Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Charlie's Trousers

Today we’re in Charters Towers or as my bride has always called it, “Charlie’s Trousers”. That was what her colleagues called it in 1972, when she started her teaching career here.

It’s been called other things. One title is “The World”. In its heyday, it was just that. Everything in the world was here. Back in the 1890s, it had its own brewery, 92 pubs, countless brothels, 29 crushing mills, its own stock exchange and late night shopping – on Saturday night - (100 years before anywhere else in the country).

The boom times lasted whilst the gold did, from about 1872 until 1911.

It’s a thriving centre now, but nothing like it was back then. The mining going on now is from the pockets of parents who send their kids to the many private boarding schools in town.

The remnants of this prosperity exist in the many very solid buildings in town, and in the extravagant way in which they’re fitted out.

There’s the Bank of Commerce.

And many old pub buildings put to a different use.

There’s Wherry House (now housing a real estate business).

And some interesting old shop displays.

The detail on some of these old shops is amazing.

And interiors such as these are pretty rare in the 21st century.
This place reeks of history, and is well worth a visit.
It was, in its heyday, the second largest city in the state after Brisbane.

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