Our Collection

‘Bills’ horse trough

The Annis and George Bills horse trough at the Blacksmith’s Cottage is a survivor of a series of troughs donated by the estate of Annis and George Bills. When he died in 1927 George Bills left his estate of 80,000 pounds to ‘construct and erect and pay for horse troughs wherever they ………..are desireable for the relief of horses and other dumb animals.” The bequest donated over 500 troughs throughout Australia. They were built during the late 1920’s and 1930’s. No troughs were built after the second world war. The source for this information is the Bacchus Marsh Heritage Guide – Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. 2003 Pg. 28 There are two Bills troughs in Bacchus Marsh, one outside the hotel on the corner of Young and Main Streets and the one in the side garden of the Cottage. This was moved to the grounds of the cottage from Racecourse reserve in 2000. Both troughs are now used as flower beds.  The trough at the cottage is planted with geraniums, lavendar, epiphyllum and santolina. The Bills trough is located in the garden at the side of the cottage and is easily visible from the street. The Blacksmith’s Cottage is open to visitors on a regular basis. Please see the calendar of events for opening dates, times and themes. Entry is...

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Signature Cloth

WORLD WAR 1 SIGNATURE SUPPER CLOTH This hand-embroidered linen supper cloth is an interesting donation which is currently being researched by members of the Blacksmith Cottage and Forge Bookbarn Committee. World War 1 is the common link between the names of  Australian cities, ports, people and objects which have been embroidered skillfully with amazing needle skills on a piece of linen.  The cloth’s origins are unknown however the embroidered name of the S.S.WARILDA stands out as being quite significant out on this supper cloth. The S.S.Warilda was a passenger/cargo ship was built in 1912 by the Adelaide Steam Ship Company for the east and south west coastal trade of Australia in those early years. In 1915 the S.S. Warilda became a transport ship for Australian troops joining the war in Europe. Later in 1916 the Admiralty seconded the ship to become a hospital ship for the U.K. forces. On 3rd August 1918, during one of its trips between Southhampton and Le Havre it was sunk by a German submarine. Some survivors were rescued. Could this ship be a common link? It appears the cloth has names of those who died at war, as well as those that returned, along with names of relatives and perhaps the city/ town/ club where they enlisted. Most names originate in Adelaide particularly the Rose Park area. Of particular interest is an embroidered tennis ball representing a church tennis club which had 6 members who were enlisted service men. Their names are listed on the cloth. More research is being undertaken to find out more about the cloth and the names embroidered on it. The cloth can be viewed at the Blacksmith Cottage when it is next open to the public on Sunday 19th January from 10am – 4pm.   Entry is...

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Marshman Music Master Radio

The Marshman Music Master radios are not from Mars; they are from the ‘Marsh – Bacchus Marsh. We have a Marshman Music Master radio as part of our static display within the Blacksmith’s Cottage. The Marshman has a beautifully styled small box shape with a Bakelite base and camel coloured leatherette case. The glass window displays the intricate “map” of the radio stations of the 1940s. In its day the Marshman was the centrepiece in the sitting room, lounge or kitchen. Unlike the cabinet radios of the previous decades, the Marshman was a portable radio. The Marshman was designed and manufactured at 132 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh, where local people were employed; initially in the shared shop front and then, when the Marshman’s popularity increased, they were manufactured in a factory built at the rear of 132 Main Street by the Arbee Supply Co. of Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. From about 1945 to 1949, nearly 4000 Marshman radios were manufactured at this site. The founder of the company was Robert Butler (Bob) hence the name Arbee. Arbee ceased Marshman manufacture when radios became more readily available. Arbee then became the agents for STC (Standard Telephones and Cables) and eventually sold and serviced the whole range of STC products including the increasingly popular Television sets. There were three basic types of Marshmans – a 4-valve reflex, a 5-valve MW and 5-valve MW and SW. The 4-valve set came in two styles, a timber case and leatherette...

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Opening Times

Forge Bookbarn
Fridays 12-4
Saturdays 10-2
Sundays 12-4

Blacksmith's Cottage
See our 2016 Calendar of Events

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