Meteorite Park Rejuvenation

The first step in the upgrade of Meteorite Park saw all the school children from Murchison Primary School planting over 300 native shrubs, ground covers and grasses on the first and second of June.

Primary School children busy planting out

This was a joint initiative of the Murchison Primary School, Kindergarten, Historical Society and City of Greater Shepparton.
The local school children planted out over the two days, each class group attending in relays. Provision of the plants was made possible by the One Tree Per Child project, an initiative of Olivia Newton-John and John Dee. Their web-site has good information (www.onetreeperchild.com). The programme is aimed at understanding and encouraging volunteering in our local communities as well as providing the many benefits of planting trees and shrubs.
The program is accessed via Local Councils and overseen by Council Staff. Local volunteers also gave their time, labour and use of equipment for several days beforehand to prepare the site.
Teachers, parents, grandparents and Historical Society members entered into the busy activity assisting children to plant out, place weed-mats and guards around each plant and hammer in stakes. The children were amazingly enthusiastic and did a great job. The tree guards were brightly decorated by each child from the Pre-school as well as the Primary School children.
More improvements to Meteorite Park are planned over the next two years so it will be looking good when we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the fall of our famous Murchison Meteorite in 2019!

The day’s work done

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Amazing Restoration to District Icon

Tim Linton was guest speaker at the Murchison Historical Society Meeting in April relating the journey over 20 years restoring the well-known and historic hotel by the bridge in Murchison. Now known as Thornebridge the building has a new identity and is open to provide accommodation.

Built by Henry Thorne, the hotel was completed in 1868 and originally known as Thorne’s Bridge Hotel and Store. It was next purchased by E. J. Gregory in 1895 who was a prominent citizen and very involved in the civic affairs of Murchison. The Hotel was held in high regard by tourists, commercial travellers and locals and the entries in the visitor’s book during the ownership of the Gregory family reflect many distinguished guests stayed at the hotel and many came from overseas. It was known as the “Mecca of the Valley” with its setting by the river, having four acres of outstanding gardens and a reputation for fine dining.

The hotel stayed in the hands of the Gregory family until 1940 when the Isherwood family took over. Known locally as Gregory’s Hotel the building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register due to its “architectural significance as a representative example of a substantial two-storeyed brick country hotel with stables of the 1860s with cast iron decorative panels to the return verandah.” The large London Plane tree at the front of the hotel, planted in 1916 is also noted on the Heritage register for its large size, form and branch structure and is the 4th biggest in the State.

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GREGORY’S HOTEL  2013

A much neglected, derelict building for many years, the hotel is now cared for and in good order, and Tim and partner Clare have done a mighty job restoring the building from the foundations to the roof top and have fitted out the rooms beautifully with period furniture and fittings.

Thornebridge Bed and Breakfast

THORNEBRIDGE  2017

Anyone staying there is sure to appreciate the quality of the restoration and the atmosphere of stepping back in time to the grand old days of yesteryear. You can book accommodation there now @ Airbnb and they are on facebook @Thornebridge.

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HERITAGE CENTRE WINS AWARD

John Ball, Anne Finlay, Kay Ball, Warwick Finlay, photograph taken by Marg Lock

The enthusiasm and effective work of the members of the Murchison and District Historical Society was acknowledged with an Award at the Biennial Greater Shepparton Cultural Heritage Awards held in April.

The Award recognised the development of the Heritage Centre in Murchison providing .. “contributions to cultural heritage conservation, research, education, promotion, interpretation, training and awareness raising within the Municipality.”

The second stage of the development of the Heritage Centre, opened in 2014, has been a success in regard to the way the building now provides a much improved experience for the visitor and also for the volunteers giving their time and expertise to meet the aims of the Society.

Visitor numbers have increased over the last three years from approximately 400 in 2014 to 600 in 2015 and last year numbered over 800. Our Heritage Centre is more visible and has a welcoming ‘shop-front’ entrance, is suitable for all abilities and has an excellent function/meeting room and kitchen.

The Awards are organised by the Greater Shepparton Heritage Advisory Committee each two years and there are 8 categories that recognise contributions to heritage in the municipality. We received a very nice certificate as well as a beautiful box of local products that we are still drooling over and thinking about how best to enjoy!

