Magic of mud in a historic comeback

April 18, 2017

Murray River Council administrator David Shaw

A 114-YEAR-OLD piece of local history will be preserved thanks to funding under Murray River Council’s Stronger Communities Fund.

The Border Flywheelers are replacing the mud seal roof on the brick kiln at their heritage museum which was once used to fire bricks for use in local buildings in Barham.

Built in 1903, the kiln is now used to display the memorabilia of the kiln from the early days, including the original timber moulds which were used for building the kiln and associated flues and chimneys.

Murray River Council administrator David Shaw said the roof replacement was vital in order to keep the kiln in a safe condition.

‘‘When the kiln was built the roof was sealed over with mud, which the heat from the kiln kept dry and waterproof,’’ he said.

‘‘Nowadays the kiln is not fired, so the mud roof has failed, causing deterioration to the whole structure.

‘‘The repairs will go a long way in preserving a piece of history that is important to both the community and tourist trade.’’

The roof restoration will involve the construction of a steel top over the original mud roof to stop water ingress and improving the existing drainage by laying concrete pavers adjacent to the kiln.

It is hoped the kiln will then maintain its place in the museum for many years to come, where visitors can learn how bricks were made more than 100 years ago.

Along with the kilns, the Border Flywheelers Museum also houses historical farm machinery, engines and other artefacts which have been used by the surrounding farming community and restored by its members.

‘‘The Border Flywheelers Club are to be commended for their commitment to the preservation of local history and for providing great social opportunities to its members, where they get to join together and do something they all enjoy,’’ Mr Shaw said.

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