Sign of the times

January 9, 2020 BY

The Torquay Palace Hotel soon after it opened in 1888.

THE Torquay and District Historical Society has been given funding by the Surf Coast Shire council to help with the installation of historical information signs around Torquay.

The council gave $5,000 to the project as part of their Small Grants Program.

Torquay and District Historical Society has been finding information and photos for these signs for about two years.

There will be 30 signs placed around old Torquay, The Esplanade and along Spring Creek on historical sites and buildings.

Society president David Marshall said the signs would help make Torquay’s rich history more accessible.

“It’s an easy way for the residents of Torquay, the school children of Torquay and even tourists to see what buildings were there 80 to 120 years ago.

“Each sign will have a photo of the building that was there; or if the building still exists, it will have a photo of the building as it was. Then we will have text under that explaining when the building was built, what it was built for, who built it, and all about it.”

In addition to the signs, several thousand brochures will be printed showing people the heritage trail on which these signs will be placed. These will be available at the information centre at the Surf Coast Shire, the library and other prominent places.

Among the places the sign will go includes the Torquay Hotel, as the original building was constructed there in 1888.

Another will be at Point Danger, providing the history of the Judge H. Scammell which was wrecked nearby in 1891.

Mr Marshall says the community’s involvement with the society has helped the project greatly.

“Fortunately, we do get donated photos by locals, some of who might be third generations here who we get to know and go ‘my family’s got a photo of that’.”

The project was also sponsored by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee whose land 11 of the signs will be placed on.

The sign are expected to be built in February or March.