Res­ur­rect­ing signs of val­ley’s rail his­tory

Tourism as­so­ci­a­tion con­firms new com­mit­tee ap­point­ments

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Nature Focus -

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

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]­, 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.

DON’T for­get, if you have an event, an an­nounce­ment or a story to tell, please con­tact me via email at am­cpher­[email protected] ne­me­ or give me a call on 5723 0122.

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.

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