Last week’s front page story about saving Molong’s Jewel in the Crown – the Molong Railway Station – brought forward a number of town and district responses. “We can’t let the Railway Station go” and “what can it be used for?”
The most passionate response came from long-time Molong resident Peter Thomas via his Letter to the Editor. “We rescued this important asset (Railway Station) from demolition many years ago” said Peter. “I want the keys back and we’ll start all over again.”
With the planned move by Cabonne Council to relocate the only tenant, the Central West Library service later this year it will be up to a special committee made up of interested community members to work together with the NSW State Government and the current asset manager, John Holland to save this important part of Molong’s heritage. How can you help?
Peter Thomas’s thoughts and Express Editorial
Long-time resident of Molong, Peter Thomas, having rescued the Molong Railway Station MRS from demolition many years ago is prepared to start again.
“We, the community need the keys returned” said Peter who, thankfully, has saved other Molong buildings – and restored just as many. With his wife Janine and his family – Peter has invested a significant amount of family $’s into advancing Molong – and retaining historical buildings like the MRS. Why? He believes in Molong.
When the Molong Railway Station MRS closed in the early 1990’s Peter heard that the heritage building was being considered for demolition.
“I happened to notice the State Rail demolishing the Goods Shed” said Peter. “It was a large solid shed made of galvanised and strong timbers that could have had a number of community or business uses today – even back then.”
“The nearby water tank had also been demolished. It was an amazing structure made of concrete, bronze and steel with a swinging arm coming across to replenish the steam trains. It was an important historical piece that should have remained in Molong where it had stood since the 1880’s when the railway line was built through this area.”
Thankfully, Peter managed to persuade the then State Rail Superintendant to grant a lease to him for the railway station building to save it from demolition. With the help of a committee of volunteers the buildings were quickly restored and tenanted.”
“Later on, we approached Cabonne Council to transfer the library into the building and with tenants transferring from other locations (Greening Australia, Adult Education and art classes) we were eventually in a position to cover the ongoing costs and maintenance.”
“At this point in time, we approached Cabonne Council who agreed to take over the lease and manage the complex. Our stipulation was that the MRS continue to be used as a community resource for the people of Molong.”
“I have always considered the MRS to be an important building for the future development of Molong and I am prepared to have the keys returned to me to start again in order to see this historical icon of Molong remain and to see it in use again”.
“I am disappointed that Council has neglected its commitment to ensure that this important Molong building is protected, enhanced and filled with community and/or commercial activity.”
Molong has waited a long-time now, far too long, to see the local Railway Station filled with community and/or commercial activity.
Molong ‘on the move’ needs this fine group of historical buildings to be re-opened again with linkages to Bank Street and the wider community.
Visitor Centre, community use – and if possible commercial usage – such as artisan working/selling space, some kind of local wine promotion centre, etc. etc. The tenancy ideas for this fine old building are endless.
However, with the ‘new’ comes the need to add something to the ‘old’. This means bringing the community forward to take on the project.
Molong is a place that holds many good brains, skills, knowledge, experiences – from both long-time residents … and, particularly new residents to town who have not yet become involved.
The days of relying solely on Cabonne Council and the Molong Advancement Group (MAG) to do everything for this town has come to an end. They are busy doing enough to advance Molong.
Times are exciting for Molong – and the railway station is needed to link to this excitement as a ‘central place’ for community/commercial/arts/tourism activity. Please be involved