Category: Bellingen (page 1 of 2)

Bellingen floods – when do bridges close?

Update: If you’re wanting to see where Lavender’s Bridge in Bellingen is open go to the Kombu floodcam.

There’s lots of information available from the Bureau of Meteorology website about river heights but I find that it doesn’t really answer the important question most people have: when can I get across the bloody bridge(s)? Below is a quick summary table pulling together in one place

  1. the main four bridges in and around Bellingen – in town, Thora (if this one’s under no-one can get in our out of the valley and/or Chrysalis and Orama schools), Glennifer and Kalang
  2. what river height they close at, and
  3. live river height data from the Bureau of Meterology website (click the small picture to see full size graphs)
Locality Bridge
where it is/river
Closes Live Data
from BOM
Bellingen see on map Lavender’s Bridge in town Bellinger River about 4.9 metres
Thora see on map Hobart’s Bridge near Chrysalis School Bellinger River about 3 metres
Gleniffer see on map Gleniffer Bridge near Gleniffer Hall Never Never Creek anyone know?
Kalang Moody’s Bridge Kalang Rd Kalang River about 3 metres on the Kooroowi gauge

Any feedback or corrections welcome, please leave a comment below.

Bridge locations on the map

View Bridges around Bellingen that flood in a larger map (in new window on Google Maps)

Luscious Juicy Delicate Ceramics Exhibition, Bellingen

Bellingen-ites – don’t miss this fantastic group exhibition, opening at Infusions on Saturday July 3. Ceramics by Nicole Stenson, Jennifer Chadwick and Annette Rogers, paintings by Beth Gibbings.

Here’s some shots of Annette’s work from this morning’s photo shoot. (Had to get some pics before they all get snapped up!)

The curious case of the two Brut 66es

From 2005-2009 I played guitar in a cool band called Brut 66. We were a bunch of thirty- and forty-somethings who’d all ended up in the same country town and discovered we shared similar – some would say impeccable – musical tastes and had played in similar bands in our younger days.

What’s in a name?

When we first started playing and went through the usual brainstorming process bands do when they need to come up with a name we ended up settling on the quite unique – or so we thought – Brut 66. I can’t remember who came up with it but I do remember that at first it wasn’t taken as a serious contender (unlike some others: Dead Leg, The Nits and Red Motor, um hello?). It didn’t take long though. For me personally it was a great choice because it was stupid and kind of clever at the same time and had three big selling points:

  1. It referenced the famous blues standard Route 66, famous to me via Chuck Berry and the Stones. Aside from being a great song I’ve always loved the song because of the several layers of meaning between the lines of it’s favourite lyrics. I knew that it symbolised the dream of a better life in utopian California for many poor black Americans who travelled it (check out Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath) and that it “celebrate[d] the romance and freedom of automobile travel” (Wikipedia).
  2. It also referenced the ubiquitous and totally cheesy Brut 33 aftershave that was a part of life (and found under many a Christmas tree, chosen by hapless Aunties) for any male growing up in the 1970s and 80s.
  3. It was a great bit of wordplay that mashed these two great pop culture references together. Puns, especially ones like this, have long been a favourite of my bandmates.

So anyway, off we went. We wrote some songs, practised them in Greg’s shed, played to our friends and families and occasionally ventured further afield. We recorded a couple of CDs. We didn’t change musical history but we had lots of fun.

Our style? We had dollops of 60s garage and Detroit rock, a bit of Australian underground in there. We were loud and messy, usually in a good way. As well as our originals we did some covers by the likes of The Sonics, Ramones, Patti Smith, God.

What 66?

Our name was often misspelled and that was part of the fun. On posters done by other bands we played, occasional newpaper ads, the memorable cover of a street press magazine and blackboards outside dodgy pubs we were sometimes ‘Brutt 66’ with two ts, at least once ‘Brute 66’, sometimes ‘Route 66’. It was fitting that for our very last gig at Sydney’s Lansdowne Hotel the blackboard announced ‘Brut GG’.

At the end of 2009 our singer moved away and the band ended.

The plot thickens

A couple of months later an email landed in my inbox

hi there,
played in a band called Brut 66 from Düsseldorf-Germany in the late 80´s.
sounded maybe like 70´s english styled punk rock or something else.
released only one 7 inch on a small local label called Teenage Rebel Records.
have a few copies left. if you are interessted i can send you 1 or 2.just for fun.
see you on tour in düsseldorf!

I nearly fell off my chair. Another band with exactly the same name had existed well before we thought of it. Their musical style even sounded not a million miles away from ours. I know that it’s hard to find a unique band name these days but hey, Brut 66?

