Images of lifestyle in Opal Mining town of Lightning Ridge in late 1970 to early 1980s
These were the boom days like wild west when people would come to Ridge to make their fortune-
or leave broke!
Many opal miners were lucky and found million dollar opals some did not.
But everyone enjoyed the lifestyle of Outback and mateship
BBQ or simple camp fire food and a few beers were common for social life at Ridge
Sunsets were and still now are incredible
Like all desert towns,the night sky is incredible clear and you can see constellations with your naked eye on clear night and billions of starts without telescope.
Today the Ridge even has an Olympic size swimming pool and good public school.
OPAL MUD FUN
Not many people in the world can say they have played in opal potch mud ponds.
When opal miners dig his dirt it is trucked to ponds with water to wash the opal bearing dirt in old cement mixers.
These agitators break up the potch that opal forms in and this muddy material is expelled into mud ponds-
Dams were built around camps and yabbies bred well in the clay bottom of the dams and many BBQs were held with yabbies caught and cooked on BBQ
I guessyabbies dont sound as good asPrawns so they were usedon BBQ marketing promotion for tourism!
To catch a yabbie you would tie piece meet to string and slowly pull it in and hope a yabbie would attach itself to the meat as they never let go of food
Car accidents were common as roads were dusty and lot gravel so cars would loose control on sharp corners or try to miss group kangaroos on the road, as in summer the Roos would feed close to road to eat green grass and caused many accidents
Driving at sunrise or dusk is dangerous due to Roos on the road
Tools shed was run over by drunken driver thinking it was a garage but car did not fit!!!
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