Inspired by Australia's natural, developing and fun environments.
Get some inspiration.
Published June 28th 2016
Why not drop in for an hour or two ?
The feeling of community within rural Australia is strong, and often promotes the gathering of people and families. The majority of those gatherings occur around a central meeting icon, typically in a local town. In the case of Burra, this centre of attention is known as the Burra Town Hall.
Located on Market Street, and across the road from beautiful Burra Creek, the Mechanics and Miners Institute was built in 1857. However it didn't take long before the community realised that the building would not meet their growing needs for a central location capable and suitable for gatherings of many.
With a desire to have a more dignified civic centre appropriate for the largest town in the region, a committee set about the enormous task of convincing stakeholders and raising funds, all of which led to the opening of the Burra Institute in 1874 just prior to the extension of the railway line and the opening of the Burra Railway Station.
In 1876 the Corporation of the Town of Burra took up residence in the Chamber Room (later the Civic Room) and remained there for 93 years until their amalgamation with the District Council of Burra Burra in 1969.
During the 20th Century the Burra Town Hall continued to serve the community, particularly during the harder times of war, droughts and depressions. Popular events over the years included the annual Cheer Up Day and various homecomings.
However once the Council left the building in 1969, its regular use started to dwindle. Maintenance expenditure was reduced and this once popular building was starting to look run down. In an effort to ensure this great local icon was not lost forever, the Burra History Group stepped in and arranged for the building to be restored to its former glory.
Today the National Heritage Listed Burra Town Hall serves dual purposes as a function centre and a museum. The large stage and hall continue to provide an ideal spot for community gatherings, weddings or other events, and is available for hire by contacting the website.
Meanwhile, the Burra Town Hall is open daily from 11am to 3pm for viewing, and features a static display of the Town Hall as it used to be in its various lives, as well as numerous photos and other memorabilia from yesteryear. And for a bit of fun, why not dress up in some of the period costume that is available.
I drove through Burra on my way from Broken Hill to Adelaide a couple of years ago now and would dearly have loved to had the time to look around at the history but I was pressed for time. It is obvious I missed much.
Thank you for this article. I know Burra - have a cousin there. Also expect to be driving through at end of August/early September on another journey - Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, and back to Brisbane via Burra and Broken Hill. Hope to visit this place.