IT has taken a long time and a great deal of pleading from both the public and Lithgow City Council but railway authorities have finally acted to protect the heritage listed Station Master’s Residence at the Bowenfels railway precinct.
And the result is a pleasing one.
Contractors engaged by RailCorp in recent weeks have demolished more recent additions to the 1869 landmark building on Cooerwull Road and have tidied up unsightly aspects of the surroundings.
A neat manproof fence — at least as neat as a manproof fence can be — has been erected around the entire perimeter of the residence and the striking sandstone structure is now floodlit on all sides at night.
Residents are impressed with the result.
Unfortunately the protective action has come too late to save the original interior and windows, including 19th century leadlight, which have been previously damaged by vandals.
Vandals and squatters have shamelessly targeted the building since the Warburton family closed their upmarket Caddies restaurant and moved to the Northern Territory.
Up to that time Caddies was one of the region’s most popular a la carte dining venues with a reputation for ambience as much as for its fine food.
Council has been pressing RailCorp for some time to take preventative measures.
In more recent times RailCorp rejected an offer from a local businessman interested in taking over the premises as a residence in exchange for carrying out restoration work.
Council is now hopeful similar work promised for the adjacent Bowenfels railway station will soon become a reality.