Blog Archives

Red for Miles – Right Through the Fog!

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I spent time yesterday in the “Beauty Spot of the North” – Conche, NL to talk with residents and participate in the annual garden party tradition. After lunch and between the matinee, I did take some time to visit Fox Head, memorial airstrip, French Shore Interpretation Centre, wharf, tour the town, chat with residents and of course visit the red fishing rooms.

I think it was the first time in Conche where I experienced such fog, it seems the days are typically sunny in this vibrant and cultural centre. I did snap lots of photos from flowers to fishing nets to the colourful houses and stages, especially the red fishing rooms on Crouse Drive. Even through the fog, it feels like fisherman red for miles!

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The bright read gleams in the fog as the lobster traps and fishing boats are safely moored in the harbour.IMG_20150802_142826

These buildings have recently been painted, ensuring that they are around for the long haul. I had a great chat in the shed with Gerard and his cousin on my last visit about the fishery, the many challenges and the future. They are quite industrious as they were engulfed in building their own boat launch.

Our history, culture, tradition and our future is proudly on public display in the community of Conche. A true destination, over a 17.6 KM gravel road that is desperately in need of paving.

Fire wood, folk art and an forgotten Ford (maybe) are also part of the visual one will experience in this part of the Town.

I have many more images of the jelly bean row houses, the open art, music, dance, history and more that I will share in another post. Don’t worry about the fog, if you’re in Conche – you’ll still see red for miles!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

The Red Rooms of Crouse

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A few weeks ago while in the Town of Conche, I just had to stop and admire all the fishing stages and rooms that dominate Crouse Drive.

These vernacular wooden buildings were commonplace, scattered all along the shores of the Great Northern Peninsula as the cod trade dominated the economy. These stages were the place of commerce, where men and women would engage in the process of preparing the cod on splitting tables and then begin the process of salting and drying fish. The fish would be scattered along the rocks or on flakes. The traditional colour was of the buildings was always the red ochre colour, but I’ve also seen paint brands calling it “fishermen red”.

These vernacular buildings are quintessentially rural Newfoundland & Labrador and reflective of our outport lifestyle, culture and heritage. Today marks the opening of the Fall Food Fishery, so if you get the opportunity to take to the water and jig a few cod think about the red rooms scattered along the shorelines and the importance of cod to settlement and the economy of the Province.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Christmas Mumming? – The Jannies are coming to Town

Any Mummer’s ‘lowed in?, will be the questioned asked as these two jannies approach the door of a neighbour at Christmastime in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

 

Any Mummer's 'lowed in?

The exquisite detail and skill by the local crafter belongs on a wall at The Rooms (www.therooms.ca), which hosts the Provincial Art Gallery. The product should be sold at their gift shop and other high-end outlets.

We have an abundance of local talent when it comes to craft producers on the Great Northern Peninsula. Many are hobbyists with few selling into commercial markets. However, there is untapped opportunity for product development and  to sell culturally significant items at local, regional, provincial, national and international outlets obtaining a Fair Trade price.

If you produce an art form or a craft and would want to be like the mummer’s hoping to be let in – post a comment, share your story or drop us a line at liveruralnl@gmail.com. The world can be your marketplace!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

The Beauty of it All – when you do not rush

 
Lar’s Place, Conche, NL
 On February 12, 2011, I visited Conche, NL. It truly is one of the wonders along the French Shore. In my 25 years, I have never taken the time to visit this breath-taking Town outside of the summer season. It was long over due and certainly did not disappoint.

Dock w/Store house and iceflow

 Snow patches were present on the rolling hills and the harbour filled with ice, as I drove the winding roads. For the first time, I was not in any rush to get somewhere or meet someone – it was just perfect. I had taken time to explore the landscape, the houses and just get lost in the wonder that is quintessentially rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Frontage of Lar's Place

 
I was taken aback by the brightly coloured fishing rooms, stores, stages and sheds that were bountiful along the harbour. It spoke the importance the fishery has played on this small Town throughout its rich and vibrant history. I stopped and took several photos of Lar’s Place (depicted in the photo above). The well maintained property had a mis-matched set of antlers tacked on the front. One half of the antlers boasting a much larger size than its counterpart, if that makes any sense at all. It was of interest, so I stopped for a little while. The weather vane was something I do not re-call ever seeing in any of my home communities in the Strait of Belle Isle. The door had a wooden cross, which was painted white and placed on the door, as well as, a perfectly cut island of Newfoundland to match. Conche has notable folk art, something I did not realize on other visits – from the crabs on outer buildings to cut-outs of birds on store roofs that from a far looked strikingly real.

Crab folk art on outbuilding, Conche, NL

 
My advice is to take some time to truly stop and smell the fresh air and all the hodgepodge that makes rural Newfoundland & Labrador a lifestyle. In a world of rush and go, we often miss the beauty that truly exists in our own backyards.
 
Live Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore 
 
 

 

 

 

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