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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Bangalow aims to reclaim its waterfront

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Taking a leaf from history (in this case the 1936 working group that built the Bangalow Weir) the townsfolk are planning a working bee to revitalise the town's Parklands. Photo supplied
Taking a leaf from the history books (in this case the 1936 working group that built the Bangalow Weir) the townsfolk are planning a working bee to revitalise Bangalow’s Parklands. Photo supplied

History is a great talking point in Bangalow, especially when it comes to the town’s Parklands and the degraded former swimming pool and weir on Byron Creek.

Now a plan is finally in place for the revitalisation of the pool, townsfolk have turned their attention to remodelling other parts of the Parklands.

‘Essentially, what’s been happening around the Parklands is a resurrection of the dormant community spirit which created this public space in the 1920s,’ said Christobel Munson, from the Parklands team.

‘In its heyday in the early-to-mid twentieth century, this was a much loved place where the community gathered for countless celebrations and social events, ranging from swimming carnivals to dances, fundraisers and musical events. It’s already coming back to life with the creation of the wetlands, the rock circles and weir repair. Now, with input from both old and new residents at events like this, once again this place will really become a living heart of that community life.’

So the Bangalow Parklands team – in conjunction with Byron Shire Council – is organising a Community Working Bee for 7.30am-10.30am on Saturday, May 30. This time it’s to clean up the space where the building to be known as ‘The Waterfront’ will be built in coming months.

Construction of The Waterfront is being funded primarily from a grant received from the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program. Other funds are being raised from a variety of sources including the sale of Bring Back Bangalow’s Waterfront bumper stickers.

‘The Waterfront will become a shelter from the rain, a performance space, a bush theatre, a bandstand, an outdoor movie theatre – whatever’s needed at that moment,’ said Terry Bleakley, from the Bangalow Parklands team behind the ongoing upgrading of the Parklands.

To create room for The Waterfront, the aim of the working bee to remove the relics of the former tennis court, located to the rear (south) of the Bangalow Historical Society‘s Heritage House Museum & Tearooms.

Chicken wire which once restrained tennis balls will be removed; the poles holding it up will be cut down in size; wooden fence palings detached, and the plastic tape marking the court’s location will be taken up. The derelict tin spectator shed will be taken down and reusable materials sorted and stored; bottlebrush bushes cut back, and the wetlands area will be weeded.

‘Bangalow residents and friends are invited to come and help out, with volunteer briefings happening from 7.30am,’ Terry added. A sausage sizzle will be held during the morning. Those interested in coming along are asked to register in advance at http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/forms/community-volunteer-registration

Council staff make the following suggestions. ‘Please wear a hat, enclosed shoes (boots), gloves, eye protection, bring a water bottle and don’t forget the sunscreen. If you have any hammers, pliers, wire cutters, crow bar and favourite garden tools (eg spade, rake etc) it would also be appreciated if you could bring them along.’

If it rains on the day, those registered will receive email advice of the new date.

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