Museum the focus for Northam Seniors Week double event

Northam’s Old Railway Station Museum will be the focus for a double celebration to mark the upcoming WA Seniors Week.

On Saturday, November 17 the museum will host the official re-opening of its historic railway carriages forming the main display at the museum’s platform.

In January 2016, in a vandal attack – using the railway yards’ own track ballast – every window on the exterior side of the carriages was smashed.

In a rescue effort, the not-for-profit Northam Heritage Forum which manages the museum, not only sourced the funding and expertise to restore the windows, but also upgraded the carriage interiors in line with State heritage expectations.

The museum will also be the venuehost a Seniors Week exhibition showcasing local photographers’ work from a recent shoot at the Museum based on the theme “Steam Punk”.

Members of Northam Photography Group utilised a wide variety of photographic techniques to achieve dramatic and spectacular images of the Museum’s steam locomotive and 19th century carriages, using models and period costumes.

Mounted prints by group members will be on show in the entry lobby and on the main platform.

Some are for sale.

In line with the theme of Seniors Week the event has adopted a local focus.

President of Northam Heritage Forum Genny Budas said that local school children from primary and senior schools had been invited to bring a grandparent to the event.

“This brings together two important themes: the contribution of the senior generation to the heritage and status of Northam and its surrounds, and the great potential of the younger generation to enhance that heritage and ensure its success carries on in the future,” she said.

There will be an official re-opening ceremony where Nationals WA leader Mia Davies and Shire of Northam president Chris Antonio have been invited.

Members of the public are also invited to attend.

Refreshments will be served and the museum will be open from 1.00pm to 4.00 pm on the day.

Restoration expert Ian Studham from Rail Heritage WA based at the Rail Heritage Museum at Bassendean was responsible for the restoration work.

He will give a presentation at the official event, outlining the lengthy process undertaken over many months to ensure the new windows look like the originals in every possible detail: window glass, broken frames, metal catchments, method of opening and closing – just as the originals looked and operated more than 100 years ago.

Mr Studham needed to carefully remove the damaged items in small consignments to be taken to Bassendean for detailed attention.

The empty window-holes could not be left for long as they were exposed to the weather, despite the temporary protection of huge second-hand tarpaulins.

The carriages have stood at the main platform since the early 1980’s, after the station was closed in 1966 with the introduction of the Standard Gauge service and realignment of track from the centre of the town.

For more information contact Genny Budas on 0428 322 898 or at nhforum11@gmail.com.