Showing posts with label nicholas shand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nicholas shand. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Bogan Bay

Some snaps from sunnier days in Byron Bay, the northern town that has become so popular with the ex-Hollywood set like Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, Matt Damon, Zac Efron and assorted characters. Whispers has been visiting Byron Bay and nearby Mullumbimby for nearly 40 years. Ever since our pal the late British printing press heir Nicholas Shand re-located from Shropshire and puchased a few hundred acres in "Mullum". Shand set up the local newspaper, the Byron Echo which has since become the established newspaper for the area. Shand sadly passed away in a car accident and there is statue of him outside the local council chambers.

But there are rumblings of discontent about the "newcomers" and the glitzy Hemsworth set and assorted hanger-ons who number in the dozens, from the oldtimers who first moved to Byron Bay over the previous decades. And the addition of anti-vaxxer chef Pete Evans has really got blood vessels pumping. We can't name the locals but it seems most cannot abide the new crowd and the attention it has brought to Byron. Among the complaints are the rapidly rising house prices and the flocks of visitors who pour into the town on weekends.

One local described it as similar to the beautiful California enclave Sausalito which in the 60s & 70s was a playground for those wishing to escape the city ratrace but went along similar lines as Byron with property prices outstripping the ability of the sort of "arty" crowd that made it popular in the first place.

Byron Bay locals are now calling it Bogan Bay and say an event a few weeks ago sums up the new mob. A marquee and tables were set up in a park at the beach claiming Covid was a hoax and wearing masks stupid calling them "face nappies" as an insult. It was the sheer numbers who headed for these tables to lend support that upset the locals. Many early Byron locals were "alternatives" in the 60s thru 80s when they moved there but are not like the QAnon nutters who have been boring the world to death lately.

The original movie super-star to spot Byron's potential was Paul Hogan who snapped up acres in the hinterland and built a magnificent mansion and redeveloped the pub in the main street. Hoges packed up nearly 20 years ago selling up for $Millions and moved to LA. Now Byron, or Bogon is flooded from the recent torrential rains and the beach was recently washed away in another storm which caused terrible damage. One prominent local likened it to God's wrath.