A nice little place to visit just outside of Stanthorpe
Amiens is a locality just outside of Stanthorpe. The main reason to visit this area is the Amien Legacy Centre, which commemorates the post WWI settlement and development of the region. It features a restored 1920s train carriage, museum, murals, bailey bridge, tin mine and other interesting features, including the adjacent memorial park. Overall, it is a nice little place to stop for the whole family.
After WWI, the government was looking for ways to help returned soldiers as well further develop areas around Queensland. The settlers scheme gave loans to ex-soldiers to establish farms in the Southern Downs Region around Stanthorpe, as well as other parts of the state.
Various localities around Stanthorpe were named after French towns and regions famous for their First World War battles, including Passchendaele. Messines, Bapaume, Pozieres, Bullecourt and Fleurbaixand. Then of course there is Amiens. My understanding was that these localities were given names after places in France on behalf of the soldiers. They wanted to name them something meaningful and perhaps attract others who had served in the regions during the war. In fact, Amiens was originally going to be called Diggerthorpe.
These areas all had train stations but these have all gone now. In fact, the region doesn't even have a township as people just go into Stanthorpe for anything that they need.
About the Amiens Legacy Centre
The legacy centre was developed to commemorate the history of the region, with a focus on the interwar period. It includes a 1920s train carriage, a bailey bridge, Passchendaele Shed, mural, sculptor and a tin mine. There is also a work in progress, a topiary train, with shrubs that have been planted and grown into the shape of a steam train.
The train carriage, bailey bridge, sculptor & shed
The museum is inside the train carriage. So while you can walk around the rest of the area, you can only enter the train carriage when it is open, which is normally on a Sunday. The collection inside the carriage is a tribute to the many returned soldiers who settled the area.
The museum inside the train carriage at Amiens Legacy Centre
From the last quarter of the 19th century, Stanthorpe became a tin mining area, attracting people of all backgrounds to try their fortune. The tin has all be mined out now but there is a little tin mine mockup on the grounds of the legacy centre. This is used mostly with educational trips to show school kids the process of mining by hand. They can even have a go themselves.
Kids will enjoy trying their hand at tin mining at Amiens Legacy Centre
Adjacent to the legacy centre is a memorial park that dates back to the 1920s as a sports ground. Currently in the centre is a cricket ground surrounded by bushland with a lane of ornamental plum trees which make the park particularly worth visiting when they are in bloom.
Events are held at the Amiens Legacy Centre, in particular inside the Passchendaele Shed. There are also other events held by the Historical Association to raise funds for various projects.
Events are held in the Passchendaele Shed which also has a mural depicting early settler life
You can visit the legacy centre and park at any time but the museum itself in the train carriage is only open on Sundays from 10 am to 1 pm at the moment. It is still worth walking around the area and wandering through the memorial park, especially in the springtime.
Overall, it is one more little stop and attraction in the Stanthorpe area suitable for all ages. In spring, the memorial park will be in bloom and the museum is more interesting when it is open, but still, if you are in the area at any time, why not stop?
The author visited the Amiens Legacy Centre as a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism.
Amiens sounds wonderful. I like the idea of a museum in a train carriage, as the carriage is an attraction in itself. We went to Hay some time ago and they had a museum in train carriages parked up at a heritage station. They were running the local radio station from there and my husband was roped into an impromptu interview!