Miriam Vale’s grocer has closed down after being in business for 50 years.
Miriam Vale’s grocer has closed down after being in business for 50 years. Rob Black

Sad day for Miriam Vale as grocer shuts up shop

MIRIAM Vale locals are worried it could be the death knell for the town as another business closed its doors.

The Miriam Vale Friendly Grocer, or what used to be the general store, shut shop last week after more than 50 years.

"When I first came here in 1960 there were two (general stores); you buy everything in the town, groceries, clothes, anything you wanted," long-time resident Pauline Dahl said.

"I feel for the older people who don't have a car. A friend and I take turn about driving up to Tannum to do the shopping, but I don't know what is going to happen. It's not good for the town.

"We don't have a baker or a butcher - the mechanic went a while ago."

Miriam Vale was a major centre for decades following an influx of settlers and immigrants in the early days of the region.

Cattle properties, beef and dairy, plus a whole range of different farming practices, timber-getting and even mining, meant a rich lifeblood for a booming town.

The old Miriam Vale Shire Council was based there too, and there is a rich history to the district.

The rail line and station, though now unmanned, meant good connections to the capital in the south and the Port of Gladstone to the north.

The big old heritage-listed fig tree down by the train station has stood for more than 100 years and was once the outdoor surgery for the visiting vet in the old days.

Local activist and former councillor Greg Realf has worked hard to keep the town alive and there are several active community groups and emergency services in Miriam Vale.

The Bruce Highway (Roe St) still runs through the town, but once busy Blomfield St is now home to only the pub and a few businesses - but no longer a general store.