This blog provides information, stories, links and events relating to and promoting the history of the Wimmera district.
Any additional information, via Comments, is welcomed.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Photos on a National theme

Having a look at the National Archives of Australia's online PhotoSearch facility.
Naturally while there are many of Canberra and politicians portraits, there are a number or local or semi-local photographs.

Dimboola goes to Dimboola
 Including this now historic one of the now demolished Dimboola Hotel. Taken in 1974 it shows a  bus carrying Canberra Professional Groups' cast of the play "Dimboola" outside the Dimboola hotel. The geotag says in Lochiel Street, but it would be in Lloyd Street.
Telephonists at the Hopetoun Post Office (undated)

As a national organisation, (the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service regularly visited and serviced the Lighthouses) there is a range of lighthouses & beacons, some recent like this one of Maatsuyker Island lighthouse off Tasmania's south coast taken in 1978
Or this one of riding cable trolley tramway up from the jetty to Maatsuyker Island lighthouse in 1956.

And history in the making - the surveying of Canberra in 1912.
Then later, the site of the New Parliament House. This largely pastoral photo was taken in 1972.
Still on the political theme - Prime Minister of Australia - Robert Gordon Menzies in 1960.

The Horsham East Post Office Agency (the Dooen Road shops) undated but probably in the late 60s or early 70s by the advertising.
 A wonderful way to while-away some time reminiscing.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A place in the Wimmera

Explore the history of the Wimmera and Southern Mallee region at the launch of the online book 'Place-names of the Wimmera' - an alphabetical list of place names of localities & towns, parishes & counties, lakes & streams, hills and mountains in the area covered by the Wimmera Regional Library. It includes Aboriginal and historic etymology of place names.
The online book will be accessible on the Wimmera Regional Library's website. 

The launch includes a presentation showing how explorers and surveyors named specific places and landmarks across the region.

The 'Place-names of the Wimmera' launch will be held at the Horsham Library on Wednesday 25th May from 7:00 to 8:30pm. It is a free event and bookings are essential by either visiting the library or phoning 53825707.

The launch of the 'Place-names of the Wimmera' book, is a part of the National Trust Heritage Festival for 2016.

Check out other Heritage Festival events at the National Trust website

Friday, 6 May 2016

A walk on the dark side

Come along to our heritage walk - 'Secrets of Horsham's laneways'.

Uncover the stories behind Horsham city's network of laneways - the haunt of the night-cart man. Once important & busy thoroughfares, they are now largely forgotten. 

A guided loop walk will trek around Horsham's central business district commencing from the foyer of the Mibus Centre. 

Commentary along the way will reveal facts and stories about the people and the businesses that frequented the alleys and lanes over the years. 

Refreshments will be available after the walk.

The walk will be held  on Saturday 14th May from 2:00 to 3:30pm. It is a free event and bookings are essential by either visiting the library or phoning 53825707.

Those attending need to wear sensible walking shoes for uneven and rough surfaces.

If wet a virtual tour will be held at the Horsham Library in the Mibus Centre.

'Secrets of Horsham's laneways' is part of Discovery & re-discoveries - the National Trust Heritage Festival for 2016.

Stay tuned for more events during May.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Crafting books

As part of the National Trust Heritage Festival for 2016, the Library is conducting a number of events.

The first is 'Crafting your own books'
Need ideas on composing your story? Have the material and want to know how to present it?

 'Crafting Your Own Books' can assist you with examples of handcrafted stories, anecdotes and verse, showcasing how bits n' pieces, scrap, memory objects etc. can create a unique look for the cover and make-up of your book, journal or album.
This is an encore presentation by Christine Gerdtz. Last year Christine enthused an audience with ideas and examples of what can be created from scrap pieces to frame handmade books and albums.

'Crafting your own books' will be held at the Horsham Library on Tuesday 10th May from 1:30 to 2:30. It is a free event and bookings are essential by either visiting the library or phoning 53825707.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Update on local halls

Previously there have been a couple of posts concerning stage curtains - the section of the stage which sets the scene. These backdrops were works of art, huge canvases often depicting rural/garden scenes or town/cityscapes, see posts - Drawing the curtain and On stage in Watchem.
There are still a number of local halls which have not succumb to the mere film screen perched at the rear of the stage - Aubrey, Rupanyup, and Kooreh.

