Barton’s heritage signs hit the streets again

BARTON’S historic concrete street signs have been restored and revitalised by local volunteers who braved Canberra’s winter chill to return the signs to their original glory.The works were made possible through an ACT government heritage grant.

A restored sign.

The grant is part of a broader program that the Kingston and Barton Residents Group has embarked upon to restore and document local street furniture.

The concrete pillar signposts with names on embossed aluminium strips, were installed in 1930, however economic depression stopped the completion of the project.

When work resumed in the mid ’30s motorists wanted a taller concrete post with cross arms as it was easier to read. The remaining short, pedestrian-friendly signposts were superseded as Canberra embraced the car.

A concrete sign in Barton before renovation.

KBRG president Rebecca Scouller said the group started with the concrete pillar signposts as they were the most at risk.

Gillian Mitchell, from Conversation Works, conducted the initial repairs, covering the fragile surfaces with lime mortar and trained volunteers in how to complete the final part of the restoration works.

“It was great to see the local community contribute to the restoration work, it gives the work meaning and shows it is part of our living history” said president Scouller.

“The work allowed community members a chance to spruce up the posts, learn some new skills, and get to know each other.”

Signposts took from seven to 10 hours to paint.


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