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Robbery Under Arms
22nd October 2005

Brighton Post Office (Adelaide, South Australia) - Click to Enlarge

South Australia is one of the seven states and territories of Australia that was not originally populated by Britain's overflowing, 19th century convict population. Rather it was the tough, resolute, hard working and totally committed battlers and colonialists as well as the shysters, remittance men, conmen, and women of doubtful virtue who were determined on a new life and who set out Adelaide's (the State's capital city) grid system of streets, parklands and boulevards and who scratched a hard living from the parched and arid farming country. It was these same hardened people that dug out the copper and mineral mines and who eventually succeeded, against all the odds, in establishing themselves in the driest state on the driest continent on earth by harnessing, in the unforgiving climate, the life giving power of the mighty River Murray to their own bloody, relentless, hard work.

Over time and virtually unnoticed, they also created one of the nicest beach suburbs in Australia and which is almost entirely unknown to the world's tourists. It is here in the "Lucky Country" in this now quiet, ordered and pleasant place that I am lucky enough to spend some time and from where on occasion I send the odd post card boasting of the sun, sand and excellent South Australian wine as well as posting news of the Blues artistes passing through and playing in town (you might have seen Eric Bibb, The Bluesbreakers, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Guy Davis, Steve Earle and others at one time or another if you were of a mind).

So, it was yesterday that I wandered down to
Brighton Post Office closed due to...robbery.
Brighton Post Office (just around the corner from my pleasant camping spot in Seacliff, handily situated close to the railway - a little too close some might suggest if they were feeling mildly critical) intending to post some long overdue cards back home to the Isle of Man. But on this occasion, try as I might, I was unable to get the door open. Slow on the uptake (I was thinking about Les Paul and his 90th birthday) it took me a while to realise that all was not as it should be. Eventually I figured it out - the handwritten sign (see above right) was a very definite clue - the wretched place was closed. Due to, would you adam and eve it, robbery. Now that is not something you see every day, even down under. So I took a couple of pictures with the old box Brownie which, for once, I just happened to have handy.

I am glad to say that the knife toting blagger was later caught and charged. He had inexplicably climbed on to a nearby roof where the vast numbers of police toting handguns, radios and, naturally, clipboards eventually spotted him, in between traffic duty, after Post Office staff, who had followed the 38 year old crim, pointed him out. No wonder it's called the lucky country.

  • More on South Australia here
  • The best place to catch the Blues in Adelaide is probably The Governor Hindmarsh

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