Car­riage clean­ing

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

By JAMIE KRON­BORG

BURKE Mu­seum and Indigo her­itage man­ager Cameron Auty and Bill­son’s Bev­er­ages’ di­rec­tor Nathan Cowan have started the in­tri­cate task of clean­ing the Na­tional Trust Vic­to­ria’s ex­tra­or­di­nary Beech­worth car­riage col­lec­tion.

The 21-ve­hi­cle ex­hi­bi­tion has long been housed on a lower level of Bill­son’s his­toric Mur­ray Brew­eries com­plex in Last Street.

The Na­tional Trust is re­spon­si­ble for the col­lec­tion – some of which it owns and some of which is on long-term or per­ma­nent loan – but it has re­cently given Mr Auty and Mr Cowan sanc­tion to pro­ceed with spe­cialised con­ser­va­tion clean­ing.

The pair was joined re­cently by vol­un­teers Jan Wills and Eric Thomp­son to help out on the first day of the pro­gram, which is likely to take some while be­cause of the la­bo­ri­ous process of lift­ing dust with a soft brush and then vac­u­um­ing it away from each of the ve­hi­cles.

The col­lec­tion in­cludes a hearse built in Beech­worth in the 1870s by Beech­worth coach­builder Wal­ter Ed­wards and a chara­banc (horse-drawn bus), also built in Beech­worth in the 19th cen­tury, which ran the Stan­ley-Beech­worth route.

PHOTO: Jamie Kron­borg

CAU­TIOUS: Bill­son’s Bev­er­ages’ Nathan Cowan and Burke Mu­seum and Indigo her­itage man­ager Cameron Auty pre­pare to clean a pre-1888-built heavy wag­onette classed as “sig­nif­i­cant and rare” by the Na­tional Trust Vic­to­ria.

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