Yesterday a package arrived from Michael with four singles from the ‘other’ Brut 66, recorded in 1988 in Düsseldorf. They look very young and – as I did in those days – eager to look as tough and hard as possible. In keeping with releases from the pre-digital age the single includes a photocopied A4 sheet with some cut and pasted pictures and typewritten lyrics. After the band members names it says “No thanks to anyone”.

Looks we’ve been well and truly outpunked!

(I’m ashamed to say that my record player is out of action right now so I haven’t been able to listen yet).

Pics of old and new Brut 66 singles and CDs below.

Stay tuned for the dual Brut 66es Germany and Australia reunion tour in another 10 years…

Footnote for fellow grammar and spelling pedants: I struggled with the correct way to write the plural of Brut 66: should it be Brut 66s or Brut 66es? None of the online sources I checked could tell me definitively. I know if it was written as Brut Sixty-Six the ‘es’ plural would be correct so I’ve gone with that. Further dicussion welcome, if anyone cares.

Highest annual rainfall on record for Bellingen in 2009

2009 is now officially the highest annual rainfall on record for Bellingen with 3372mm recorded so far this year. The 500mm+ received this week sees 1921’s paltry 2895mm soundly beaten (source: Bellingen Courier Sun).

Average is around 1500mm.

And there’s still seven more weeks to go before the end of the year…

The 5th Bellingen flood for 2009

Gushing path

Extreme weather can’t come much more extreme than this. Another 14 inches of rain (350mm) in the last couple of days makes for soggy feet again.

Sure, we expect a bit of a flood around late summer/autumn every year or two but five times in one year?

Not whinging, just wondering…


Yes, Bellingen is flooded again. May 23, 2009.

cnr Dowle and Hammond Streets Bellingen May 2009

Third ‘one in a hundred year’ flood so far this year for Bellingen.

The atmosphere around town has shifted from Excited What Fun (February flood), How Odd So Soon After The Last One (April flood) to a resigned We’re Over It Now Please Go Away Now – lots less people even bothering to wander around and look at the damage this time around.

School and work evacuated on Thursday, Lavender’s Bridge in Bellingen well over ‘major’ flood level again, Bellingen Show cancelled.

After the flood – Bellingen pics April 5, 2009

Tennis Courts, Bellingen after flood, April 5, 2009

There’s always lots of photos of a flood, not so many of the aftermath. He’s a few from around Bellingen (and a couple from Urunga) as the floodwaters recede.

4 more things you can do in North Bellingen when there’s a flood

Bellingen flood April 1, 2009 (composite image)

1. Listen to the helicopters

Proposed by Tim for the things to do list last time. Even more of them the last two days.

2. Listen to the trailbikes

No cops = teenage boys go wild on their two strokes.

3. Wonder at people who insist on driving their cars through raging torrents

See the price they pay afterwards… (see update in comments below)

Bellingen flood April 2, 2009 stranded car

4. Drink beer

I know it was on the list last time but, hey, it still works…

Bellingen Flood April 1, 2009 - Lavender's Bridge

Deja vu: Bellingen floods. Again. March 31, 2009

Bellingen Flood March 31, 2009

Seems like only a matter of weeks ago when Bellingen last flooded. Oh, it was.

Well this time it’s looking like we’re going to go one better.

Day started with the 6.30am phone calls to let us know school’s off.

Tried to go to work but the bridge through town was about to close which would have stranded me on the wrong side so came back home to work from there instead.

Power went off for a few hours.

When it came back for me the power at the office went off killing the development server.

Acacia had some friends visit. The first one left when floodwater started coming in under her house.

I just took her other friend home. Couldn’t get the car to her house because the street was cut and there were a crew of people trying to sweep water out of and away from two houses at the low point in the street. Bolted up the street in the deluge with the kids. Those guys had moved all of their downstairs furniture before the water came in but their neighbour hadn’t so I went over and tried unsuccessfully to help float/manouvere a waterlogged dresser up the stairs there.

The rain’s still hammering down and the river’s still rising.

Bellinger River heights at Bellingen Bridge March 31, 2009
Bureau of Meteorology river height data for Bellinger River at around 5.30pm

The story of Bellingen Rural Australians for Refugees – March 26, 2009

An interesting talk will be held on March 26, 2009 in Bellingen with two inspiring women – Irene Wallin and Anne Simpson.

bellingen rural austrlians for refugees

On Thursday 26th March we will be re-visiting some of the events following the formation of Bellingen Rural Australians for Refugees (BRAR), where Bellingen joined with other rural communities across the nation in a unique grassroots action that resulted in the eventual change of policies. Irene Wallin and Anne Simpson will be presenting the seminar Global to Rural – our last with Marty at  Bellabookafe.

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