Country Weekend Away to Neville Siding
Saturday 10th September
7:00am meet up at Richmond McDonald’s on the corner of March Street and E Market Street Richmond.
7:30am leave heading towards Bells line of road towards Lithgow then onto the Rail Museum at 126 Havannah St, Bathurst.
12:00pm head across country sealed roads to Neville Sidings where we will be staying for the night.
1:00pm Arrive at Neville
Saturday accommodation and dinner included in entry cost.
Sunday 11th September
Breakfast at Neville Sidings (included in entry cost) before leaving for the cruise back to Sydney.
About the Historic Railway Museum
The award winning Bathurst Rail Museum brings the rich social history of Bathurst and our story as a railway town to life, with personal recollections and interesting artefacts.
Explore the stories of local people connected to the Railways, past and present, who have contributed to making Bathurst the thriving city and community it is today.
The completion of the railway between Sydney and Bathurst in 1876 was instrumental to the development of the colony of New South Wales.
The Main Western Line was celebrated as a marvel of engineering that opened up trade, transport and communication opportunities for people living inland.
The railway also marked a new social and cultural era for communities in inland NSW. Besides giving working class people access to stable jobs and vocational education, the Railway Institute in Bathurst offered support and leisure activities for railway workers and their families.
The museum is housed in the historic Railway Institute building. Built in stages from 1909, it was the place to be for rail employees and their families to enjoy social gatherings, celebrations, and gain access to important vocational education courses.
A fitting home for the Bathurst Rail Museum, the building has been extended to house the museum and a model railway the size of a tennis court. This scale model of the Main West railway during the 1950s and 1960s, displays the Tarana to Bathurst line and is complete with operating trains.
History of Neville Siding
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Blayney shire is the Village of Neville, only 3.5 hours hours from Sydney. Now a sleepy little village of only 100 residents, Neville was once a thriving township. It has been documented that it may have had its beginnings as early as 1815 when the explorer George Evans, under instruction from Governer Lachlan Macquarie to explore the Blue Mountains and beyond, passed close to the present day village.
Before 1850, there were only two grants of Crown land in the area, but many more grants were later issued with a resulting influx of residents. Many descendants of the original landowners still reside in Neville today.
The early settlers were keen to develop the township and in 1858 a small school was established. 1866 saw the Presbyterian Church built followed by the Church of England in 1875. A Post Office was established in 1870. The land occupied by the village store was purchased in 1897 and the post office and later the telephone exchange were incorporated within the store. The School of Arts opened in 1890. The Catholic Church was built in 1897 and a recreation ground notified in 1898.
During its period of growth Neville established itself as a township with a co-operative butter company, dressmakers and milliners, a dentist, wheelwright, blacksmiths, motor mechanics, butcher shops, saddler, stock and station agency, slaughterhouse, fruit shop, banker, brick maker, bakehouse and the renowned Colburt’s beer. Unfortunately all of these businesses have long disappeared. Some Chinese built sluices and panned for gold down the hills and precious opal was documented as early as 1875.
Social activities were a highlight of the village’s early days. It had the states biggest lamb show; roller skating was held in the community hall, and the town’s brass band would play outside the hotel on Saturdays. Neville has fielded tennis, cricket, rifle shooting, gymkhanas and football teams over the years. Grand balls and dances were often held in the community hall too.
The present Neville Hotel was built in 1929 replacing its predecessor – The No. One Hotel – that was gutted by fire in 1926.
Within the village’s Park a memorial has been erected in memory of the many local men and women who died at war. Rememberance services are still held at the War Memorial on appropriate days.
Neville has a well maintained Cemetery with many historical family graves including including descendants of the bush ranger John Vane. Also, scattered throughout the district on Church land and private properties are the graves of some of the earliest settlers.