Archive for the ‘Buildings’ Category

The Bega Agricultural and Pastoral Society held its first Show on 15 February 1872 in the Bega School of Arts building in Carp Street. Two nearby paddocks owned by John Jauncey were also used to show stock animals. Over the next few years the Show was held at Annie White’s Victoria Inn in Auckland Street and from 1876 to 1886 Shows were held at the Market Reserve (now Bega Park and swimming pool).

On 29 September 1886 the Government Gazette published a dedication of the present Bega Showground, resuming eight acres, three roods of the Market Reserve. The current pavilion was officially opened for the 1905 Bega Show on 1st and 2nd March with both days (Wednesday and Thursday) declared as public holidays. The pavilion cost £1,700 and was designed by architect Robert Wallace Thatcher from Manchester. Local builder William Manning carried out the construction.

Bega Showground Pavilion, 1900s. Bega Valley Shire Library collection 008-00086

Bega Showground Pavilion, 1900s. Bega Valley Shire Library collection 008-00086

Source: History of the Bega Show by Margaret Evans, 1998.


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Despite the fact that the government department responsible had decided to erect a post and telegraph building in Eden in 1885, there were conflicting opinions about the best site. 

Eden Post Office

Eventually though the building went ahead on the corner of Mitchell and Imlay Streets. According to the “Eden Post Office History”  produced by the Historical Officer, Australia Post, this building was first occupied in 1891. 

Additions to the building were made over the next 10 years or so.

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Advertisement, Bega Standard 18 Feb. 1921

This advertisement appeared in the Bega Standard of Friday 18 February 1921.  

The Bega Picture Palace opened in 1910 as an open air picture theatre and was initiated by a syndicate of townsmen.  Movies were shown on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Doors opened at 7.30pm with the overture at 8pm.

However, the cold winter air obviously proved too much for the locals as in April of 1911 the Picture Palace management negotiated with the  School of Arts committee to pay 35 pounds for the use of their hall for four months.  The winter indoor arrangement meant that the “dews cease from troubling and the fog does not rest.” (Bega Standard, 2 May 1911)

Apart from a temporary break in operations in 1919 due to the influenza epidemic, and a change in name in March 1930 to the Lyric Theatre, the Picture Palace operated in Bega until 1936.

(Thanks to Pat Raymond, Bega Valley Genealogy Society for her research.)

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Building Bega

With the start of the Woolworths development imminent in Bega, I thought it appropriate to share this photo of the building of the current Bega Valley Shire Council building in Zingel Place, Bega.

This photo was taken in July 1987 and the official opening of the administration, library and art gallery complex took place on Saturday 23 July 1988.

Construction of Bega Valley Shire Council complex.

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