Parkes is named after Sir Henry Parkes, who is known as the father of Australian Federation. While he owned a large estate in the Blue Mountains and built 2 houses there, he somehow managed to impress the good aldermen of the town and even though he had only visited it 3 times, he consented to the town being named after him. Personally I liked the original name – Billabong Creek. We had a look at the new visitor’s centre that has three attractive museums - they are a folk museum, an Elvis museum and a car exhibition.
The Elvis museum would be a ‘must see’ for any Elvis fan. We are not great Elvis fans but we were impressed with the many artefacts they had that once belonged to Elvis.
They also had a great little car museum with some fantastic classic cars, including a Mk 1 Humber Vogue.
The local history museum has a breath taking collection of items that reflect the many influences that have shaped the modern town. However talking to some of the volunteers, they are concerned about the future. Like many similar museums, the volunteers are getting older and there are no younger people putting up their hands to take on the roles.
We drove onto Forbes and camped by the river. This is magnificent country – rich agricultural land and full dams.
Just down the road the Forbes Agricultural Show had just opened, so we wandered across to have a look. Country shows are great – friendly, authentic, a good range of exhibitions and easy to get around. The kids were out in force, enjoying the stomach twisting rides, washed down with a syrupy drink and a greasy Pluto pup. That night they also put on a great fireworks display.