Our Story: Friends of the Burra Railway Station
The story of the Burra Railway Station begins in 1870 and the below photo was taken in 1904.
As a bustling regional station it saw the carriage of goods and people to and from Adelaide, stopping at many stations in between.
It waved farewell with bands and cheering to the soldiers of the Great War and was the solemn receiver of many a returning lad who had survived.
Sadly this was repeated when the 2nd World War arrived and the "Burra Boys" answered the call to arms again, many to never return.
The stories over the years that the Burra Station has seen, are too numerous to retell here.
They are all wonderfully recalled in the book compiled by Meredith Satchell, "Stories From the Burra Railway Station 1870-2021" which is fully illustrated with many photos from across the years.
This is available to purchase from the Burra Railway Station and the printer: https://www.openbookhowden.com.au/
After the sad closing of the regional rail system in 1986, the Burra Railway Station fell into disrepair and was a wrecked shell of a building, full of pigeon droppings, salt damp, white ants and rubbish. Floors and woodwork were eaten away and holes in the roof had all but guaranteed the building would soon need to be demolished.
After meetings and much discussion, the Friends of the Burra Railway Station was formed in 2014 and so began their long journey into saving the crumbling ruin.
This was the start of endless fundraising and letter writing and thanks to the generous support and financial assistance from both Premiers, Mike Rann and Jay Weatherall, the restoration was underway! Despite the overwhelming project in front of them, the Friends of the Burra Railway Station, ably led by Meredith Satchell, valiantly fought to restore the once beautiful building that was such a large part of the Burra history.
Enter our Heritage Hero, Roy Taplin, who almost single-handedly restored the crumbling Burra Town Hall and then turned his skill and attention to the Burra Railway Station and the 1917 Dining Car, Edie.
A Master Painter and Decorator by trade, Roy brought his experience, skills and patience to transforming and rebuilding the derelict shell of a station.
Looking at the before and after photos still brings a sense of awe at what he was able to achieve.
Sadly we lost Roy only weeks before his beloved dining carriage, Edie, was finally completed.
Vale Roy Taplin, 1936 - 9 July 2023, we owe you so much!