Com­mit­tee wants his­toric link to drive tourism

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

The Fin­ley Rail­way Precinct Com­mit­tee has grand plans to bet­ter link Fin­ley’s his­tor­i­cal sites, but it needs lo­cals to help.

Newly elected vice pres­i­dent Syd Dud­ley said the plan is to link the soon-to-be opened Close Foundry Mu­seum to the old Rail­way Mu­seum on En­deav­our St and then the Fin­ley & Dis­trict His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum on Mur­ray St.

He said a walk­ing track could be­come a ma­jor tourism at­trac­tion for Fin­ley, but would rely on fund­ing be­ing avail­able.

In the mean­time, Mr Dud­ley said new mem­bers are needed to help pre­serve the Fin­ley rail­way precinct.

‘‘We re­ally need to re­tain the his­tory of the site. It’s an iden­tity within it­self, but we be­lieve there’s po­ten­tial for it to be a tourist at­trac­tion, par­tic­u­larly in con­junc­tion with the Close Mu­seum and Fin­ley Mu­seum.

‘‘We be­lieve a walk­ing track be­tween these sites can make it at­trac­tive.

‘‘Any tourist dol­lar is crit­i­cal to the econ­omy of the town, and bring­ing tourists and their spend­ing dol­lar is es­sen­tially the sur­vival of these small towns.

‘‘Some­thing that needs to be ac­knowl­edged is our ex­ist­ing mem­bers who have main­tained the site and kept it pro­gressed and alive to the point where I be­lieve, with new ideas and new money, we can prob­a­bly ad­vance the site to make it suitable for vis­i­ta­tion and in­cor­po­rated in this tourist pic­ture we have.

‘‘Of course we can have the vi­sion but we need the ef­fort, and that’s where the im­por­tance of new mem­bers is go­ing to be crit­i­cal.’’

Mr Dud­ley said early dis­cus­sions about fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the link­ing pro­gram have al­ready started, but stressed there is still some way to go.

‘‘We’ve had dis­cus­sions and ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion with South West Arts (about fund­ing), but we’re still in very early stages,’’ he said.

‘‘Whether that will evolve is yet to be de­ter­mined but their pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties and with the broader pic­ture they em­brace, I think there’s some virtue in work­ing with them.

‘‘We’re also hop­ing we can get a closer as­so­ci­a­tion with the Ber­ri­gan Shire; I think that’s been a ne­glected part of the process.’’

The old train sta­tion was closed in 1989 af­ter the train ser­vice stopped run­ning through the town, leav­ing the his­tor­i­cal sta­tion to be­come derelict and a pop­u­lar site for graf­fiti tag­ging.

Restora­tion of the site be­gan in 1993 thanks to the help of the late Jill Web­ster and Jenny Robert­son.

The rail­way precinct is now full of his­tor­i­cal arte­facts in­clud­ing old uni­forms from sta­tion staff, sig­nage, ledger books, lights and plenty of pho­tos of the rail­way and town.

Fin­ley Rail­way Precinct Com­mit­tee mem­bers (from left) Syd Dud­ley, Kathy Wil­liams and Ma­ree and Al­lan Math­e­son.

Fin­ley train sta­tion in its prime, about 1898. Closed in 1989, the sta­tion has now been trans­formed in to a his­tor­i­cal precinct which has the po­ten­tial to be­come a greater tourism as­set.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.