Cummins Theatre

 

 

MERREDIN

 

GPS 31 29 14 S 118 16 44 E

 

 

 

 

FIND ACCOMMODATION

 

Nukarni

Mukinbudin

Hines Hill

Nearby Towns

Burracoppin

Bruce Rock

Narembeen

 

 

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STATISTICS

Distance from Perth

260 Km

Population

3600

Average Rainfall

314mm

Mean Max Temp

22C

Mean Min Temp

11.2C

 

SERVICES

Police

08 9041 1322

Fire and Rescue

08 9041 2522

Medical

08 9081 3222

Visitor Centre / Hotel

 08 9041 1666

 

CARAVAN PARKS

Merredin

08 9061 1535

 

HOTEL / MOTEL

Merredin Motel

Visit website

08 9041 1886

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

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link to Mingor.net website

 

DESCRIPTION

 

Merredin is the largest town in the eastern wheatbelt and is located on the Great Eastern Highway that links Perth and Kalgoorlie.

According to what we have read, 40% of WA's wheat is produced within a 100km radius of the town so no prizes for guessing what the main industry in the area is.

Smaller town sites and localities that are included in the Merredin Shire are: Hines Hill, Burracoppin, South Burracoppin, Goomarin, Korbel, Muntadgin, Nangeenan, Nokanning, Tangedin, Nukarni and Norpa.

It is worth taking the time to explore Merredin as there are a number of interesting historic buildings in town.

There are also some fascinating museums.

The old train station is now the railway museum and holds a large number of exhibits.

The station has been fully restored and you can climb up into the signal tower to see the 95 levers that were once used to direct rail traffic through the area.

There is a restored G-117 steam locomotive that dates back to the late 1800s and other rolling stock along side the platfrom.

The museum is run by volunteers and is generally open between 11am and 2 pm daily.

Another very interesting museum in town is the Military Museum.

The museum opens from 10am to 3pm daily and contains a number of galleries detailing different eras of our military history.

There are varied displays of weapons and military vehicles.

Merredin was an important military depot during World War Two and there are a number of sites around town that date back to that era.

There is a military site drive trail that is 90 kilometres return and takes in a number of places that had military installations during the war.



During World War Two the 2/1 Australian General Hospital was built in Merredin near Merredin Peak.

It was a 264 bed hospital cosisting mostly of tents and was moved to town in 1942.

It operated for about 8 months and in August 1943 it was moved to Port Moresby in New Guinea and then later to the Solomon Islands.

Merredin was an important military depot during World War Two and there are a number of sites around town that date back to that era.

There is a military site drive trail that is 90 kilometres return.

Merredin is an RV friendly town and provides a free 24 hour rest area for self contained RVs at Merredin Peak.

There is a black water dump point at Merredin Tourist Park in Oats Street and potable water plus rubbish dump points are located at the Merredin Visitor Centre.

There are a number of drive trails through the area in addition to the Military one. You will find a wildflower trail, windfarm trail, conservation park and solar farm trail and a drive to the Rabbit Proof Fence and Westonia where you can visit the very interesting and well presented Hood-Penn museum.

You will also find some interesting walk trails such as the rock walk at Merredin Peak, also the bush walk which is best done in spring when the wildflowers are blooming.

There are also north and south cycle trails that cover 8 and 15 kilometres respectively.

There is a useful information booklet containing maps and more information available free from the local visitor centre.

 

CBH - Cooperative Bulk Handling - Quick facts.......

 

CBH was started in 1933.

CBH handles about 40% of Australia's grain.

It stores, tests and transports grain from growers.

Export facilities are located at Albany, Kwinana, Geraldton and Esperance.

11 different types of grain totalling over 12 million tonnes are transported in an average year.

The C.B.H. story.

 

HISTORY

 

The first expedition to the area by Europeans was led by John Septimus Roe in 1836.

He was followed in 1863 by Henry Maxwell Lefroy. In this 945 mile journey, Lefroy travelled through what is now the shire of Merredin and on to where the golden mile was later discovered.

