THE historic Old Signal Hotel Guesthouse at Werris Creek could finally be restored to its former glory.
New owners Cathryn Lak, 58, and Danny Bricknell, 59, have had their eyes on the heritage-listed building for more than ten years and finally decided it was the right time to snap it up.
The Sydney couple took ownership of the property in November and have just started cleaning up the site before the lengthy process of restoration work begins.
With family living close by on a Currabubula farm, Cathryn and Danny plan to relocate to Werris Creek once the site is up and running as a more high-end guesthouse with a restaurant.
Danny, a Sydney-based solicitor, also hopes to run a small practice in Werris Creek once the guesthouse is finished, a process which could take two to three years.
"It's just beautiful and we love Werris Creek," Cathryn said.
"We think it's got loads of potential and I love the railways in particular.
"All my train-nut friends are so excited; they drive up here just to take photos of the trains.
"It's exciting, so we're pretty happy."
The original Signal Hotel was established by Tooth & Co Brewery in 1926 and closed in 1958.
It then ran as a men's boarding house until 1999, housing predominately railway workers.
Since then it's had multiple owners who have run it as a guesthouse or leased it out.
Cathryn said over the past few years she has watched the hotel deteriorate, but hopes to breathe fresh life into it again.
"We're going to put the verandah back in its original format," she explained.
"We got a lot of really good information from Australia National University's Noel Butlin Archives.
"We now know how it was set up originally, so we've got a pretty good idea of what's got to be done.
"It's just going to take a couple of years to fully restore it."
The pair currently live in a heritage-listed house and it's not their first go at restoring old buildings either, although Cathryn admitted they've never tackled a job quite this large.
"It is a big job but the shell of the property is really good so the work we have to do is largely cosmetic," she said.
"We've had such fantastic feedback from the community and people have stopped by just to say hello.
"Our view is to be part of the community and use local where we can - some things we won't be able to get locally because they're quite specialised but wherever we can we will utilise local trades and businesses."