Plenty to experience at historic village

Plenty to experience at historic village

Events
Wagin Historical Society president Max Bell and secretary Joyce Turner on the verandah of the new bakery being built at the village.

Wagin Historical Society president Max Bell and secretary Joyce Turner on the verandah of the new bakery being built at the village.

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When the Wagin Historical Society planned its village in the late 1970s it drew up a list of all the buildings it wanted to recreate.

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WHEN the Wagin Historical Society planned its village in the late 1970s it drew up a list of all the buildings it wanted to recreate.

Today the small committee has just one building that's still an idea on paper and that is a replica of an old inn to display the extensive collection of public house memorabilia.

It still may happen one day but the core of active members is still finishing off a replica bakery and would like another hall in which to display the hundreds of items in storage and only then they will focus on the frivolities of pioneering life.

Society president Max Bell and secretary Joyce Turner said work on the bakery had been going a long time - it was originally scheduled to be finished for WA Day 2019 - and it may not be finished in time for Woolorama 2020 but the doors will be open regardless.

But just in case the finishing touches are not complete, Ms Turner said the official opening was scheduled for June.

The building was built using two old railway barracks as the basis with a big old Metters bread oven and firebox (origins unknown) as the centre piece and will feature a display of donated items reminiscent of an early baker's shop.

The one thing they are missing to furnish the bakery is a big, long, old wooden table with turned legs and they would love to know if someone has one to spare.

No baked goods will be for sale but lunch, morning and afternoon tea is available in the village's old-style, air-conditioned tea rooms.

The Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama and WA Day on June 1 are the village's two annual fundraising events when entry is free, but the group has been successful in securing a Lottery West grant to undertake some repairs to the old blacksmith's shop and the stables.

Ms Turner said they were pleased that they could call on about 40 locals, including many skilled tradespeople who can spare some time to help on their projects and maintenance.

In addition to the band of volunteers who keep the village open every day of the year except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday, they have a part-time gardener and cleaners who help keep the complex spic and span and those efforts are greatly appreciated by the society.

Mr Bell shows the new permanent home for the Holland family bible inside the villages stone chapel.

Mr Bell shows the new permanent home for the Holland family bible inside the villages stone chapel.

There are many original buildings and historical items on show but the village is not a dusty, decaying display and the fact is often noted by tourists in the comments book.

The gardens and lawn are always well-tended and offer a shady respite during a hot Woolorama.

Last year was one of the society's busier years with many projects happening in the workshops and Mr Bell was busy as the chief archivist and in charge of displaying items in appropriate areas.

He said they received many offers of old items but the village had to become selective in what it could take, simply because they struggle to find space to display everything.

One item that surfaced recently was an old family bible belonging to the local Holland family.

Perth man Bill Powell who is connected to the family, generously had it professionally restored and a small display cabinet was built by local woodworker Norm Robinson so it could be put on permanent display, along with a copy of the beautiful, hand written Holland family tree recorded inside the book.

The bible now resides in the village's stone chapel.

The historical village is Wagin's number one sight to see on Trip Advisor and people can follow the society on Facebook.

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