BEECHWORTH’S Burke Museum has put out a call for helpers to make papier–mâché balls in Beechworth tomorrow (Thursday, March 22) for its Golden Horseshoes Festival float.
The museum entry for the festival’s Easter Saturday grand parade is themed on a colonial-era gold escort and will feature the 50-centimetre diameter balls to represent the extraordinary quantity of gold found in Beechworth after the first discovery in 1852. The balls are modelled on one in the museum, made from steel, which is equivalent to one imperial ton of gold.
On today’s bullion market the total weight of 153 tons officially recovered from Beechworth and Stanley alluvial fields and diggings would be worth more than $8 billion.
The ball-making working bee will be held at Pat Doyle’s house at 148 High Street between 10am and 5pm. Burke Museum and Beechworth historic precinct and Indigo heritage manager Cameron Auty said all volunteers would be welcomed at any time and could let him know by message or text to 0400 558 866 of their intended help.
Another feature of this year’s Horseshoes festival will be a display in the historic precinct of vehicles from the National Trust Victoria’s Beechworth carriage collection, which is usually housed at Billson’s Brewery.
The collection includes a Beechworth-built Victorian-era hearse and a heavy waggonette once owned by colonial pastoralist James Tyson, about whom poet Andrew ‘Banjo’ Paterson wrote a poem, ‘T.Y.S.O.N.’, and which is said to have been used to carry NSW governor Lord Victor Jersey in 1892 on a tour in the western Riverina. Tyson died one of the world’s richest men in 1898, leaving an estate valued at more than £2 million – equivalent to about $285m today.