Oct 24th The Broom of Doom

17.45-17.55

The town of Doom, New South Wales, Australia (population 3652), is located 50 km south of Balina, home to the big prawn[1], one of Australia’s famed ‘Big Things

Doom is a popular tourist destination[2] for quirky tourists (source?) who like to travel to its municipal limits, so that they can be said to have ‘stood at the edge of Doom[3]. This puts Doom in the same category as towns and cities such as Hel, Poland, located at the tip of the Hel Peninsula. Hel is a popular destination for rail and bus travellers who can justifiably claim to have ‘bought a ticket to Hel(l) and back[4]

Along with Balina, and other such towns in New South Wales and further abroad, the town of Doom has its own ‘big thing’ in the shape of a giant broom.

Known officially as The Big Brush[5] the sculpture, in the shape of a triumphal arch framing the entrance to the town (on the Balina highway) is known locally as The Broom of Doom[6]

The origins of the broom are unclear, but local legend suggests that the broom was an implement wielded with some force by Hattie Solomon (1874-1922) upon her husband, James Solomon (1870-1916) because of his excessive drinking and lack of attention to familial duties. She became so well known for her actions;

Look out, there’s Hattie with her broom of doom![7]

that the phrase ‘Broom of Doom’ came into common parlance, its association with the name of the town being almost entirely coincidental.

There are others, however, who point to older stories. The local indigenous population claim that the broom is that of the bunyip[8] used in the Dreamtime[9] to clear space for the creation of dream animals, and consequently the world.

The Broom of Doom is one of the fifteen most photographed sites[10] in the local area, and features prominently in several of the town’s postcards.

[1] See ‘Big Things of Australia’, Warne, S. 1992

[2] NSW tourist data 2011

[3] ‘I stood on the edge of Doom’, Jennifer Warne in The Guardian, 12th April 2012

[4] ‘We went to Hel and back’, Ted and Dusty Rogers, The Leigh Daily Enquirer, 23rd March 2010

[5] ‘Doom unveils Big Brush’, The Doom Chronicle, April 1972

[6] ‘Locals Vote on Name Change for Big Brush’, Dundee, C., The Doom Recorder, April 1986

[7] Apocryphal. Source unknown

[8]Mythological Creature of Pre-Colonial Times’, Kidman, N., Sydney University Press, June 1995

[9] ibid.

[10]Top 15 Snaps of Balina and Beyond’, Minogue, D. Sorority Press, May 2001

 

This follows the daily prompts for a ten minute write from Putting My Feet In The Dirt The idea is to use the prompt and write for ten minutes only. Which is what I did, prompted by the words The Broom Of Doom

2 thoughts on “Oct 24th The Broom of Doom

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