The primary activity of the group is the restoration and maintenance of the historic Birregurra Railway Station. Since 1995, society members, supported by funding grants and employment training schemes, have made major repairs to the station building and continue to restore and maintain it and the station grounds. Open days and displays are held at the station.
Society members undertake research and record local rail history. Occasional bus trips are organised to view the remains of local rail lines.New members are welcome to join and wider community support is sought.
History and train enthusiasts may be interested in an upcoming 2017 Christmas in July heritage train ride and dinner.
The historic Birregurra Railway Station was constructed of Portarlington brick in 1877, with brick extensions added around 1890. It has a veranda along the passenger platform supported by cast iron posts, french doors and open fire places. Restoration works have been carried out over the past two decades and are ongoing.
Travel there and back by 1930 vintage Diesel Electric Rail Motor (DERM) from Melbourne and enjoy over three hours at Birregurra Station. Relax in front of warming open fires while you enjoy a two course hot dinner with drinks.
The DERM will depart from Southern Cross station picking up at stops along the way. Enjoy cruising through the pleasant countryside surrounded by the polished interior woodwork and the sound of a quaint 85 year old rail motor humming its way back in time to Birregurra.
Two scheduled V/Line passenger trains will pause at the platform during the day with their passengers able to gaze in envy while you enjoy your meal.
You will have a relaxing evening ride home without having to be concerned about driving.
You must advise if you wish to be picked up or set down at Newport, Lara or maybe Waurn Ponds, otherwise the DERM will only stop at Southern Cross and Geelong stations.
$144 for adults...$139 concession...under 16 $130. For further information phone Michael Menzies on 0419 546 251, preferably between 7.00pm and 9.30pm weeknights or email@example.com
The Grovedale station which was on the west side of Torquay Road had a platform on the south side of the tracks. This station was originally on the east side of Torquay Road but was shifted in 1913 to the west side of the crossing. It was named Germantown when it opened but was changed to Grovedale in 1916 when the suburb of the same name was changed during World War I. The station opened on 25 November 1876 and closed on 1 January 1954. The railway gates were closed at midnight and it was necessary to get the station master out of bed to get them opened.
The station also served as the local post office. When the station closed the post office shifted to a private house. Mrs Parrott operated the post office in the 1960s when it shifted to 291 Torquay Road. It was open in the mornings only and operated from a window which was opened when customers arrived. The first mail deliveries were made in the 1960s in a car. The post office then shifted to a shop in Peter Street and was operated by Des Coughlin.
The first post office at Grovedale was the Germantown Post Office situated at the store attached to Benari's Germantown Hotel on the east side of Torquay Road. Albert Benari was the postmaster from the time it opened on 20 January 1860 until his death on 27 May 1886.
A railway station in Boundary Road, east of Ghazepore Road, called Duneed was in the vicinity of the new Waurn Ponds station. This station opened on 25th November, 1876 and closed on 1st January, 1921.
Until the Marshalltown Post Office was closed on 30 June 1979, it was reputed to be Victoria's smallest post office. At 6 feet 6 inches square it had stood on the Marshall station platform since 1873 until the station closed in 1953. It was then shifted across the road to the front yard of a former Victorian Railways residence that was once the station master's home. Mrs Elsie Taylor, the last post mistress and her husband Angus, who was a foreman at the VR works depot at Spotwswood donated the building to the Bellarine Railway. The little building was taken on a trailer to the Drysdale station on Saturday 19 April, 1980. It was placed on the platform and became the booking office when the tourist railway began operating. In 1989 when a replice station building was completed at Drysdale it was moved to Lakers Siding.
When the Geelong Harbor Trust was constituted in 1908 it took over a farm of 1077 acres. The trust's operation of the farm was always subject to criticism, and when the trust was reconstituted in October, 1933 the new commissioners decided to relinquish control of this land. The farm, being a Crown grant, reverted to the Lands Department and was disposed of at a Government land sale. The trust was credited with the amount of the sale, at the upset price of £10,500. On 9 December 1936 this land was sold to WH Bailey of Woodside Buangor. The improvements included a substantial residence.
A clearing sale of bloodstock was held on 1 March 1944 under instructions of WH Bailey and also the trustees of the estate of his father Stephen Bailey, who had died on 18 October 1943 at Suma Park, Queenscliff. Top price paid was for "Much to Say", a brown mare, bought by Mr McMeekin of Geelong for 205 guineas. "Patricia Lorraine", a brown mare, went to Mr PM Darcy of Birregurra for 67 guineas.
In 1955 the property was sold to CO Lorimer for £70,000. In 1964 it was again sold to the Perkins family partnership, Sparrovale Pastoral Company.
It was planned that an area of 3.7 hectares would be acquired for a 22 metre wide drainage channel and a weir with removable drop boards to temporarily drain water from the Armstrong Creek East Precinct until it can be replaced by future wetlands.
It is now thought that a large wetland system to protect against flooding in Armstrong Creek will be needed. This will abut the Ramsar listed wetlands. More than 500 hectares will be required to create the wetland before housing can begin in the "Horshoe Bend" precinct. These wetlands are to be known as Sparrovale.
The old bluestone school at Modewarre is just up the Cape Otway Road near the corner of Considines Road. On the opposite corner of Considines and Batsons Roads Henry Lawrence operated a store and post office from 1861 which he upgraded in bluestone in 1864. The store was replaced by Lawrence's son, George, in about 1900, after the earlier building had been destroyed by fire in 1899. This building survives at Modewarre today.
Together They Served
Torquay Museum Without Walls
Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria
Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
Surf Coast Early Schools
Barwon Heads History