A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BATHURST AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM
Today’s machinery is tomorrow’S History.
In 1978, the first building erected, later named the “Geoff Palmer Hall”. This was officially opened by Dr Douglas Hey (then Director of Nature Conservation) who stated that the Museum was of importance not only to Bathurst but also to the whole of South Africa. In 1981 an addition of 60ft was built and completed.
Starting with only 30 items the collection has grown rapidly and now we have over 1 900 items, many which are both rare and unique ! As our collection has been growing, a second building was completed in 1986 and is now known as the “AG Griffiths Hall” also known as “Griffy Griffths Hall” where about half of the tractor collection can be seen.
A third large building was started in 1988 and completed only in 1995. During this time the “HH Norton Shed” was re-erected on its present site and known as the “Stationery Engine Room”
A broom and insecticide were purchased and the battle against dust and spiders began in earnest as Buster detested both of these pests – no use to man or beast he claimed!!! Moreover, many many litres of paint have been used in an attempt to beat the real demon. RUST. It is a fight that will NEVER come to an end it seems.
The museum soon took on a new look and visitors began to arrive. The stream ran stronger as word got around of this somewhat unusual museum, believed to be the first of it’s kind in South Africa. Visitors from far and wide have commented favourably, while scholars arrive for study purposes. It is hoped that the stream of visitors will run stronger in future. In March 1995 Alan Shield became Hon Curator and his wife Joey Hon Treasurer, and Alison Higgs Hon Secretary taking over from Esme Wakeford who had done a grand job. This strong team is getting on with the job and their fine efforts are noticed by many visitors. In 1993, our first Open Fun Day was held, the purpose being to entice the public to visit the museum and find out what it is all about. This has become an annual event becoming bigger and better each time.
MEET THE TEAM
Some Museum Team Members
Smithy Team Members