And here is Kooreh's stage curtains - very English
The stage curtains & the new flooring

450mm of flood water inundated the Kooreh Hall during the floods in January 2011, leaving behind 15cm of silt. While the floorboards and some fittings were ruined and had to be replaced, the historic stage curtains were saved.

The flood level peaked at the mark on the plaque now attached to the side door of the hall (photo on the left).

It was thanks to funds from the government & the Shire that the hall was restored.
The restored hall now
represents what can be done with local community support and sufficient monetary funds. Unlike Gre Gre, where the hall building has to be approaching 'too-far-gone'
Gre Gre Village Soldiers Memorial Hall

The Gre Gre Village Hall was erected as a memorial to the soldiers of World War 1, in 1923. 

Fourteen Gre Gre district people served in the First World War, including Nurse A.C. Jackson.

The building has deteriorated even further since this photograph (on the right) was taken by Esma Barratt in 1988.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Dressed to make the film

Now that 'The Dressmaker' film has hit the theatres and the DVD has been released, people are looking to see who and what they recognise (refer to earlier post 'Done and dusted' of filming scenes in the Wimmera). Here is a location guide to film settings, with screen shots from the DVD matched to actual places.
Dungatar looking up the hill to Molly's
Dungatar town exteriors - Mt Rothwell near Little River (room interiors - Docklands Studio)
The approach to Jung

Silo - distant views - Jung, except for the CGI superimposed on Mt Rothwell landscape (close-ups - Docklands Studio) 

 << The real Jung silos beside the Melbourne-Adelaide rail-line.

Below - the silos as in the film with Gyton Grantley (playing Barney McSwiney) sitting on the lid of the steel bin.
Jung silos looking west
 Dance exterior - Sailors Home Hall (interior - Williamstown)
Sailors Home Hall with the Blue Ribbon Rd in front
The Sailors Home Hall & toilet block
Molly's burial - Jerro Cemetery
Mourners at the Jerro Cemetery
The Jerro Cemetery, north of Jung on the Greenhills Road
Wedding church - unknown

Longerenong Homestead
Wedding breakfast - Longerenong Homestead
The marquee on the front lawn at the homestead
Side view of the Longerenong Homestead
Winyerp Theatre exterior - Murtoa (interior - Yarraville)
Murtoa's Mechanics Institute Hall

Football match - Jung Recreation Reserve
The massive gums surrounding Jung Rec Reserve
The pavilions at the Jung Rec Reserve
Train - Victorian Goldfields Railway (Muckleford Station and steam locomotive D3 639)

Leaving Muckleford for Maldon

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Institutions crumble

Two  Wimmera institutions crumbled and were reduced to rumble this week.
The Church of Christ before demolition begins
Firstly the Horsham Church of Christ building. The church has stood on the corner of Firebrace and Urquhart Streets since 1918, and over the past fortnight has slowly been demolished. Watched and mourned by many as another Horsham heritage building succumbed to the reactive soils and progress. 
The building with its square tiers, mock buttresses and tiled roof was extended in 1957, but was considered no longer suitable for the congregation and will move to River Road. The old site will become a child care centre and townhouses.
Going...the tiles removed
Going...the rear extension gone

Further north in Warracknabeal the old hospital building is being torn apart as some of the buildings make way for the new Rural Northwest Health redevelopment.
The Warracknabeal Hospital
More than $10 million will be spent to build a new acute care and community care area, and refurbishment of the Landt & Banksia sections.The hospital opened in March 1891, and has steadily grown since.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Farming women

The Library is taking part in the Hopetoun Women on Farms Gathering. Hopetoun is hosting the annual event over the weekend of 18-20 March.
The Women on Farms Gathering provides a unique opportunity for women to network, increase their skills base in farming & business practices, share their stories and experience a wonderful sense of support. The gatherings help promote and establish the notion of rural women as farmers, business women and community leaders.
The Library will be running three sessions on Saturday, from the RSL Hall in Austin Street.
“Digital Details : shooting, scanning, saving, storing” providing information and tips on curating and preserving your digital photographic collection.
 “Delve into your history : using electronic tools” how to research local & family history using online resources such as TROVE, Find My Past, Ancestry, and PROV.
 “Crafting your story : inspiration and sources for your book, journal or story” how to construct the elements of a story & tell a story in pictures, photos, anecdotes - using bit n’ pieces, scrap and memory objects to create a look for your book, journal or album.
Checkout their website for more information, details and bookings