Romance of rail in focus at Kirra Hill Heritage Group

KIRRA Hill Heritage Group's next exhibition, Romance of Rail, features the South Coast Rail in the years 1903 to 1961.  

The group is made up of past students of the original Coolangatta State School, which was opened on Kirra Hill in 1920 and continued to operate until 1978 when all classes were transferred to a new school in Stapylton Street, Kirra.   

Romance of Rail was chosen because numerous past students recalled their memories of the train which came to town when they were young, curator Sue Burnett says.

  "A decision was made to share those memories with local schoolchildren as well as the public," she said.   The rail line enabled the transport of goods to the growing population of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta and the export of local produce and goods to Brisbane and beyond.  

The exhibition depicts the many uses of the train, which travelled from South Brisbane to Southport and Tweed Heads, servicing locations such as Nerang, Mudgeeraba, Elanora and the beachside towns of Burleigh, Currumbin, Tugun, Bilinga and Kirra.  

Artefacts and images will tell the story. Also featured will be a model of the Southport Rail Precinct, with models of the trains and coaches that used the line.  

Most Kirra Hill Heritage Group members attended the Coolangatta school during and shortly after the Second World War.   "

The old school was saved from re-development to be used as a community centre," Sue said.  

"The site has local heritage listing and one of the classrooms has been set aside to display photographs and memorabilia about the school, covering all eras.    

"The heritage group manage the display in the historical display room as well as create special feature exhibitions regarding the town."  

The Romance of Rail exhibition will be held during Seniors Week on Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14, from 9am-3pm  at the Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, 1 Garrick Street, Coolangatta.  

Inquiries to Sue on 0408 703 855.

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