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Report 1901: A Month on the Rock

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

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Page 26 of 31: Trinity and the Skerwink Trail

photo by Michael

View of Flat Fish seastack glimpsed through the trees on the Skerwink Trail

After spending the morning at Random Passage Film Set, we drove to East Trinity and parked by the church to do the Skerwink Trail.

There is a large information board and archway marking the start of the trail. The first section follows the trackbed of the disused Trinity railway line and is easy walking. The trail then picks up a made track through the trees with glimpses of the coastline. It was a nice coastline, when we could see it, with steep cliffs and stacks. Just beyond Dog Cove there is a short cut back to the start (Inland Loop). This wasnít well signed and the path looked narrow and not well maintained. We lost the trees at the headland, which had a seat and nice views across to Port Rexton and Champneys, but no sea eagles or whales. It was then back into the trees with a couple of views of Trinity with its colourful buildings. The path to the lookout was narrow and steep.

The trail has been voted as one of the top 25 trails in North America. We felt it didnít live up to hype. We were frustrated by all the trees which obscured the views. We canít blame the weather as it was a glorious afternoon.

Afterwards we went back to Trinity. It was Open Doors weekend with free entry to the different properties.

By the mid 18thC Trinity was the commercial, social and political centre for the area, but its importance declined from 1850 when St Johnís replaced it in importance. There are many lovely old wooden buildings, all beautifully maintained and painted in bright colours with lots of space around them.

We went into the Lester Garland Premises/Ryans Shop, which was built in 1764 and is where the Lesters, Garlands and Ryans ran family businesses from. The counting house is restored to 1820s and the shop to 1910, with shelves and drawers along the walls. This sold everything; clothes, underwear, kitchen pans, fruit and vegetables, hardware...

Next to it was the Lester Garland House, a huge three story brick building. The original building was pulled down in the 1960s but rebuilt in 1996-7. On the other side is the Rising Tide Theatre, which was built in 2000 to look like a large fish store. Across the car park area was the old Courthouse and gaol, a splendid white building, with the Parish Hall and Masonic Lodge beside it.

We spent a long time in the Hiscock House, a lovely orange building with green trim, which was built for Richard and Emma Hiscock in 1881. Richard was a blacksmith and had his forge in the grounds near the house. Emma ran the small shop attached to the house. After her husband was drowned Emma brought up their six children by herself. She continued to run the shop and let the house to the magistrate, moving into a smaller house. A few years later the family moved back into the house, letting out one bedroom. Emma set up the first post office in the front parlour. This was later moved to a separate building, still run by Emma, who then established the first bank in the parlour and back kitchen. She was helped by two of her daughters. The house is now restored to 1910 with original Hiscock furniture and represents a typical local merchantís house.

St. Paul's Anglican Church is a huge white building with red and green decoration which was built in 1882 and is the third building on the site. Inside are wooden arches with supporting wooden struts and wooden pews.

Trinity is a delightful place with a lot of character and we wished we had allowed more time here. In retrospect we regretted the time spent on the Skerwink Trail.

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