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Sights and sounds of the past on display in Bellerive

AS part of National Heritage Month, four Bellerive societies joined forces and opened up their doors for the public to delve into the history of the Eastern Shore and experience the relics of the past.

The Tasmanian Family History Society, the Tasmanian Sound Preservation Association, the Bellerive Historical Society and the Ferryman’s House came together on 2 May to hold an open day to raise awareness of the importance of history in the Clarence area.

“It’s really important for the visitors to have a point of contact when visiting the area and at the moment there isn’t a base,” Ferryman’s House curator John Sargent said.

“This day is a way of getting people to recognise the importance of the area because they usually pass through to Richmond without stopping by – it’s a bit of a promotional tour.”

Mr Sargent, who has a passion for history, said the Ferryman’s House contained the largest collection of history on the Eastern Shore, ranging from stories about the early days of Bellerive to information on the ferries.

Bellerive Historical Society executive committee member Ken Williams said the society had been running since 1990 and wanted to encourage new members.

“We want to give people an idea of what we’ve got here in terms of records and what Bellerive was like – we want to give them the history of the place,” he said.

Family History Society president Maurice Appleyard said he hoped the day would make more people aware that the association existed.

“If people want to research their family history they can come and see us and we can help them with the records and publications we have,” he said.

Also located in the same building in the old Bellerive post office is the Sound Preservation Association that collected and preserved recorded sound going back to the 1890s.

Committee member Phillip Tyson said the venue provided visitors with a hands-on experience.

“On display we have the sound of a Tasmanian M16 locomotive, the sounds of the Cat and Fiddle Arcade, the bells of St David’s Cathedral and a desk replicating the commercial radio of the 1960s, complete with advertisements and chimes,” he said.

Mr Tyson said the response from visitors was very positive.

“I hope this can be the forerunner of much more collaborative activity between these four organisations that have a history focus,” he said.

Caption: Members of the Tasmanian Family History Society and Sound Preservation Association of Tasmania teamed up for National Heritage Month recently.