Resurrecting signs of valley’s rail history
Tourism association confirms new committee appointments
ROAD users and railway enthusiasts may have noticed an historic local station marker just outside Whitfield has received a much needed upgrade.
The replica sign at “Pieper” was made by Chris Shanley on behalf of the King Valley Tourism Association, complementing its project to commemorate the Whitfield Line through the establishment of an interpretive board at the rest area shelter in the main street of Whitfield.
There, visitors can read about the narrow gauge railway linking Whitfield to Wangaratta, the Spirit of Salts trolley, and its importance to the community as a mail, goods and passenger transportation link which operated between 1899 and 1953.
The project received $4450 in funding last year through the State Government’s Local History Grants and the interpretive board is now in place at the reserve, but current association secretary Delia Jackson, who secured the original funding, said there are plans to extend it on either side and incorporate a collage of historic photographs.
She said the association would like to see all the station signs restored for posterity, in the hope it will give people another reason to visit and stay in the popular tourist destination.
Eagle eyed passers-by may notice the spelling of the new sign at “stopping place number nine” is Pieper, as it was renamed by Victorian Railways in 1904.
It’s believed although the station was intended to be named after long time local residents the Peipers family, the Victorian Railways misspelled the name, so it became Pieper during the line’s operation.
Chris Shanley said the old sign which featured moulded cast iron letters on timber backing was suffering from the ravages of time and weather, the timber posts and board rotting away.
“This one is steel and has been powder coated so it should last a lifetime,” he said.
“And the spelling is true to what the station was called (by Victorian
THE Green Thumbs Garden Group visit the garden of Jane and Don Lindsay, at 17 Hillbrick Road (off Benalla-Kilfeera Road) in Benalla on Thursday, December 13 at 10am.
Everyone is welcome (bring a cup for morning tea) with more information available by contacting Wendy on 5766 6332.
A TRASH and treasure fundraiser will be held at the King Valley Community Memorial Hall (former Whitfield RSL hall) on Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16 from 10am until 3pm.
Anyone interested in hosting their own stall can book one for $5 by calling Ange on 5729 8487, with donations for the sale also welcome, and funds raised will go towards upkeep and
STEP BACK IN TIME: Chris Shanley’s father Kevin Shanley, with Gordon Gibson, were the last passengers to travel on the Whitfield line before it closed in 1953. improvements at the community hall.
THE Whitfield Childcare Centre will hold a family Christmas party on Tuesday, December 18 from 4pm until 6pm with a barbecue (byo drinks) and a very special guest from the North Pole is expected to make an appearance at 5.15pm.
Past, present and future families are welcome to come along, with an open day being held at 3.30pm for anyone wanting to tour the centre.
Places are currently available for children up to the age of four and the centre is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, including school holidays.
CELEBRATE Christmas with Ostinato on Sunday from 2.30pm, $15 adults, child/student $6.
The Wangaratta-based choir will present a Christmas concert full of festive flavour, featuring Federation bells, trumpet, violin, clarinet, Steinway and voices.
Join the choir after the concert for tea and coffee and Christmas cake (gold coin donation).
RESERVE your place by Monday, December 17 for the Wangaratta Uniting Church’s Christmas Day lunch.
The lunch will be held on Christmas Day from 12 noon to 2pm, and is aimed at people who will be on their own and looking for company on the day.
To reserve your place, phone Uniting Goulburn North East on 5723 8000 during business hours.
WANGARATTA and District’s Australian Breastfeeding Association group meets at the King George Gardens, next to the CWA Hall, today from 11am to 2.30pm.
WANGARATTA Diabetes Support Group meets today at the Wangaratta Library from 7pm to 8pm.
The meeting will be held in the community room, and everyone is welcome to attend.
Contact Val on 5725 7322 or Les on 0407 500 295 for details.
WANGARATTA District Men’s Shed is open today, and every Wednesday and Monday, from 10am to 4pm at Sam Perna Pavilion, at the saleyards off Shanley Street in South Wangaratta.
For details, phone 5722 4057.
WANGARATTA Senior Citizens Club will host an in-house movie, Driving Miss Daisy, at its clubrooms in Tara Court, off Ford Street, today from 1.30pm (cost is $2).
The club will host indoor bowls tomorrow and next Monday (final day for the year) from 12.30pm, cards on Friday at 1.30pm, cards and hoy next Tuesday (final day for the year) from 1.30pm all at the clubrooms.
Next Wednesday, December 12 will be the club’s Christmas break-up, a cruise and lunch at Yarrawonga (coach leaves from Swan Street at 10.45am).
WANGARATTA Woodworkers are open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 12 noon at 4F Evans Street, men and women welcome.
WANGARATTA Keenagers Table Tennis is held Monday and Thursday from 8.30am to 10.30am.
Cost $3 per day, includes morning tea, details from Michael Chambeyron on 5721 7296.
PLAY or learn card games including 500 and cribbage on Fridays from 7pm to 10.30pm at the Wangaratta Bridge Club in Evans Street.
Phone John on 0412 453 699 for more information.
WANGARATTA Old Time and New Vogue Dance is held on the first and third Friday of each month at Terrace Hall in Terrace Avenue.
Revision from 7pm to 7.30pm, dancing from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
COROWA Old Time and New Vogue Dance will be at Odd Fellows Hall, 231 Sanger Street, on Friday, 7.30pm to 11pm.
Entry $7, music by J and M Hughes, light supper provided, all welcome.
Contact Brian on (02) 6033 2589 for details.
PARKRUN is held every Saturday in Wangaratta, with 5km free, timed runs from Apex Park from 8am.
Register at www.parkrun.com.au.
BOOK your place on a day trip by coach to the Australian Tennis Open on Thursday, January 17.
Total cost $97 (bus only $30). Leave from Swan Street car park at 6.30am, short stop at Wallan on way there and back, leaving Melbourne Park 6pm.
Contact mnsar[email protected]hoo.com.au, phone 0400 285 288.
RESTORED: The new Pieper station sign erected by Chris Shanley, should hopefully last a lifetime.
Railways) – I’m not going to rewrite history.”Mr Shanley said he’d like to see all the line’s iconic station signs repaired or restored and he credited the work being undertaken by Moyhu’s George Snowling, who has been voluntarily repainting the train line’s mile markers.The Shanley family have a close connection to the line, with Chris’ brother Peter and his late father Kevin involved in building the replica “Spirit of Salts” which can be seen near the crossroads on the Wangaratta-Whitfield Road in Moyhu.A plaque commemorating the centenary of the Whitfield Line held in 1999 is also at the rest area in Whitfield and Kevin, along with Gordon Gibson, were the last two passengers to travel on the line.
AT a meeting of the King Valley Tourism Association (KVTA) held last week, the new committee was appointed. It includes chair Connie Northey (Myrrhee Premium Boer Goats), vice chair Michelle Ross (Eleva[email protected] Mt Bellevue), secretary Delia Jackson (Gentle Annie Caravan and Camping Reserve) and treasurer Thomas Moritz (The [email protected]).Committee members include Carol Kunert (King Valley Walnuts), John Flower (King River Estate) and Russell Bird (Glamping King Val[email protected]tle Annie).The KVTA has plans to hold a brunch event during the Tourism North East High Country Harvest Festival in May 2019 to showcase local produce, offering a menu of locally sourced ingredients and including a small, meet-theproducer market.