Reminder of another era to be restored

Susan Jennison, Cr Virginia Tachos and Cr Bruce Lancashire with a piece of the hut.

By Tate Papworth

A reminder of a time gone by is set to be returned to its former glory.

The historic Keilor Plains Police hut will be rebuilt at the Harricks Cottage site in Keilor Park.

Built from prefabricated iron, the hut was imported during the 1850s during the Gold Rush, to form part of the Keilor Plains Police Station.

Keilor Historical Society president Susan Jennison said it remained at the Keilor Plains site until vandals struck about five years ago.

“It was up at Keilor Plains, but had to be shifted for its own safety,” Ms Jennison said. “Vandals got to it and we knew if we left it much longer it would be destroyed.”

The structure was dismantled and placed at the Harrick’s Cottage site, where it has remained disassembled since.

However years of campaigning have paid off in the form of a $200,000 Living Heritage grant, which will be used to restore the structure to its former glory.

Brimbank mayor Lucinda Congreve said it was a great outcome.

“The hut is an important connection to the Gold Rush period, and it’s great the restoration can now be undertaken,” Cr Congreve said.

“Council will now plan for the restoration and interpretation of the hut in accordance with the timeframes required by Heritage Victoria who administer the Living Heritage Program.”

After the project is completed, the Keilor Historical Society will manage the hut and make it available for the community to learn about its heritage.

Ms Jennison said the public display should have a number of features.

“We’re hoping to have an internal electronic display of people going to the goldfields,” she said.

“We’re also hoping to put in some artifacts from when the police were first put here to show what it was like.”