This is a blog excerpt written by two of our museum professionals who were engaged by Deniliquin Historical Society to deliver training as part of their VIM Development Grant. Thanks to Ellie and Pip for letting us publish their jottings. It gives us the feel of regional life on a very hot day.
VIM Grants provide much needed resources for those working in volunteer museums. This grant focused on improving the collection care and museum interpretation and included hands-on box-making for the storage and protection of paper documents. A portion of the money was kept to purchase much-needed archival supplies.
VIM Development Grants are flexible and targeted to your needs. Apply for one today.
The trip begins
Deniliquin is in the Riverina region of New South Wales, near the Victorian border. About 750 kms from Sydney and 300 kms from Melbourne.
The dates were settled, supplies ordered and accommodation booked: We were off on our thousand kilometre round trip.
On the road to Deniliquin on Sunday by half past nine. A coffee break in Gundagai, opposite the beautiful theatre in the main street. Already quite warm…Next stop Jerilderie – information centre closed but you can follow the Ned Kelly trail around the town. 44 degrees – too hot to wander around but from the car the vision of a glossy dark horse at home in a garden.
Next stop Urana with lovely wide streets, lunch and a cool drink at the pub. Much too hot to even venture out. Back in the car past cattle on the TSR. Drovers in charge as long ago, how did they travel so far and so hot. 46 degrees in Deniliquin, air con a wonder. RSL roast dinner and meet Janice for museum news. Ticket in the meat raffle but ours not a winning ticket. Exhaustion set in, asleep in our quiet and cool cottages on River Street.
Monday 3rd Feb
On the road by 7.45am to beat the heat. Meet Janice at the museum and walk to the river (one minute) – so much water, such huge trees. A flood barrier in case of need.
Janice tearing her hair out as the Archival supplies promised in two days have not arrived after eight! There’s plenty to do – the heat is intense. Everyone is working: mending the verandah, tending the roses and the collection. Recording the memories, the stories and the people, connecting to the history of Deniliquin and District.
We were recommended to the Coach House for dinner, it is closed this week but the RSL welcomes us again.
Tuesday 4th Feb
8am start but so much cooler today.
Ellie started cleaning tutorial with brush vacuuming and cotton buds. Betty continued cleaning a paper embossed from the old Deniliquin brewery. Gold decoration and small flowers with bright green and red were revealed on the black paint.
Later in the morning there was an impromptu visit from the Hon. Mike Gallagher, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for the Central Coast with family and entourage – much excitement and many photos! He was very interested in the Police Registers from the 1800s in the collection. He was accompanied by Craig Jackson, LAC for Deniliquin Region, who thought they would be a draw card for the retired police personnel travelling on holiday in the district.
There was also great interest in the telegraph transmitter from Deniliquin Railway Station that was used to send information to police in Sydney of the Kelly gang’s occupation of Jerilderie in February 1879.
After lunch there was box making, so necessary for the fragile ledgers and the bound copies of the Pastoral Times. Pip talked to Bill and began collecting information on the significant objects in each room for introductory panels and school activity sheets.
Chook and chips from the Laughing Chicken on a bench by the river. A perfect spot for dinner.
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