Chaff shed restoration in final stages

The ventilator has been installed on the roof of the old chaff shed at McCrossin’s Mill, Uralla.There’s been a collective sigh of relief at McCrossin’s Mill in Uralla.
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Something quite remarkable, and long anticipated, finally came to fruition on June 30, thanks largely to a dollar-fordollar grant from the NSW Heritage Office.

“The installation of a ventilator, or dovecote as some call it, to the roof of the 1881 chaff shed is really something to celebrate,” Uralla Historical Society secretary Erica Barwell said.

President Arnold Goode said that “the original dovecote was pushed off the roof in 1975 because it was threatening to fall down into the street. But to complete the restoration of the chaff shed, we had to produce an exact replica of the original.

“By sheer good fortune we found one corner post of the demolished structure in a pile of debris some years ago, and stored it away ‘for a rainy day’.

“My research came up with a very grainy photo of the original in situ, but that’s all our builder Peter Feitz needed.

“He slaved away on the construction in his spare time, and coerced Erica Barwell and Ann Hacker to apply the paint.”

“There’s no way I was going up on the roof,” Mr Feitz said, “not that high anyway, so we hired a crane.

Ms Barwell said the occasion justified a bottle or two of champagne.

“Well, our team has been committed to the restoration of the McCrossin precinct for 33 years,” she said. “The 1870 flour mill restoration was completed in 1982, the 1878 stables and store started a new life in 1998, and the major work on the 1881 chaff shed was finished in 2004. All these projects have won major awards.”

It will be open to the public early in 2013.

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