Major milestones — 2022 marks 100 years since Newdegate was settled and 50th birthday of Field Days

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Cally DupeCountryman
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Newdegate's Hainsworth Museum volunteers Sue Hall, Anne Rick and Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd.
Camera IconNewdegate's Hainsworth Museum volunteers Sue Hall, Anne Rick and Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd. Credit: Countryman

Newdegate’s Hainsworth Museum will be a hive of activity this field days season as a group of dedicated volunteers kick preparations for the town’s centenary celebration into high gear.

Situated in the middle of town on the corner of Mitchell and Collier streets, the pioneer museum has been a centrepiece of the community since it was built and opened as a general store and Grand Cafe tea rooms in the early 1930s.

Designed by Charles Hainsworth and built by Ted Freeland, the building officially opened in 1934 and changed ownership several times before opening as a museum in October 1984.

The museum is owned by the Shire of Lake Grace and run by a group of dedicated volunteers from the Newdegate Historical Society.

They meet every Thursday to open the museum to visitors and work on projects to bolster the facility’s offerings.

The group have been busy in recent months preparing to launch a range of projects to celebrate the special event, including a centenary wall, a heritage walk trail, a history book and a community film.

Next September will be a special year for the Newdegate community, with the locals preparing to celebrate 100 years since the town was settled in 1922 and the 50th birthday of the iconic Newdegate Machinery Field Days, which was first held in 1972.

Museum volunteer Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd said centenary celebrations would be held during the long weekend in late September next year.

Newdegate's Hainsworth Museum volunteers Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd, Jan Orr, Sue Hall and Anne Rick.
Camera IconNewdegate's Hainsworth Museum volunteers Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd, Jan Orr, Sue Hall and Anne Rick. Credit: Countryman

Plans include the construction of a centenary wall filled with plaques honouring people who have lived in or contributed to the town of Newdegate, to be built in the town’s Pioneer Park.

They also plan to launch a heritage walk trail incorporating the town’s initial site near Lake Burkett, with a trail through the new and old buildings and sites.

Plans are also under way to create a picture-focused history book detailing the past 100 years. Mrs Clarke-Lloyd said the book would be split into decades detailing what had occurred during each 10-year period, and feature images digitised during the past 10 years.

“We have been digitising our collection of images at the museum, and have been asking locals for images and documents ... people have been amazing and found so many great images for the book and our archive collection,” she said.

“It has been a lot of fun and it really unites different parts of the community”.

The museum volunteers have engaged videographer Michael Fletcher Michael Fletcher to create There will also be a film celebrating the town’s centenary, focused on the growth of community and community achievements, which will be aired during at an outdoor event viewing during the weekend.

“It will be a celebratory film and include as many people from the community as we can,” Mrs Clarke-Lloyd said.

The museum volunteers also hope to run a lot of cross-promotion with the Field Days.

Newdegate’s Hainsworth Museum is open from 11am to 4.30pm every Thursday, or by appointment by phoning 9890 2500.

Read the full Newdegate Machinery Field Days program here.

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