11 September 2007

A Little Bit of History

Tamworth bills itself as the Country Music Capital of Australia. They have plenty of Country music festivals and events, the Golden Guitar museum and tourist trap, and lots of musician based statues and localities.
One place which we did not expect was the Tamworth Powerstation Museum. It is a museum devoted to electricity, especially as it was used in Tamworth. In 1888, Tamworth was the first town in Australia to have electricity powered street lights. Sydney only had their street lights powered by electricity 6 years later! 19 years later Tamworth homes were also connected to electricity.
As today was off peak, the volunteers had plenty of time to lead us through the museum and explain many of the items to us. The entry fee was only $6.50 for a family and we received a personal tour! They have collected a great many electric powered devices, including old fridges, stoves, irons, washing machines and so on. Our guide allowed each of us to feel how heavy an old electric iron was and asked Lana how she would like to iron with that. "I don't iron," promptly answered Lana, "All of our clothes don't need ironing. Even easier!"
In 1988, volunteers reconstructed two steam powered engines which powered the dynamos that provided the first electricity in Tamworth. They found examples of the old engines rusting away in sheds somewhere but all they had for the dynamos were a sketch drawing. With that and some extensive research and lots of ingenuity they rebuilt the dynamos! On special occasions they start up the engines and it all works as it used to. Lana is standing in front of one of the rebuilt engines.
In the park where we had lunch was a statue dedicated to the Lighthorsemen, especially those that served in WWI. Over 500,000 horses from the Australian outback were sent to the Middle East. Most didn't return. Not due to casualties, but because Australia didn't want them back, due to a combination of Quarantine issues and the sheer cost of returning them home. The B-Where's version is here.

1 comment:

karisma said...

Looks like you all had lots of fun! I hope you enjoy your camp as well! Take Care!