Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Clifton School of Arts

                                     Clifton School of Arts

My friend and I went for a road trip on Sunday down the coast to Wollongong.  It was beautiful driving through the National Park, the vegetation was quite tropical.


We stopped at an old mining town on the coast called Clifton, near Scarborough, which you can see on the map above, and spent some time at the School of Arts art gallery.
Coal was discovered at Clifton in 1797 and the first mine opened in 1878 with 73 miners.  By 1884 there were 150 miners and they and their families all lived in Clifton.
Fairly early on in 1880 the original School of Arts was established.  It burned down unfortunately, so in 1910 the current building (above sketch) was built.  The miners were on strike at that time and they provided the labour, the mining company provided the land and £100 was raised by public subscription.  This building has four rooms over two stories and included a library, a reading room, a billiard room and a store.  They had planned on having a large hall built behind this building but that didn't happen.
The School of Arts had different occupants and uses over time.  At the end of the 20th century there was worry it would be torn down, as it had deteriorated.  A committee was formed and fund raising and lobbying for restoration began.  It looks great now and the exhibition we saw there in Sunday was terrific.


It was fun sketching this but my pen line was even more jiggly than usual in the car roaring down the hills.

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