Van gets new lease of life at the vine­yard

Isis Town and Country - - News -

PLACE Ac­ti­va­tion is chang­ing how we see and use or­di­nary spa­ces.

Tra­di­tion­ally con­fined to ur­ban re­newal, the con­cept of Ru­ral Place Ac­ti­va­tion is be­ing ex­plored by two Childers wine­mak­ers through the con­cept of the Lit­tle Blue Book Van.

Perched atop the rolling hills right be­side the grape vines sits what was once a di­lap­i­dated, 25-year-old blue Hiace van.

Co-owner of Vint­ner’s Se­cret Vine­yard, Marianne Leth­bridge, said she found it rust­ing away be­hind a shed on a farm in Ap­ple Tree Creek – it was be­ing used as a dog house – and knew straight away that it was just what she wanted.

To­gether with her part­ner, Ed Mur­ray, the van was towed to the vine­yard to be given a whole new life.

“I had at­tended a pre­sen­ta­tion on Place Ac­ti­va­tion given by Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil’s town plan­ner, Alicia Otto, some months ago and be­came very mo­ti­vated by the con­cept of Place Ac­ti­va­tion,” Ms Leth­bridge said.

“It ap­pealed to my love of re­newal and us­ing cre­ative, cheap ways to make old things new and use­ful again.

“Sev­eral projects had been com­pleted in Bund­aberg in public ur­ban spa­ces but I dearly wanted to bring the con­cept to ru­ral lo­ca­tions and demon­strate that it was an ap­proach that could work just as well with pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als or busi­nesses that were open to the public.”

The Lit­tle Blue Book Van has been con­verted to a quirky minia­ture li­brary, read­ing nook and book ex­change.

“It cel­e­brates the pure love of read­ing, pro­motes lit­er­acy in the area, es­pe­cially to the younger visi­tors and, most im­por­tantly, demon­strates the con­cept of Ru­ral Place Ac­ti­va­tion,” she said.

The van is to en­cour­age oth­ers to cre­ate some­thing dif­fer­ent to busi­ness or prop­erty and it will be a con­tri­bu­tion to the tourist ap­peal of Childers.

“Visi­tors love the artis­tic touches and the joy of sit­ting un­der a mango tree with won­der­ful ru­ral scenery all around and books to read right be­side them.

“All that is needed to feel per­fectly happy is a glass of wine,” she said.

The pro­ject has pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for artist Mark Terry to show­case his cre­ative work and was fully funded by pri­vate busi­ness.

c Vint­ner’s Se­cret Vine­yard’s Marianne Leth­bridge

It ap­pealed to my love of re­newal and us­ing cre­ative, cheap ways to make old things new and use­ful again.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

RU­RAL PLACE: The van is a place for the com­mu­nity to en­joy at Vint­ner’s Se­cret Vine­yard.

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