Hill Station

Today, rather amazingly (given its fame) for the first time to Mt Wilson on the way back from a Saturday night birthday party in Katoomba.

It is possibly unique as a hill station in NSW.  The first sales of land occurred there in about 1875, shortly after a railway stop was established about 10km away where the railway to Lithgow crossed Bell’s line of road at Bell.  Prior to that this area had been practically inaccessible, and it remains quite isolated: there are no shops closer than Lithgow or Mt Victoria.  The land was taken up by speculators and rather a lot of NSW government insiders who were (by modern standards) slightly suspiciously “in the know.”  And [G&S reference] a good job too!

Just now, Jewel in the Crown is having a fresh airing on ABC television.  A lot of the image in my mind of a hill station comes from that series’ (and Staying On‘s) depiction of Simla.  Without really thinking much about it, one begins to think of a hill station as a place to which one would resort as respite from the heat and the crowds and the natives.

As if.

From the perspective of the sort of people who established Mt Wilson, we are the natives.

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