A Weekend at Sovereign Hill - Part 2 @ Friday, August 05, 2016

Still Saturday

After lunch we headed around to the back of the shops to Brown's Confectionery Workshop. Sovereign Hill is a recreation of what was, though Ballarat Central is where the town was, except the tents and mines. There were mines across the town, though today all filled up, except for the Sovereign Hill part. The original Brown's Confectionery Store is near Dan Murphy's. 

Back when the Browns ran the candy store in town sugar was expensive, being an imported good, and so candy was only for adults. It has been said that kids today consume more sugar in a week than a lifetime back then! With processed foods our diets aren't organic and low-sugar anymore, though on the other side our knowledge of nutrition has increased. 

A demo of raspberry drops, along was tastings. Working with hot sugar you could only touch it for seconds at a time. The sugar is kneaded, that sour acid added, and the 'dough' is rolled though a machine to shape it into drops. Back then candy was coloured with bug bits, lead and other poisons! Good thing it was expensive so you didn't eat much.

Feeling like a hands-on activity we went to pan for gold. I had high expectations and after getting splash with icy waters a couple time by the same a**hole we abandoned that activity. Some people found flakes after a few minutes, others not. It was a lot harder than I thought. 

At the top of the area there's a shop where you can buy $1 glass water filled bottles to keep the gold flakes. Don't buy one till you find some unlike me though.

I didn't expect to find something like this, just one flake? These bottles were $22, doubt it's real, because that's a lot of gold. And as I have plenty of pretty bottles and vials we gave it a miss, and bought a postcard for the scrapbook instead.

Near the gold panning area there were tents, and cabins. The tents had 2-3 people and were pretty basic. Hopefully the weather was always spring back then then! I do know it wasn't this varied back then, before we started killing the planet.

There was also a Chinese area complete with stores, traditional chinese med., a fancy church/potential opium den (it sure has the atmosphere), and tents. But I'm not sure where my set of pictures for that are... 

Back to main street we found the bakery on the list, Hope Bakery, with award winning pies & sausage rolls. I used to love that stuff as a kid. Lines went out the door though what can you do? I took the time to type up the menu. 

Here's the Menu:
Slices (Apple. vanilla. apple custard) $3.10
Danish Pastry/Apple Pie/Apple Blueberry Pie $3.10
Apple Pastie $2.90
Custard Tart $4

Family Sized...
Beef/Apple Blueberry Pie $11.90
Apple Pie $10.80
Meat & Veg Pastie $10.80

Beef $5.50
Chicken/Cottage/Beef Curry/Lamb Stew/Steak & Mushroom 6.30
Steak, Bacon, Cheese $6.50
Sausage Roll $5
Veg Pastie $5.70
Meat & Veg Pastie $5.70
Cornish Pastie (Meat & Veg x Apple) $5.50

Banbury Minced Fruit Tart $2
Wagon Wheels.Choc Jam Biscuits $2
Melting Moments $2.50
Jam/lemon tart $1.70
Gingerbread Men $4.50

For an early dinner (well part 1) we bought some pies and a vanilla slice to share, jas loves vanilla slices and claimed these to be very good. The pies were pretty good too, and tomato sauce wasn't 30s a squeeze, which was nice. I had the Steak & Mushroom, which wasn't a heart shape when we bought it. :P

Along with the mines, the photo sessions ($80+) are what will book out fast, so you'll need to get in first. You get to dress up and they take a picture and sell you a print. I prefer digital. We passed as cosplayers because for $80 you could make the outfit. And we both have wardrobes for costumes and props at home.  

Next to the candy store was the newspaper where you could for $8 get your name on a wanted poster or the likes, using a letter press machine.

There were also funny posters around, like this one. 

One of the my first candle memories was here in Ballarat, of a soap shop. Candles and soaps, the scented bars are pretty similar to us, one has a wick (string to burn) and the other doesn't. Though soap burns brown when you try to use it as a candle/wax melt. Whoops. 

Check out all those jars... they're real too, historically.

I'd love to write like that! Also there's no way conversion rates are that easy. :P Oh handwriting I do have a series of postcards from the 70s that have yet to be decoded. Any volunteers?

Here you could make your own layered bath salt jar, a fun novelty. 

In the back was the dr's office. Back in those days whatever your problem is we can bleed it out with some blood sucking leaches. Everyone dies from tb, and the common cold kills. 

At the Blacksmith you could get your name on a horse shoe for $8. It was $5 in 2000. :P There was a temptation purely for a photo, so we gave it a miss. 

Uphill near the very top was a candle shop. So many candles... almost all modern though. In the back they made those thin everyday candles (the type for the table at dinner (think Downton Abbey). There was also an activity where you'd dip your white base candle into different colours to build it up. I wanted to do it but the line was very long! Also I have black candles that are red on the inside for Halloween.

Tip - You can use candles, the scented ones, as drawer sachets, just place it in the draw open without the lid, and unlike soap they don't sweat over time.

Across the street was the metal workshop, you'll need a Dickens candle holder. :P

You can also get a hurricane style one, my fear of fire is high, burning down the place could happen. But the good news is you'll be dead from the smoke before you BBQ. Bushfires are a thing here, more than any other natural disaster. 

Uphill was also where the church, fire station and coffin shop was located. Think Dickens' coffins, no satin/silk lining and picture of the last supper in the lid. It's just a coffin shaped box. Makes sense, especially if you're going to burn it. These days we have lacquered wood, all polished and shiny with gold features. 

Hearses (carriages big enough for coffins) were out back. These days hearses are only used on show and tell days, otherwise the morgue/funeral houses use regular white vans. 

Wagon Shop, there's some wheels you can buy to take home too XD starting at $300. Have they actually ever sold one?! Jas says yes, for why else would you bother offering them for sale.

Part 2 - This Post.

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