It was a real thrill to receive this Award and is an encouragement to continue our work in preserving our important and unique local heritage.

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Great Day of Celebration

The old cars coming across the Bridge

On the first Saturday in April with traffic controlled by our local constabulary, some lovely old vehicles had right of way to cross the Murchison Bridge. The public were lined up along the roadway, cheering, clapping and waving them on to celebrate the significant milestone of 80 years of the bridge carrying traffic across the waters of the Goulburn at Murchison. It was a lovely sight to see these early vintage cars driving proudly across the bridge and along the main street to the Heritage Centre to join in a morning tea party.

Construction of the bridge started in 1935 and was officially opening on the 31st of March 1937. The Governor of Victoria at the time, Lord Huntingfield, travelled to Murchison by train to officially cut the ribbon and announce the bridge formally open to traffic. Many different events took place over the preceding week in a combined “Back To Murchison” and festivities to mark this historic occasion of the completion of this substantial bridge replacing the deteriorating wooden bridge opened in 1871.

The bridge has served as an important crossing place for 80 years, providing access for traffic travelling through central Victoria both local and further distant, many en-route to interstate destinations.

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Rare 1925 Paige, 1928 Ford and Helen and Gordon Newton with their faithful Morris outside the Murchison Heritage Centre.

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80 Year Anniversary of Murchison Bridge

The iconic bridge across the Goulburn River at Murchison was officially opened amid week-long celebrations, on 31st March 1937, 80 years ago.

Photo above of Light Horse parade and the crowd at the opening of the bridge in 1937.

Celebrations to mark the occasion of the 80 year anniversary will be a very much more modest affair than in 1937! On Saturday 1st of April 2017, some old cars of the 1937 era will travel over the bridge from the east side at approximately 10.30 am, driving slowly to allow for photo opportunities, turn right along the main street, Stevenson Street, and travel up to the Heritage Centre where the drivers will be welcomed with morning tea, a guided tour of the Gallery and some interesting photos about the building of the bridge. Police will be in attendance to stop the traffic briefly to allow the cars a safe and individual passage across the bridge. Heritage Centre will be open for any visitors.

The festivities in 1937 were considerably more impressive! Hundreds of people travelled to Murchison to attend a combined ‘Back To’ and opening of the bridge with many events organised over the Easter period. There were concerts, processions, a cycling race, church services, Fancy Dress Ball, picnic at the show grounds and a show by the Dramatic Club even before Lord Huntingfield, the Governor of Victoria arrived who would officially open the bridge. After the Governor was welcomed at a formal Civic Reception in the gardens with lots of introductions, speeches, formalities and singing from the school children, it is reported some two or three thousand people witnessed Lord Huntingfield make his speech and cut the ribbon. Finally, on Wednesday 31st March 1937, the Murchison Bridge was officially open.

But the celebrations were not over yet! After lunch enjoyed at the notable Gregory’s Hotel, the Governor went out to the Dargalong and Murchison District Turf Club for a special ‘Back To’ race meeting. Here he presented the trophies to the owner and jockey of the winning horse in the main feature, a mile long ‘Back to Murchison’ handicap race. The week finished that evening with a dance and euchre party. They certainly knew how to kick up their heels in Murchison in 1937!

Even though celebrations will be much more modest, do come along on Saturday first of April to see the old cars, take some photos and reflect on the service this bridge has provided as an important crossing place in our region for 80 years.

Enquiries: 0475 018 743 or email: murchison-historical-society@hotmail.com

(Reference: WHBossence, Hawthorn Press, 1965)

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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING for year ending 28.2.1917

The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & will be held on

Tuesday 21st of March 2017

 at 7.30pm in the Murchison Heritage Centre

 Featuring an interactive presentation about the Murchison Riverbank Gardens

Your memories, recollections and comments will add to the exploration of the history and development of our delightful Riverbank Gardens.

All welcome to attend. The meeting will be followed by supper.

Enquiries: 0475 018 743

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Event Cancelled

Unfortunately the open day at Day’s Mill has been cancelled due to Parks Vic. Staffing issues. It will be rescheduled at another time.

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