EVERYTHING old is new again in Tamworth, it would seem, with a surprising roll-out for the recent heritage festivities.
In recent decades, the city has had a difficult relationship with its heritage, particularly the built variety.
Loved landmarks have been levelled in the past and it’s still stuck in the craw stuck of many in the community.
The CBD’s facade has experienced some flux in recent years, but the re-purposed end-results at the old Mechanics Institute on Brisbane Street and the Pig and Tinder Box on Peel Street are a few examples of a concerted conservation of the city’s oldest buildings.
Tamworth Regional Council got in on the act too when it nixed a proposal to raze the dilapidated, disused West Tamworth train station citing the historical significance of the building.
The Northern Daily Leader’s old home base is in new hands now and with its characteristic windows presently out of the frames, it’s making a few wonder what’s in the picture for the iconic building’s future.
With the growth Tamworth is experiencing and the unshakeable drive for development and progress, it is really heartening to see local history was right up so many peoples’ streets recently.
Some were particularly surprised with the level of attendance at one of the new events, as more than 100 people signed-up to take a memory-lane stroll down Carthage Street.
Heritage working group chair Juanita Wilson said the interest in built-history pointed to a greater need for “protective measures” around our structural treasures.
It’s a good call, considering what has been lost in years gone by.
Equally as encouraging was the level of support shown for Indigenous heritage celebrated during the festival.
Len Waters Stories Under the Stars event enlightened close to 200 people about celestial significance in Kamilaroi culture.
Mr Waters also was recognised with the Warren Newman Memorial Award for Contribution to Heritage within the Region.
With so much interest in a new festival dedicated to the past, it will be fascinating to see what its future holds.
The festival can’t keep relying on what’s worked already, eventually it would get stale.
More people need to come forward and share local history which might be lying dormant; with more interest than ever, now’s the time for it to be told.