The Mallee, South Australia (part 1)

Photo essay by Eric Algra

Mantung. The scoreboard is kind of incongruous at the edge of this weed-infested paddock.

Mantung. The scoreboard is kind of incongruous at the edge of this weed-infested paddock.

 

I love exploring the Mallee Country. The big skies and open country, both where the land has been cleared as well as the vast, remaining expanses of natural Mallee Scrub. There is an atmosphere all of its own here.

There are many small settlements throughout the area with most being close to the railway lines that were built in the early part of the twentieth century.  Many of these settlements (but not all) have since  been virtually abandoned, making for very interesting places to photograph.

Mantung coaches' bench

Mantung coaches’ bench

I find it fascinating that all these little towns seem to have had, at some stage, football teams. Apparently, during The Depression, this was very much  due to the arrival of large numbers of men seeking work in the region.

A nice commemoration at Ngallo. Folded in 2000. Never let an old scoreboard go to waste.

A nice commemoration at Ngallo. Folded in 2000. Never let an old scoreboard go to waste.

As interesting as it is to visit the remnants of some of these old footy grounds, there is always a tinge of sadness to see them looking so forlorn and, seemingly, forgotten. Fortunately this is balanced out somewhat by the beautifully kept grounds in the larger towns where footy still thrives.

The old clubrooms are all that’s left at the Jabuk footy ground.

The old clubrooms are all that’s left at the Jabuk footy ground.

 

There's still some footy at Lameroo. Current premiers in The Mallee Football League, South Australia.

There’s still some footy at Lameroo.

 

Tennis anyone? Galga

Tennis anyone? Galga

 

What would seem to be old change rooms at Galga is the only hint there was a footy ground here at one time.

What would seem to be old change rooms at Galga is the only hint there was a footy ground here at one time.

 

Coming soon: part 2 of Eric’s epic adventures across the Mallee. (Pinaroo, Wunkar, Wynarka, Murrayville, Parrakie)

Eric has also taken footy photos in Parilla, Geranium, Red Hill, Warracknabeal and Yark and photos for Stereo Stories.

You can  visit Eric’s site  for more very fine photography, from Melbourne to rural Australia to New York to Cardiff.

The Mallee Football League, South Australia

 

 

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