A RESPECTFUL renovation of the former Kelso police station has earned its owner, Bill Dando, special recognition from the Bathurst branch of the National Trust.
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Mr Dando recently carried out extensive renovations to the old police station.
Kelso's first police lockup, or watch house as it was also known, was built around 1845 and was located on the road to Peel (now Gilmour Street) where Kelso Public School now stands.
However, by 1890 the building was condemned as unfit for use and a new lockup was built by Rigby Brothers, Builders of Bathurst.
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The building was designed by colonial architect James Barnet, who also designed Bathurst Court House, the Bathurst Gaol and the Milltown (South Bathurst) Police Station.
The land had been purchased from Edward McMenamin on July 2, 1888 for the sum of £1169 and the brick and bluestone two cell lock-up, charge room and exercise yard with water closet, together with an attached three bedroom residence that we see today on the Sydney Road, was commenced.
The police station served the Kelso community for over 50 years until the Bathurst Police Station was deemed close enough to cover the Kelso area.
Police officers and their families continued to reside in the residence until 1997, when it was declared surplus to the NSW Government's needs, and was auctioned in April 1998.
Mr Dando became the new owner and restored the residence and kept the cells with their original doors and hinges and all the marble fireplaces.
Further renovations took place in 2018, and recently, due to extensive damage by squatters, the building has undergone further renovations to restore it to its former glory, while keeping many original features.
A new fence has also been added to the property.
The significant renovations attracted recognition from the Bathurst Branch of the National Trust, which presented Mr Dando with a National Trust Award for care of a heritage property in August.
The group has extended its congratulations to Mr Dando for his work on the building, maintaining the streetscape and ensuring this piece of local history remains for the community to appreciate.
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