Students help restore invaluable link to the past

​Over 200 building and construction students at Chisholm Institute have been given the rare hands-on opportunity to work on the restoration of the heritage-listed shelter at the Clayton railway station.

Built in the 1890s, the shelter is an invaluable link to the past and much-loved by the community but had to be moved for the new, modern elevated station. 

So instead it was carefully taken to Chisholm’s Dandenong location, where students from a range of building and construction, carpentry, and plumbing programs set about restoring it under the expert guidance of a heritage advisor and a heritage architect.

The students were able to get an insight into how the shelter was built, 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 the work they did, 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,’ said carpentry teacher Corey Ward.

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 now that ground level tracks are gone.