Topic: Darfield Millenium project

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Railway tracks run through the middle of our town - that is the connecting theme for a magnificent series of thirty bronze plaques which have been crafted to depict the history of Darfield and its surrounds and placed in Tussock Square, which was developed as Darfield's Millennium Project and was officially opened in 2000.

Railway tracks run through the middle of our town - that is the connecting theme for a magnificent series of thirty bronze plaques which have been crafted to depict the history of Darfield and its surrounds, and will be unveiled on Saturday, 19 October at 10am Tussock Square in Darfield's main street.

"Researching material for the plaques was a massive job," said Margaret Thompson, who has chaired the township sub-committee for Tussock Square, which was developed as Darfield's Millennium Project and was officially opened in 2000. The bronze work by Decra Art Ltd of Sydenham is impressive. Thorpe Engineering constructed the replica railway tracks which will support the plaques on the Tussock Square wall.

Margaret and other committee members, Leith Creamer, Julie Cameron and earlier, Donald Reid, have been working on the plaques with Tussock Square's architect, Grant Edge, during the last two years. "It has taken two years of intense work, obtaining photographs and checking, double checking and triple checking information, so that we could be as accurate as possible with the potted history which spans 1874 to the year 2000. There wasn't much here in 1874, but there were people out and about on the Plains, especially when the news got out that the railway was going to be built through Darfield. We are looking forward to unveiling them to the public on Saturday at a brief ceremony."

The final stage of the project and one which will not go ahead until there are sufficient funds to complete it, is a series of three larger, coloured panels which will be a 'title page' for the plaques, a map of the original street plan of Darfield (most of which still are in use), and a plan of what each element of Tussock Square represents. Margaret says that with the exception of the children's play area, the Tussock Square project is now all but complete. Donations from the community would be gratefully accepted so that production of the final three panels can go ahead. While the whole project has been quite complex and demanding, now that it is nearing completion Tussock Square is a tremendous tribute to previous generations and a place where Darfield's future development can be recorded and displayed for all who pass by to enjoy and ponder on.

Source: Malvern Record, 25 October 2005

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