For Garry Munday, history and writing go hand in hand.
The former school teacher and now member of the Macleay River Historical Society has had several books published including; Riverboats of the Macleay, The game they play in Heaven - and on the Macleay, The First 100 Years of horse-racing in the Macleay Valley and others.
His latest publication, 'The Kempsey/Armidale Road - The Forgotten Link?', adds to the list and explores the origins of an area full of rich history.
The idea for the book came in 2010 after writing a text with former colleagues on stock routes.
"Big Hill on the road has a great history and I'm a keen admirer of Bellbrook and love the country up there and that got me starting to do research and the more research I did the more interested I became," Mr Munday told the Argus.
The investigative side has been the most enjoyable aspect of writing books for Mr Munday with a large array of people consulted and interviewed.
"Over the years I've talked to a minimum of 100 people, that included people in Armidale, people who lived between here and there particularly in Big Hill area and those that lived here in the Lower Valley," he said.
"Then we had a bicentennial project at the museum where people did their oral histories so we relied on those as well.
"Once you started to look into it it kept spiraling and you had more and more information."
He said to ensure the book was engaging there was a great emphasis on the quirky and interesting stories told by those who've had a connection to the road and area.
"There's a good bit about people bringing the pigs to market, walking and droving them but all the pigs wanted to do was lie in the mud holes and that came from one of the ladies telling her stories," Mr Munday recounted.
"I like to put a bit of poetry in, mix things around a bit, some of it's a bit dry about the surveying and roadworks but the other interesting bit is the road you go on now wasn't the original road.
"The original road went up Nulla creek, you cut over Postman's trail that cuts into five day creek, you then follow the creek up to the source of that, went straight up the face of the cliff up to Point Lookout and to Armidale from there.
"The appeal is the little stories in there and historic poems, it's not just straight facts."
The recent landslip at Devil's Nook, just before Bellbrook, certainly provided publicity for the book with Mr Munday recounting a family conversation.
"There's the sign saying watch for falling rocks at Devil's Nook and my son David always said I've never seen one fall yet and I said you don't want to be here when they fall," he said.
The book was released just before Christmas with copies selling fast and Mr Munday anticipates by the end of next week 200 copies will have been sold.
Currently this round of sales is the second lot of re-prints.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we have to do another re-print, maybe smaller," he commented.
"Willawarrin and Bellbrook Hotel's have been great, they've sold a number of copies and I'll be taking more there on Friday."
The book can be bought from both Hotel's and the Kempsey Museum, while stocks last.
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