Old vault sur­vives fires but suc­cumbs to harsh win­ter

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

THE re­cov­ery of a ma­jor piece of Yar­loop’s his­tory may have come too late with the open­ing of the work­shop’s vault this week re­veal­ing wa­ter dam­age to doc­u­ments.

The cen­tury-old vault saved many his­tor­i­cal records and pho­tos from the Waroona Yar­loop bush­fires last year.

Work­shop pres­i­dent Ge­off Cat­tach said the build­ing used to be a store sup­ply­ing mill op­er­a­tions through­out the South West and the vault held its ledgers and money, which is why it was so solidly con­structed.

“It’s fire proof and wa­ter proof which is why it never burned,” Mr Cat­tach said.

“It works, so the old-timers knew what they were do­ing.”

The vault held more than 30 books dat­ing back to 1901 as well as docu- ments and pho­tos from the work­shop’s his­tory.

Har­vey Shire Coun­cil staff and work­shop mem­bers were able to see in­side the vault shortly af­ter the fire how­ever they had been un­able to ac­cess the site due to asbestos con­cerns.

Coun­cil staff ac­cessed the vault last Thurs­day to re­trieve the doc­u­ments how­ever it was found that, af­ter some of the re­cent heavy rains, doc­u­ments had suf­fered from wa­ter dam­age and mould.

Mr Cat­tach said it was not ex­actly known what doc­u­ments were in there but it would be ex­am­ined in the com­ing months.

“To be quite hon­est we won’t quite know what’s there un­til we go through it be­cause it was all damp,” he said.

Pic­ture David Charlesworth

Yar­loop Work­shops pres­i­dent Ge­off Cat­tach vis­its the 100-year-old vault which pre­served many his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments from the fires last year.

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