The Saint: Train trek remembers Thomas Mort’s ice age

WALK THROUGH HISTORY: Mayor Stephen Lesslie and relatives of businessman Thomas Mort, politician Augustus Morris and engineer Eugene Nicolle walked to a picnic at Hoskins Church. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.
WALK THROUGH HISTORY: Mayor Stephen Lesslie and relatives of businessman Thomas Mort, politician Augustus Morris and engineer Eugene Nicolle walked to a picnic at Hoskins Church. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.

IT was quite a spectacle that puzzled shoppers in Lithgow’s Main Street on Saturday. A large group of people who had arrived by chartered diesel train poured out of the railway interchange into the street, led by Mayor Stephen Lesslie in official robes.  

The visitors were descendants and extended family of one of Lithgow’s most historically important industrial figures, Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, and his associates who in 1875 perfected a means of freezing food for long term preservation. (Think Morts Estate, Mort Street, Sutcliffe Street). 

No longer a secret

ALL can now be revealed. The work that has intrigued passers by at the old Theatre Royal milk bar in Lithgow is now well advanced and is set to become what the owners describe as a high class art gallery and associated coffee outlet – ideally located for tourists stopping off at QE Park across the road.

It will be operated by Kanimbla resident Sharon Howard who with husband Ross purchased the once popular milk bar some years ago.  At the other end of town one of the nation’s busiest McDonalds outlets is also getting a major makeover as part of the already impressive redevelopment of Dunns Corner.

Dodging the issue

REASONS being offered in the Mercury last week about why Lithgow was never seriously considered for a new regional rail maintenance depot can be raesonably described as shallow. 

Dubbo got the nod despite having only one passenger rail service a day (the XPT). It was Dubbo’s good fortune but don’t pretend the decision was anything more than a political expedience and a local Member with a great deal of influence.

A little TLC

WHEN the long delayed tizzying of the Lithgow CBD finally gets under way hopefully a little funding can be found for some significant greening to soften the east end of Main Street. Down at street level exist some of Lithgow’s most popular shops but above the awnings many of the facades create a particularly bleak and uninspiring image for that part of town. It needs to be pointed out that most of the properties are owned by out of town landlords.

Over the rainbow

THE decision by Blue Mountains Council to fly the ‘rainbow flag’ outside the council chambers is raising a few eyebrows among our neighbours. Declaring ‘community’ support on this divisive issue of same sex marriage on the vote of just a few councillors clearly appears to many to be outside the accepted role of local government. Interesting times we live in indeed.