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Volunteers wanted for reopening Hillgrove Museum

Hillgrove Museum is being prepared to reopen and the search is on for community members keen to be part of the next chapter of the museum’s own history.

An Interim Coordinator of the museum has been appointed and is looking for volunteers to help operate the museum, which describes Hillgrove’s history as a once-vibrant gold mining town.

Community information sessions will be held tomorrow and Wednesday for people interested in becoming volunteers for Hillgrove Museum.

In 1895, Hillgrove was home to six pubs, four churches and a population exceeding 3000 people, but declined as the gold mines ceased to be profitable at the start of the 1900s.

The museum has been closed since last November, after long-serving museum attendant Judith Cox retired.

Preparations are underway to reopen Hillgrove Museum in early October, so it can be open on the weekends of the next school holidays.

The information sessions will be held at the museum, located in the former Hillgrove School building on Scouler Road, on Saturday at 2pm and Wednesday from 7pm.

Each session will outline the museum and plans for the facility and give potential volunteers the chance to ask questions.

“Hillgrove has an amazing story, from its hustle and bustle at the turn of the 20th Century - as fortune hunters risked life and limb in gold mines deep underground – to its transformation into the tranquil village we see today,” Council’s Cultural Projects Officer, Hayley Ward, said.

“We’re looking for volunteers who are excited about that history and are keen to share it by contributing to the museum and the terrific exhibits it contains.

“They could be residents with great pride and knowledge in the district’s heritage or people simply interested in learning more about the events and social changes that moulded their region.”

To express an interest in becoming a volunteer or attending one of the sessions, or for further information, contact Bronwyn Clarke at bclarke@armidale.nsw.gov.au or 0438 752011.

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