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Tourism’s On Right Track At Yarraman

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The key movers and shakers behind the new Yarraman Station Interpretive Centre … Helen Mead and Terry Reid from “Moving Yarraman Forward”, a sub-committee of the Yarraman Progress Association

July 18, 2018

The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail has an exciting new feature for visitors to explore after the official opening of the Yarraman Railway Station Park Interpretive Centre on Friday.

The display, erected near the site of the former Yarraman Railway Station building, features a unique laser-etched enhanced photograph of a steam train crossing the Cooyar Creek Bridge.

The artwork was prepared by Nutgrove signwriter Ian Stewart-Koster who explained to the gathered crowd the development of the interpretive centre as well as the work that had gone into gathering the information and many photographs that were now on display.

This research included poring over old files, microfiche and tracking down government records.

The creation of the laser artwork, which is placed in a traditional-shaped frame at the rear of the centre, took hundreds of hours for Ian to create, including 14 hours for the laser processing alone.

It is flanked by two lithoframes which at first glace look just like large pieces of white plastic.  However, when the setting sun strikes them at the right angle they spring into life with more railway-themed designs.

Ian recalled that in 2006, what is now known as Station Park looked like “an ugly dump”.

The then-Rosalie Shire Council decided to clean up the space and he was contacted by John Carey, then-Community Development Officer at the council, to create some signs for the area.

“I am grateful to John giving me free rein,” Ian said.

Then 12 months ago, he was contacted again … this time by Toowoomba Regional Council Community Development Officer Bronwyn Holland who invited him to work with Helen Mead and Terry Reid, from the Moving Yarraman Forward committee, to create more signage for the site.

He was determined to create something that was not simply “a bunch a signs”, but which would serve as a monument to the history of the railway line, and the people who worked on it.

Toowoomba Council put $147,000 towards the Interpretive Centre – part of a $300,000 streetscape project by the TRC in Yarraman – and the Tarong Community Partnership Fund (Stanwell) added $50,000.

The architecture of the shelter that was created with this funding echoes the history of the site, including a mini rail line across the front of a replica “platform”.

Representatives from Council and Stanwell attended the official opening, including John Carey who is now Community & Indigenous Relations Manager at Stanwell.

Stanwell Executive General Manager Business Services Jenny Gregg said just 100 years ago, the site would have been bustling with cattle, horses and stockmen.

It then fell into disrepair for many years but was now back to being “the heart and soul” of Yarraman.

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, who cut the ribbon to open the centre, congratulated the Yarraman community on what they had achieved,

He said Yarraman embodied the “rich traditions, bold ambitions”  slogan that had been adopted by the Toowoomba region.

Mayor Antonio said that during a recent trip to New Zealand with Cr Geoff McDonald he had seen what places just like Yarraman had achieved through tourism, including a town which had boomed because of a mountain bike trail.

He said Council wanted to partner with people – such as the Yarraman community and Stanwell – to achieve these sorts of results.

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio officially opens the new Yarraman Station Interpretive Centre with the help of Larrah, 9, and Ellah Mead, 12 … the opening recreated the original opening of the Yarraman Railway Station back in 1913 when two girls stood at either side for the ceremony

Ian Stewart-Koster, from Traditional Signs at Nutgrove, explained the intricate processes he used to create the laser etching which forms the centrepiece of the display, as well as how the data was gathered for the many information signs

Ian Stewart-Koster with Yarraman residents Kerry Wyvill, who provided information and many of the historic images on display; and Bill Hobbs, who supplied the ancient crows ash log used to mount the sponsors’ plaque

Stanwell Executive General Manager Business Services Jenny Gregg was a special guest at the official opening

Cr Anne Glasheen, Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, Stanwell Community & Indigenous Relations Manager John Carey, and Terry Reid, from the Yarraman Progress Association

The official party at the opening … from left, Cr Anne Glasheen, John Carey (Stanwell), Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio, Bronwyn Holland, Ellah Mead, Terry Reid (Yarraman Progress Association), Helen Mead (Moving Yarraman Forward committee), Larrah Mead, Cr Geoff McDonald, Dan Redman (Site Manager – Meandu Mine), Cr Joe Ramia and Kirstie Schumacher (Stanwell)

The cake featured historic photographs of the Yarraman Railway Station over the years


SPONSORED LINKS:
Tarong Community Benefit Fund - click here for more informationAnderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

3 Responses to Tourism’s On Right Track At Yarraman

  1. Keith Kratzmann

    It’s marvellous that the memories of the historic rail line between Brisbane and Yarraman is to be remembered at the local station, particularly by the painting and beautiful artwork carried out by Ian Stewart-Koster of the steam train on its approach over the Cooyar Creek bridge.

    My first ride ever on any long distance train or rail motor was the journey from our capital city to Yarraman, stopping at all station platforms along the way.

    I was only 12 at the time (1946) and I well remember on my arrival at Yarraman that there was a bus waiting to take me and many other passengers to Nanango and Kingaroy.

    History tells us that around 1912 there were moves to link the Yarraman line with Nanango to create a circuit either way from the South Burnett to Brisbane, however World War I interrupted any progress.

    The station was still well to the fore then in later years when freight arriving at Yarraman was then transported to other South Burnett towns by the carrier firm of Luya Julius.

    Congratulations to all the Yarraman folk in their fundraising effort supported well by Toowoomba Council and their creation of many projects and more so with this latest addition being the prima donna for the town which will attract visitors and tourists via the D’Aguilar and New England highways.

  2. John Carey

    Congratulations to the Yarraman community and the Toowoomba Regional Council for investing in the wonderful recreation facilities that have been established in Station Park and the Yarraman Weir Park. A pleasure to visit and appreciate.

  3. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Thanks very much for mentioning me – the credit really goes to the whole Yarraman community, and the Progress Assn, Terry and Helen, plus the sponsors, TRC and Stanwell.

    My wife and I (from Traditional Signs) really enjoyed the opportunity to be super-creative with the interpretation to create such a monument to the past with our signage and associated work!

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