Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent
More than 60 visitors were warmly welcomed through the doors of the Lawrence Museum on August 1 as the popular local attraction officially reopened to the public for the first time in more than a year.
It was a day many had been looking forward to for several months, and as she smiled with satisfaction and gratitude while she watched visitors take in the unique history on display and compliment the hard-working volunteers for their efforts in making the event possible, Vice President of the Lawrence Museum Roz Jones couldn’t have been happier.
“It was a team effort,” she said of the museums long awaited reopening.
“All of our volunteers put a big effort into getting the museum ready and it really was wonderful to see so many visitors.”
There have been many changes at the Lawrence Museum since the Covid-19 pandemic forced its closure in March 2020.
With several new exhibits, including many which are beautifully displayed and presented in a recently constructed two-story building with an additional 250m2 of floor space, a well-documented history of early life in the local area, and touching tributes to many Clarence Valley families whose priceless heirlooms have been kindly donated to the Lawrence Museum for future preservation, visitors were enormously impressed with the set up.
Lawrence local Lacey Sherden admitted her sons Harper and Rylan had been hassling her to let them visit the reopened museum.
“It’s pretty cool,” she said as she looked around at the numerous displays.
“It’s good that a lot of local history is here and its preserved.”
One of the most popular attractions at the museums reopening was a local blacksmiths display by Don Shannon along with husband and wife team Joel and Jess See of Fortis Creek Forge.
Visitors watched with interest as they demonstrated with seasoned precision, the skills and workmanship which made blacksmithing such a valuable resource to several early industries.
“We love putting on the displays because it gets people talking about the skills involved with blacksmithing,” said Mr See as he cleverly made a pair of metal tongs in front of a small crowd of onlookers.
“We have a lot of fun doing what we do.”
Mr See also thanked the museum for inviting them to be a part of the official reopening.
The Lawrence Museum is located in the former 2NR Broadcasting Station building in Merton Street, Lawrence.
Opening hours are between 9am – 1pm on Tuesdays and weekends between 1-4pm.
Admission is $5 per person.
Ms Jones kindly wishes to advise that EFPTOS is not unavailable.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 4 August 2021.