Bring them back: A letter writer says the Lydiard Street rail crossing should be returned to the state they were in before being destroyed by a train late in the evening on Saturday, 30 May. Photo: FILE

The Historic Lydiard Street gates must be repaired – like for like

June 28, 2020 BY

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor,

In the opinion of Crs Amy Johnson and Daniel Moloney the historic gates at Lydiard Street must be replaced by boom gates! I say replicate.

Once again Ballarat’s heritage is threatened by a few people who have a disposable and a materialistic attitude – when in doubt, pull it down. Many years ago Ballarat, in its “wisdom”, wanted to modernise our CBD, so council allowed many of shop verandas to be removed; thanks to sense and reason, most of them have now been replicated. When the then Council proposed the demolition of the Civic Hall, the community was outraged, so the decision was made to refurbish it. The same principle must apply to the historic Lydiard Street rail gates; they should be replicated.

Our historic central railway station is of national significance. We live in hope that the State government will restore and upgrade the station to a suitable standard. Work is required on the station’s amenities and structures, the tracks, the gantry and now the gates.

All these works need to be completed due to the increased growth in public transport that will occur in future years as a result of rail travel becoming even more popular with workers, students, business people and lifestyle travelling to Melbourne and tourists travelling from Melbourne to Ballarat.

History and heritage can only be truly appreciated if we have the historic features working – a living heritage. Where are the voices of tourism?

Ballarat’s historic ‘marvellous’ Lydiard Street is a treasure trove of architectural beauty and it must remain intact, remember the debacle over the Commonwealth Bank building! Our historic central railway station is not only significant but also a fundamental component of the heritage landscape that is Lydiard Street.

Call me old fashioned, but when something valuable breaks, we fix it, not replace it with something modern.

 

Ron Egeberg

Soldiers Hill