The third Barossa History Fair has been hailed a huge success with a strong response being shown across the two day programme in Angaston over the weekend.
More than 400 people attended the Angaston Town Hall with key Angaston locations including the Angaston History Centre, Blacksmith Shop, Barossa Machinery Preservation Society Machinery Shed and Barossa Adventure Station also popular.
Co-convenors, Dr Bill Gransbury and Chris Murphy said the event will return to Angaston next year and sets the scene to run the alternate year to the Barossa Vintage Festival.
“We were really pleased with the response and with all the things that we did,” said Dr Gransbury.
He noted the support from volunteers to help make the event as Barossa heritage was in the spotlight.
Among the highlights was a Saturday brunch at Wanera where Keith Conlon, Greg Mackie and Jon Durdin focused on the latest trends, ideas and opportunities of heritage tourism and how the Barossa can benefit.
Dr Gransbury said this regional connection event was an outstanding success and there was some great messaging to come from it.
“Jon was exceptional, he’s got vision and appreciates a broad range of history including our indigenous history,” said Chris.
Dr Gransbury adds, “He expressed himself well and saw links with history tourism and the importance of connecting.”
The duo also acknowledged the contribution made by Keith Conlon, who also spent time in Angaston exploring the town and the displays.
Speaker sessions in the Angaston Town Hall annexe also proved to be popular as Vic Patrick, Chairman of Wine Grape Grower’s Australia; Hamish Seabrook, Seabrook Wines and Robert Hill Smith, chairman of Yalumba held a panel discussion about the changes in the wine industry.
Ghosts of Barossa, which was conducted by Allen Tiller, was fully booked with the concluding session by Bob Sampson, executive officer at the National Railway Museum, on the rural rail lines of South Australia also attracting interest.
Vice-president of the Angaston and Penrice Historical Society, Rebecca Bolton, also said the event was well attended.
She noted the interest of people beyond the Barossa, who sought more detail on heritage in the area and of others who were keen to gain a greater understanding of the region.
“Chris and Bill were the instigators of it and through their enthusiasm they drew in the support of Barossa Libraries, Barossa Heritage Network and a number of volunteers with the Angaston and Penrice Historical Society as host and garnered a lot of extra support of people who are enthusiastic about the history of the region,” said Rebecca.
Regional Heritage Network president, Paula Bartsch praised the weekend concept and noted the benefits it not only provided to the community and visitors but also the 20 history groups who are part of the region.