Old vault survives fires but succumbs to harsh winter
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.
Yarloop Workshops president Geoff Cattach visits the 100-year-old vault which preserved many historical documents from the fires last year.