I am a chief writer for Weekend Notes, a copywriter, published poet and Editor of poetry magazine ‘Fruit Salad’ (on hold). I also write children's fiction and inspirational pieces.
Cook, rock & paint
Hampton Festival 2017
Pull up a bale of hay to get up close with The Hobsons. Hampton Festival 2017.
For the 15th anniversary of the Hampton Festival, the weather was perfect; warm and sunny. With hundreds flocking in and being drawn into the joyful ambience by country rock, the festival was a huge success. Celebrating fresh regional produce from unique gourmet industries, the festival also showcased local art and craft. Surrounding gum trees added their eucalypt scent to the aromas of sizzling hot food.
The Hobsons drew a crowd to their brand of passionately performed jazz and gypsy jazz. It was fun taking a seat on the bales of hay. Local talents The O'Brien Quartet, Dana Hassall and Hayley Chalmers also added to the mood flowing throughout the festival. Relaxing to the vibe and 'sunbathing' under the crisp autumn sky was wonderful.
The Hampton Community Produce stall answered questions and offered top quality, local produce.
The Chef's Tent was a-buzz with cooking demos, featuring celebrity chef Paul West of River Cottage. Talks engaged the large audience: Beer for Breakfast?; How Beer and Food Go Together; and Blueberries & Beer. The flavours in beer mysteriously work when combined with breakfast. Find out how blueberries got into beer.
Kids in the Kitchen cooked up a storm. Enthusiastic students donned colourful chefs' hats and aprons. Half hour sessions ended with enjoying the fruits of their labours.
Getting warmed up for some cooking lessons at Kids in the Kitchen.
Over seventy market stalls. All your favourite locals plus a couple from Warwick and the Southern Downs. Local produce and wine from the South Burnett region and Granite Belt. Coffee was in demand and there was plenty of choice. Food samples abounded.
Stalls included: Stella May Fine Foods, patés on ice, duck, pork; Power of Mushrooms; Mormor Food; Gecko Grove; Friendship Food; Bunya Red Farm; Ben & Co Classic Café; Raw Bites; Belle Boutarde quality hand-crafted mustard; The Baker's Duck; Squished Berry; Flaming Good Smokehouse; Bunya Cheese; Holland Wines; Granite Ridge Wines; Sofra Turkish Cuisine; Ilias the Greek and the list goes on and on.
Tillari Trotters Free Range Pork and Chunky Butt Lamb can boast of humane farming as well as top quality goods. Animals are free of chemicals, antibiotics and stress. They say 'no' to paylean, cages, tail cutting, chemical castration, bars, crates and teeth pulling.
Tempting local produce. Tillari Trotters Free Range Pork and Chunky Butt Lamb can boast of humane farming as well as top quality goods.
Art & Painting
Artists providing demonstrations and those in the gallery were selected from within a fifty-kilometre radius of Hampton. Art and craft demonstrations throughout the day were by established, as well as up and coming artists.
Charcoal painting and drawing by Don Milner was absorbing to watch. There was much to be inspired by with costume design by Tonia Pawlyszyn, wood turning by Kerry Smith and resin with Di Hanson. Gain insight into different mediums.
The Art Precinct marquee gallery presented 166 purchasable works by 58 local artists including a smattering of amateur works. A tranquil stroll among beautiful art provided a change of pace from the buzz outside.
Artists in residence engaged onlookers and potential artisans.
The Munro Tramway Historical Group stand surprised with a large model of the Shay No.6 1904 two-cylinder, thirteen-tonne locomotive. The Shay geared locomotives worked at Munro's Mill, Perseverance Creek. The engines made light work of the light rail, steep grades and sharp curves of the logging tracks.
In the early 1900s, the tram carted timber from Palmtree, seventeen miles to Hampton to meet the Toowoomba and Crow's Nest rail. Milled hardwoods like cedar, hoop pine, bunya pine, spotted gum, ironbark and woolly butt were previously transported by bullock dray. The original Shay engine will be housed on part of the old tramway in the near future.
Model of the Shay No.6 1904 2-cylinder, 13 ton locomotive.
The high-country village of Hampton is just a stone's throw from the stunning vistas and serenity of Ravensbourne National Park. Boating, camping and fishing around Lake Perseverance and the gorgeous, topaz-blue expanse of Cressbrook Dam.
The charming colonial-styled Hampton Tourist Information Centre was kept busy with inquiries about the festival and local area. Visitors to the Hampton Festival's information tent were invited to fill in a survey competition to win two nights at Fairshore, Noosa. For sale were calico bags, wine glasses and aprons.
Parking filled up quickly. Stress-saving courtesy coaches were available from Toowoomba, Highfields and Crow's Nest for $5 return. Wear sunscreen and a hat. Water refills were available. The festival was well organised and laid out in a meander around Chapman Park. First aid volunteers had nothing to do. The bar was popular and drinkers were orderly. Plenty of helpful security personnel.
The uneven ground was a slight challenge to the disabled attendees, however there were ramps to buildings and amenities. Friendly volunteer workers showed genuine enthusiasm for the event. Easy-to-spot site maps also guided visitors. Best to organise your itinerary before getting around the festival and its events. Sponsors included Toowoomba Regional Council, Heritage Bank, Reflections Lake Cooby, USQ Arts Worx, JJ Richards & Sons, ABC Southern Queensland and Fairshore Beachfront Apartments.
The Hampton Festival rocks. So say the 4000 or so visitors who flowed through the gates. Mark your diary for 2018's big event, plus the Hampton Winter Harvest Long Lunch coming up on 9 and 10 July 2017. Leisurely three-course banquet lunch of fresh produce prepared by local celebrity chef Matt Golinksi. Share in the region's award winning wines and learn about regional farming techniques with talks by the locals.