Nestled in the verdant hills of South Gippsland is the beautiful Loch Village (Pop 650ish). Being only 100 kilometres from Melbourne, it makes a lovely destination to escape from the city. Anchored at the eastern end of the main street, the Loch Brewery and Distillery which occupies the former Union Bank building (1902), makes the perfect starting (and finishing) point to stroll around the village.
Passenger trains stopped operating in 1993. The station at Loch was restored by the volunteers of the South Gippsland Railway and a tiny building was taken from Welshpool station. The special tourist train now runs between Nyora, Loch, Korumburra and Leongatha. I think the demise of the train carriage shop was well before the trains stopped running.
I really enjoyed chatting to the Loch Village shopkeepers, who all support local farmers and artistisans, both local and from around the world. They love and believe in what they are doing and it shows. One shop keeper from Yakkity Yak was closing and she re-opened for us to have a browse, nothing was too much trouble.
Turns out Rochelle, the owner decided on a career change, leaving the emotional career of being a veterinarian nurse to go trekking in Nepal. Rochelle now imports Nepalese crafts from organisations working with marginalised women to provide skill-based training and empowerment for a fair wage. The picture below right, shows some locally made polymer jewellery with the income produced helping to empower women who are victims of violence.
Rochelle says items are made “by real people, with real hands and not mass produced on machines in factories! Purchases make a real difference to the artisans who create them and help keep time honoured traditions alive!”
All our readers would understand how important it is to keep these traditions alive. I purchased some handmade Lokta paper made from the evergreen Daphne plant which grows in Nepal and wrapped the anArt4Life Kris Kringle gifts.
It took a fair while to stroll the 500m along the main street as I just kept chatting to the shop owners! (No surprise to those who know me!). Steve the shop owner from Loch Victoria Street Gallery spent quite some time telling me about Loch, the doggies that reside in the different shops, and the artwork that adorned the main street which of course was of particular interest to me. If we receive requests from our subscribers, I might create a post on these beautiful dogs.
The photo below depicts the now defunct CFA storage shed which confirms that not all things from the good old days are good!
Thankfully since 2008 the main South Gippsland Highway bypasses the township allowing the Village to thrive and the tree lined street provides welcome shade on a hot summers’ day. However, you will need to wait for Loch Village Part 2 to find out more about the artwork installed in the shady main street!
One thing is certain, if you can get out and about in Victoria, put Loch Village at the top of your must-see list.
From Loch in Gippsland, Victoria to Greece where we welcome our newest subscriber Georgia.
Georgia is our first subscriber from Greece which is a great thrill for the AnArt4Life blog team.