Over 200 building and construction students at Chisholm Institute had the rare opportunity to work on restoring a heritage-listed shelter at Clayton railway station.
Chisholm students from building and construction, carpentry, and plumbing programs set about restoring the shelter under the expert guidance of a heritage advisor and a heritage architect.
Learning from history
Instructors described it as an 'almost unheard of' opportunity to hone traditional trade skills.
Carpenter Dale Pryor says it was a 'prestigious project' to be involved with. 'It's not every day you get to work on something that old,' Dale says.
The students were able to get an insight into how the shelter was built. They noting that the cuts were completely different to common cuts today, and that it would have been constructed using hand tools.
These insights also informed their work as they conformed to the heritage experts' exacting standards, and created a high-quality refurbishment in the process.
'We want to make sure [the shelter] lasts for another 100, 150 years,' carpentry teacher Corey Ward says.
'It is important that we do a top-notch job on it.'
A new chapter
When the heritage-listed shelter at the Clayton railway station had to be moved for the new, modern elevated station, it wasn't removed entirely.
Built in the 1890s, the shelter is an invaluable link to the past and much-loved by the community, so instead it was carefully taken to Chisholm's Dandenong location.
Work on the shelter revealed treasure hidden in its walls: old tickets, darkened by time but still legible, and the original blueprints. A fitting discovery, since the building will be transformed into a mini museum by the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
The restored shelter will sit in the forecourt of the Clayton Railway Station. It will add a touch of history and charm to the new landscaped station precinct being built at Clayton.
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