HISTORY buffs and anyone interested in seeing how Tamworth looked in the 1890s can take a walk back in time when Calala Cottage holds its spring fair on September 8.
The biennial day out offers locals the chance to experience “Living in the 1890s”, this year’s theme for the Tamworth Historical Society’s event at its headquarters in Denison St in West Tamworth.
The Sunday open day is on from 10am to 4pm and will give visitors the chance to immerse themselves in real history as society members recreate life back then in the grounds of the history precinct.
Spokeswoman Del Brooke said the old heritage award-winning Beehive schoolhouse would be filled with period-dressed children. There’ll be smithies working the blacksmith shop, a shepherd in the shepherd’s hut, and blade sheep-shearing and some music in the grand ballroom of Calala Cottage.
The day will feature stalls, book sales, games, family history advice, wandering minstrels, vintage cars, lucky dips and other heritage treasures.
Mr and Mrs Philip King, played by society stalwarts John Vickery and Audria Rodgers, will star in the staged show of historical events between morning and afternoon teas and lunch served on the lawns. Philip Gidley King was the first mayor of Tamworth and Calala Cottage is the townhouse in which he lived.
King was born in 1817 in Parramatta, a grandson of the other Philip Gidley King who was a governor of NSW.
He surveyed a road from Gloucester to New England and in 1842 became a manager of the Australian Agricultural Company’s Stroud cattle and horse studs.
In 1851 King was appointed superintendent of stock for the company and subsequently the assistant superintendent of the company’s estates – but when gold was discovered in the Peel River in 1852, it brought King to the Goonoo Goonoo Station headquarters for the company, south of the present-day city.
King built the townhouse in Tamworth in 1875 and from 1876 to 1880 was its mayor.
Calala Cottage was opened as a museum and historical society headquarters in 1974. Displays in the museum range from early Aboriginal artefacts through to the establishment of Tamworth as a city. Bequests from notable Tamworth families enhance the exhibits. These include a large teaspoon collection, clothing, portraits, photographs, furnishings, machinery and telephones.