The former blacksmith’s shop at the northern end of the Rylstone Showground has received a facelift and a rustic step back in time thanks to the efforts of participants in the Helping Hands Up program.
Local residents will remember the late Norm Howe showing his skills in the blacksmith’s art by creating miniature horseshoes from the hut for passers-by. The area has also been used as a bar.
The group of young men and their supervisor, Steve Mylchrest, have done an enormous amount of work at the showground in recent months including organising sand blasting of sheep yard panels, painting the bird pavilion, renovating benches and planting an avenue of trees at the dog section which will be called Molly Saville Avenue.
Their recent effort at the blacksmith’s shop however makes them all feel very proud. They re-roofed the old building with Stringybark, just like the early pioneers used, creating an authentic and waterproof covering that looks great.
They researched the method beforehand and then sourced the materials needed including Stringybark sheeting courtesy of the Kandos sawmill and round poles from one of the participants, Jake Dale.
Show secretary Nancy Keck said the volunteer work by this group has really helped extend the grant money they received from Mid-Western Regional Council.
“We estimate that we saved around $50,000 in labour thanks to this group. They also worked on the Friday before showday along with Steve in their own time to get the show ready. We really appreciate this commitment,” she said.
Mr Mylchrest said since they began this work at the showground in recent years around six participants have got full time work from the skills they learnt and the commitment they showed.