I had to include this town as it is where I lived on my folks' farm until I was nearly six years old. I don't have many memories of the farm and yet there are some I cling on to and I feel it was a happy part of my life. It was an old farmhouse and there was a huge stand of pine trees nearby on the property. I can remember as a child loving to walk and play on the pine needles. Mum and Dad were potato farmers but also had cows for milk and a hay barn and some chooks (hens) and I remember an old grey horse called Bonnie. I used to sit on Bonnie's back and think I was Christmas. I was allowed to 'milk' one of the gentler cows. I think I perhaps managed to get enough milk so the cat could have a saucer full. I even remember the names of several farmers that were friends of my folks.
NARRIKUP is a small town in the Shire of Plantagenet, 33 kilometres north of Albany and 376 kilometres south of Perth. The 2006 census recorded the town's population as 515. Narrikup's name is derived from a Noongar (Aboriginal) word meaning 'place of abundance". The first recorded European activity in the area was on 3 December, 1829, when Royal Navy surgeon Thomas Braidwood Wilson, camped for the night on the banks of a stream west of the present townsite.
During the 1860s, three properties were established in the district, but the first major increase in population occurred when the Great Southern Railway was opened in 1889. The Narrikup railway siding was originally called Hay River. (There is a Hay River in the area. This is where the river flows into Wilson's Inlet on the south coast).
In 1905 the regional surveyor reported several settlers were interested in acquiring land at the Hay River siding, so 20 lots were surveyed. The townsite was gazetted 2 years later and named Narrikup.
Narrikup's first registered business was established in 1919, when Sam Jolly began operating from a galvanised iron shed near the siding. As the district grew so did his business and in 1922 he transferred to a larger building on the Hay River Road, which is still in operation today. (I remember going to that store as a child and MOH and I visited it again when we were in the area about 20 years ago. I bought a lovely lamp base which was made of turned blackboy. I still use that lamp.)
These days Narrikup's sheep and cattle farming is giving way to wildflower propagation, cherry orchards, vineyards, plantation forestry and alpaca and ostrich farming. The town's limited services include a post office, general store/cafe, community hall, children's playground, park and picnic areas and sports facilities. This is the Narrikup District Hall:
There's nothing remarkable about Narrikup; no beautiful scenery or fabulous caves or large township but it is where I spent nearly 6 years so it had to be included in my A-Z of towns (just for me).
While searching for the few pictures I did find of Narrikup I also discovered this beautiful photo of blue wrens of which there are many in our south-west so just had to include them to add some prettiness to this story. These birds exhibit a high degree of sexual dimorphism, the male in breeding plumage is a long-tailed bird of predominantly bright blue and black colouration. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour; this gave the early impression that males were polygamous as all dull-coloured birds were taken to be females. Actually, socially they are monogamous but sexually promiscuous, i.e. although they form pairs (one male, one female) each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such trysts. (Makes me think of many humans these days that seem to follow a similar behaviour pattern; but the birds are far more beautiful).