Weeping Mother Memorial

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area

Many tears were shed on home soil as blood seeped in WWI trenches, Queensland's outpouring of grief most poignantly captured in a marble statue of a seated mother, weeping, at Gatton.

While the foundation stone was laid in April 1922, it's not known when the marble memorial, which includes a mausoleum-type structure, was unveiled. It is known that it was designed and produced by Ipswich mason Frank Williams at a cost of more than £500 and that money was raised through public subscription.

The weeping mother, slightly smaller than life-size, sits on a mound of rocks, her chin resting on her right hand, her left hand holding a scroll with the inscription 'Their names liveth for evermore'.

Gatton's farming community lost 68 local men in WWI. The names of locals who died in subsequent conflicts, 23 in WWII and two in Vietnam, have been added.

A light to illuminate the statue at night was added by the Gatton RSL and Women's Auxiliary, a WWI nurse flicking the switch on Armistice Day 1933.

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Grantham, Lockyer Valley

Grantham, Lockyer Valley Area
About halfway between Gatton and Helidon lies Grantham, a little village surrounded by rich farming land. The town is home to one of Australia's leading beef producers, exporting prime beef to markets around the world. In 2011, Grantham suffered severely in the January flood event. For a while, the town became a household name due to extensive media coverage. The Lockyer Valley Regional Council implemented a voluntary land swap for affected residents. The first of its kind, the swap was run as a ballot, enabling residents to exchange their land for a block on higher ground. Today, the new estate on the hill is occupied by both new and old residents in a beautifully landscaped setting. A number of parks in the area have been recently beautified and a brand new park is located within the new estate. These parks are the perfect place to stop and enjoy the surroundings, offering play equipment for the kids. Call in a say hi to friendly locals at the general store and newsagency or take a look at the newly restored Butter Factory. You will find fresh local produce at the fruit and vegetable market store as well as road-side farm stalls.

Helidon

Helidon, Lockyer Valley Area
The quiet hamlet of Helidon lies in the picturesque Lockyer Valley, approximately one hour west of Brisbane and just 15 minutes east of Toowoomba. Sandstone from this area has been used in many of Queensland's beautiful historic buildings. Helidon is also the business hub for explosive manufacturing companies situated on the outskirts of town For many years Helidon has been famous for its natural mineral springs prized for their great healing and therapeutic properties. The local Aborigines bathed in the spring water to ward off illness and after European settlement, the springs attracted the frail from far and wide. Arthritis, rheumatism, muscular aches, pains, stress, and a host of other ailments are said to be relieved by soaking in the warm, mineral-rich water. The grand old city of Toowoomba is just 15 minutes' drive up the range and offers a host of things to see and do. Not far from Helidon you'll also find wineries, historic homesteads, national parks and a host of scenic drives. Accommodation in the Helidon area ranges from basic cabins, bed-and-breakfasts, hotels and motels.

Murphys Creek

Murphys Creek, Lockyer Valley Area
Stop in at the historic tiny town of Murphy's Creek. You can travel there via Toowoomba from the New England Highway or via the Warrego Highway. Today, Murphy's Creek is little more than a general store, coffee shop, and a historic cottage called Jessie's Cottage. By the cottage, there are picnic tables that make picnicking in this quiet rural setting easy. Nearby is beautiful Spring Bluff Railway Station. See the award winning gardens and have a cuppa at the cafe, open every day in September and Thursday to Sunday all other months 9.30am to 4.30pm. Although it is hard to imagine, around 100 years ago Murphy's Creek was a thriving business centre with tannery and bookmaker, blacksmith, bacon factory, wool scour, brickyards, pit sawmill, stone quarries, two stores, a butcher, two hotels and a bakery, a police station, court house and three churches. There were over a hundred children in the school. First called Fingal, the settlement grew when the railway line pushed up the range to Toowoomba. The nearby creek gave its name to the town just as Peter Murphy had given his name to the creek when he built his station nearby in 1841.

Laidley

Laidley, Lockyer Valley Area
Just 60 minutes from downtown Brisbane, Laidley greets visitors with good old-fashioned hospitality in some of the richest farmlands and most magnificent scenery. There are so many attractions for visitors to enjoy, from the preserved heritage of the pioneer village, to the local arts and crafts plus the region's oldest home, Das Neumann Haus. The bed and breakfasts, motel, country style hotels, caravan and camping grounds offer visitors a wide choice of accommodation for that relaxing country break. To appreciate this beautiful region, take a scenic drive through the Laidley Valley via Mulgowie Road, or Laidley Creek Road and gaze across the colourful landscape of the valley from the region's two lookouts. Relaxing by the bank of Lake Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam), or picnicking in the Lions Park and viewing Narda Lagoon from the suspension bridge, is an idyllic getaway. Laidley has so much to share.
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