Actually Castlemaine is very much a hybrid town with two different populations that rarely interact with each other.
One section of the population is the one you refer to, artsy-fartsy city types, often over educated and often quite wealthy. They started arriving in the 1970's, but didn't make much of an impact until the 80's. by the 90's they had really transformed the nature of the town.
The other part of the population are the people that have been there for 150+ years. Down to earth types who often worked in heavy industry. Castlemaine was quite working class until the 80's and almost everyone had a feel for the communal vibe of the town. Essentially, the place felt like no one had moved into the town in over a century except for a few people providing services such as teachers, doctors and policemen.
When industries such as the woollen mill, Thompsons Foundry and many others started down sizing or closing down, many of the locals were unemployed for the first time in generations. At the same time the "blow-ins" started arriving, attracted by cheap heritage housing in a town dominated by scenic valleys and tall hills.
The locals are still a majority in town, but they tend to stick to their own business, unlike the more visible "noisy blow ins" with their arts festivals and political activism. However there is a quiet resentment that these new comers have forced them out of much of their town, they have taken many of the houses, pushed up house prices to a level that locals can't afford and displacing their rural working class culture with something quite alien to them. People in their 40's that I went to school with are quietly upset that they are being pushed to the periphery of the town that their ancestors built and lived in for centuries.
Castlemaine would be a fascinating study for a sociologist looking to compare a traditional, established, native population feeling confused and impotent about being displaced by brash, self confident new comers.
Generally agree with your sentiments here.
As a born and bred in Castlemaine...still with strong family connections there even though I live in Ballan, I agree with your sentiments.
I was at the first Arts festival around 1978, I used to go to the Royal before it was trendified. My dad worked at the Woollen Mill LONG before the offices burnt down...this was in the early 50's.
I lived at the very top of the Parker St hill and used to watch trains go through the Walker St crossing long before I could even walk...I'm now 59...lol