of each month the large lawn area outside is transformed into “The Red Kettle Folk Club”. When Graham spotted an advert for this club we just had to seek it out didn’t we?
Club was due to start at 2.00pm and we had arrived with plenty of time to spare so we passed the time by having a cup of tea. There was already a large group of “non folkie” people there, obviously gathered for a celebration of some sort. The morning had been nice but it was beginning to cloud over so we hoped it would stay dry. Before too long ‘Steve’ and his son came along and set up a gazebo, speakers, amplifiers and microphones and then the ‘blackboard’ was put out. It’s common practice in Aus at these clubs that anyone who wants to ‘perform’ must write their name on a blackboard and they get time to do whatever they want. Here the times were allocated in slots of 20 minutes. Gradually a few people put their names down so Graham added his in the 3.00 spot. Steve and son seemed a little bemused as Graham decided he would be “Red Kettle” for the day. Eventually curiosity got the better of them and Graham had to explain the reasoning behind his chosen name.
We brought along our camping chairs, which was just as well as all the picnic tables
there were soon taken, and made ourselves comfortable. The first half an hour or so was taken up by Steve, the main host, partnered by another singer/guitarist. Next a young girl sang just one song – she was very confident and obviously loved singing but only knew the one song well enough to perform. Then, a little earlier than scheduled, it was ‘Red’s’ turn. I don’t think the regular audience members at the club quite knew what to make of someone calling themselves Red Kettle turning up at The Red Kettle Folk Club! Unsurprisingly, as Steve said when he introduced Graham, it had never happened before! But it caused a bit of amusement. Fortunately the guitar Graham bought back in Warwick has an electric plug-in so he was able to use all the amplification kit provided although, actually, he’s much more comfortable in a fully acoustic setting. Anyway, having missed his previous folk club outings, it was lovely to hear him singing in public again. He was able to fit five songs into his 20 minute slot and they went down very well. At the end, because he was a newcomer, he was given a standing ovation. There were a
couple of poets, one of whose poems were very dramatic and political, and more singers most of whom were part of the regular gang. A couple of ladies from the party (one was celebrating her 60th birthday) joined in with a suitably witty poem and everyone sang happy birthday to her. The café did a roaring trade with fish meals, cups of tea and ice-creams and it was a very pleasant way to pass a Sunday afternoon. When we got back to the caravan time was going on so we had some supper and that was just about that for the day! We never did find out why it was called ‘The Red Kettle Folk Club’.
There are more photos below