MORE research into Australia’s milling history can be carried out thanks to a Royal Australian Historical Society grant.
Executive officer of the newly formed Australian Milling Museum (AMM), Dr Jess Jennings, has been awarded the grant, which is funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
The grant is to be used to collect, research and analyse five identified archives of Australia’s milling history.
This includes the Bathurst-based Tremain family, a historical and largely unpublished database of over 700 NSW mills in operation since colonisation, and several retired professional technical engineers who hold a wealth of knowledge, publications, manuals and information on developments of the milling industry.
Dr Jennings said the award recognises the importance of Australia’s grain milling history and the need to avoid the risk of losing critical research material as milling family archives become inaccessible or diminished overtime.
“Along with churches and pubs, local flour mills were the lifeblood of every country town in Australia, providing essential foods to a growing colony,” he said.
“But these mills have become ‘out of sight, out of mind’ due to widespread closures.
“I want to uncover the stories of Australian milling and revive industry memories through these five archives and others to come, because of the great legacy and contribution flour milling has made to rural Australia and the nation.
“This stuff should not be forgotten.”
The AMM, once complete, will span approximately 700 square metres in the Tremains Mill precinct.
“It will be a large ground floor space and will have levels one, two and three,” Dr Jennings said.
He expects that only the ground floor will be available to members of the public initially, with access to the upper levels to come at a later date.
He said that some exciting steps have been taken, with a curator and a collections consultant recently engaged to start the process of putting exhibitions together.
Members of the public are invited to come to the third of five museum nights at Tremains Mill on Tuesday, October 16 at 5.30pm, to get an update on the project.
Although a free event, people can RSVP by calling or texting 0423 224 750.
As for when the museum will open, Dr Jennings said it should be some time in 2019, depending on the success of another grant application.
“We’ve just put in a grant application for the reconstruction of the museum building, for $3 million, that will definitely push things along a lot better … but if we don’t get that it is a bit of an unknown because we are very dependent on that grant,” he said.
Anyone with stories about milling or equipment are still encouraged to get in touch so they can be included in the AMM.