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The Lake Goldsmith Steam Preservation Association is set to refurbish an 1884 carriage which was found in the backyard of a Eureka Street home.
The carriage was built by Johnson & Co in Melbourne and was in operation along the Ballarat line until 1933.
While the carriage will need a thorough rebuild, John Smythe from the Preservation Association says it’s too important to lose.
“It is of such a historical significance to Ballarat that it shouldn’t be lost.”
The carriage, which has since fallen into disrepair, had been used as a bungalow before it was donated to the association.
Rob Campanaro acquired the carriage when he bought the Eureka Street property, which he plans to develop into a childcare centre.
“I was determined that I didn’t want (the carriage) to be wrecked.”
Mr Campanaro said the 7.8 metre carriage had doubled as a chicken pen under the previous owners.
The 50-seat carriage was one of 115 built for Victorian Railways between 1877 and 1885.
Mr Smythe said it would take thousands of dollars to repair, but was adamant it would be worth it.
“It will be almost new by the time they’ve finished with it.”
A carriage of the same make was recently acquired in Castlemaine and has since been refurbished.
Mr Smythe hopes Ballarat residents will donate to the preservation association any carriages which may be of historical significance to the city.
“It’s just amazing to think we’ve still got that stuff around Ballarat.
It’s quite possible that there’s another one out there.”
The Lake Goldsmith Stream Rally is held bi-annually and attracts thousands of spectators from around the country to view steam engines and vintage machinery.
The 106th Lake Goldsmith steam rally will be held from October 30 until November 1.
This article first appeared on www.thecourier.com.au
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