From 1864-66 Charles Hunt organised three (one source says five) separate expeditions and he is credited with getting the name Merredin from the local Aborigines. Hunt suffered from T.B. and sadly died from heart disease (aged only 35) soon after his return from the final expedition.

The town's name is said to have originated from the Aboriginal word merritt-in or place of the merritt tree, which was used for making spears.

Pastoral leases began to open up in the 1860s but it wasn't until 1893, then the railway from Perth finally reached the area, that a town began to develop. By 1894 the railway reached Southern Cross and by 1897, it had gone all the way to Kalgoorlie.

A rock wall was built around Merredin Peak and the water was directed into a dam that held up to 25 million litres.

Although the dam ceased to be used for drinkingwater when the Goldfields Pipeline came through in 1903, it did continue to supply water for trains until 1968 and today still supplies water for the fountain outside the railway station.

The initial townsite was gazetted in 1891 after 20 lots were surveyed. None of these were sold but a hotel was built to the south of this location and when the railway arrived in 1895, Merredin Station was established.

In 1904 more lots were surveyed and by 1906 the area around the station was incorporated into the townsite.

An agricultural research station was established in 1904 and it led to the development of the well known 'Bencubbin' strain of wheat.

At this time Merredin was also spelled M-e-r-r-e-d-e-n or M-e-r-r-i-d-e-n. The station name Merredin was adopted and the current name has been in use since 1907.

The town was an important stopping place during the gold rush years and owes a lot of its early development to the trade that passed through at that time. The wells sunk by Charles Hunt became very important especially in the drier months when natural water sources dried up.

Meredin aerodrome

The Meredin aerodrome was controversially leased for 100 years for just $1 to China Southern West Australian Flying College in a joint venture with CAE Inc.

It was intended to operate it as a pilot training facility but due to a lack of qualified staff and little local interest, the project was suspended in September 2016.

The Aerodrome was put up for sale in June 2021.

Cummins Theatre.

James Hurtle Cummins owned and operated the Cummins brewery in Kalgoorlie and decided that Merredin would benefit from the construction of a theatre.

James purchased the Tivoli Theatre in Coolgardie, had it broken up and shipped, piece by piece, to Merredin.

The theatre opened on October 10th 1928. The theatre still operates today and the highlight on any visit to town would be a visit to the theatre to see a performance.

The building was included on the State Register of Heritage Places in 1996.

 

TALL TALES AND TRUE

 

Murder !

 

When Robert Waterson arrived home by train on a Sunday morning in May 1918 he found he was locked out of his house. He promptly kicked the door in only to find a man in a state of undress with his wife in the bedroom.

 

Grabbing a spear that was hanging on the wall as an ornament he proceeded to stab the intruder to death.

 

Another murder occurred in June 1922 when farmhand Archibald Samuel French shot his farmer employer (Andrew Podesta) in the back after being dismissed and told to leave the farm. French then committed suicide by taking poison. He admitted to the killing just before he died.

 

MAP

 

 

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OTHER INFORMATION

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Old railway station, Hunt’s dam, Burracoppin, Railway water tower, CBH grain terminal (the longest grain storage facilities in the Southern Hemisphere), Military Museum, No. 4 Pumping station, Merredin Peak, Totadgin Conservation Park, Art gallery, Cummins Theatre, Hunt's Dam, Mosaics, Mangowine Homestead, The Quarry, Railway Dam, Heritage Trail, Merredin Railway Institute Hall.

 

BUILDINGS OF NOTE

 

Old town hall 1911, Cummins Theatre.

 

FAMOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS

 

Tully Bevilaqua, Hon Hendy Cowan, Archie Duda, Jeff Garlett, Rick Hart, Ken McAullay, Laurie Mayne, Margaret Mills, Don Randall, Jack Rutherford, Nicole Trunfio, Bill Walker.

 

ELECTORAL ZONES

 

State : Central Wheatbelt

Federal : Durack

 

OTHER INFO.

 

Postcode : 6415

Local Government : Shire of Merredin

 

PHOTOS

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