Railway history was easily the highlight as far as June long weekend attractions in Bathurst were concerned, and this included the reopening of a museum honouring the legacy of a local family with a firm connection to rail.
(min cost $8)
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The Chifley Home and Education Centre reopened for the first time since early 2020 as part of a special two-for-one museum deal with the Bathurst Rail Museum.
Visitors received a sneak peek into the reinterpreted history of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, including new signage and a self-directed audio tour.
Chifley Home and Education Centre front of house Lucy Boatswain said the venue has received a steady influx of visitors across the weekend.
"The package deal with the Bathurst Rail Museum has really worked, as a lot of people who stopped in from the Beyer-Garratt's visit have travelled up to here to learn more about the Chifley's legacy to Bathurst," Ms Boatswain said.
"I think a lot of people who have visited have been surprised by how valuable this venue is to Bathurst."
Prior to entering federal politics, where he eventually became prime minister, Ben Chifley spent his formative years as a NSW Government Railways employee, working through the ranks to eventually become a train driver.
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Ms Boatswain said Chifley's journey from a working-class background to Australia's highest office continues to resonate with visitors.
"Chifley came from nothing basically, so his story is ideal for those after motivation to improve their work ethic," she said.
The Chifley Home [10 Busby Street] was the residence of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley from their marriage in 1914 until Elizabeth's death in 1962, 11 years after Ben's passing.
Ms Boatswain said the home's preservation to reflect 1940s home life continues to be a prominent drawcard.
"There's so many artefacts that are still of great value to Bathurst's story, and there's no former prime ministerial residences in mainland Australia that are as well revered as 10 Busby Street," she said.
"We've received plenty of positive feedback from surveys, so it goes to show visitors continue to value the history of the Chifleys."
The Chifley Home and Education Centre will relaunch in full on Saturday, July 2.
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