RESIDENTS of the little town at the bottom of the range looked back in time to celebrate a thriving present and exciting future at the Murrurundi Frontier Festival.
The newly-invigorated organising committee put together a great day of old-fashioned fun, with many participants and visitors dressing in period costume to hark back to the town’s rich past.
Almost 200 visitors arrived in style on the beautifully restored historic rail motors, the cream and green CPH7 and the old “red rattler”, thanks to the dedication of Rail Motor Society members from Paterson.
Locals and visitors were then able to enjoy short, 14-minute-each-way trips on the historic locos from Murrurundi through the tunnel to Ardglen and back, reliving some of the town’s early days as a rail hub.
Wallabadah-based history buff and train tragic Garry Coxhead was like a kid in a lolly shop, sitting right next to the driver with a bird’s-eye view of the track, capturing every moment of the ride on film.
Visitors were also treated to the action as a stage coach was held up outside the Royal Hotel, with bushrangers, passengers and coachmen dressed to the nines in clobber from yesteryear.
While it might have been a bygone era on the ground, the local oval was helicopter central, with joy rides on offer all day and lots of stalls to help with those in need of a little retail therapy.
An exhibition, Who’s Been Sleeping In My Town, was staged at the church hall and the Norvill Art Prize attracted lots of interest at the RSL hall.
“It was a really good day,” Mr Coxhead said.
“The organisers did a wonderful job. It was a real credit to the town. It showed off its historic side to perfection.
“If you look back through history, it’s easy to imagine Murrurundi as a frontier town in the 1870s. The Frontier Festival really suits the place. The old jail and police station are genuine colonial buildings. It’s a top little town.”