Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Something Out of Stephen King

At times of stress or sadness we often return to a place of remembered beauty. Places that invoke feelings of nostalgia and the longing for a simpler time in our lives. These are sentiments that author Stephen King captures in a number of his most terrifying works. Within the hillside community of Yallourn North and the surrounding areas there are places off the beaten track that I liken to some of King's many fictional locations. One in particular is Wirilda Park or more commonly known by locals as the Tyers Pumping Station. This secluded and tranquil little recreational reserved is situated a short distance from the turn off onto Clarkes Rd via Brown Coalmine Rd, between Yallourn North and Tyers. Each time I visit I'm reminded of the small tract of land nestled by a gentle stream from 'Stephen King's IT' known as as 'The Barrens'. In both the novel and the 1990 TV adaptation, 'The Barrens' was the childhood hangout and sanctuary for the story's seven main protagonists, where as children they found solace and escape from the torment inflicted upon them by their peers and the malevolent unknown force that is simply referred to as IT.  
Wirilda Park (Tyers Pumping Station) 
These two locations bear a striking resemblance to each other. The peaceful aura conjurers up fond memories and feelings of the mystery and care free nature of childhood; a theme significant in a number of King's novels. The unfortunate run-down and overgrown state of the Tyers Pumping Station presents a haunting sense of natural beauty, with picnic tables hidden from view by the canvas of nature, to the aging infrastructure which serve as reminders of a by-gone era when a more prosperous community flourished. However, in the case of King's original work, the natural beauty and seclusion of 'The Barrens' is juxtaposed to the internal and sinister presence which lingers over Derry itself, maintaining an unknowing hold over it's residents.   
Down stream of the Tyers River.
The 'Losers' in Stephen King's IT (1990) Warner Bros. Pictures
I visited the Tyers Pumping Station back in March for the first time in a numbers of years and like every other time I was instantly transfixed; my imagination running wild. I stood upon the wall of the spillway staring out onto the steadily flowing river; picturing in my mind the face of a clown emerging from the trees that line the bank. "Someone should really make a movie here, it's like something out of Stephen King." I think to myself. Maybe one day an aspiring film-maker will see this place the same way I do and take full advantage of it's character and mystery.

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