Heritage centre opens at Barwon Heads
Local residents and regular visitors to Barwon Heads are being asked to sign up as volunteers at the newly opened Barwon Estuary Heritage Centre. Known to most people as the 'Lobster Pot', the building adjacent to the fishermen's jetty at Barwon Heads has been undergoing renovations for several months. The new centre opened on 26 December.
History heritage and ecology of Barwon Heads and the Bluff area is on display bringing together a diverse collection in an interpretation display. The displays include the aboriginal cultural heritage, marine life, flora and fauna of the Bluff, the mangroves of the Barwon River estuary, geology of the Bluff, and the history since European settlement. The main part of this history covers the shipwrecks that have occurred around the bluff during the mid to late 1800s.
Local history buff and centre volunteer Martin Klabbers has been documenting the history of Barwon Heads for a number of years and much of his work has been the compilation of a huge photograph collection. Martin has copied hundreds of photographs from the family albums of local residents to build up this important photographic catalogue, which tells the history of the town in pictures.
The coolroom, later to become Diver Dan's shed made famous in the ABC television series SeaChange, quickly outgrew the small area and Bev said through the efforts of Barwon Coast the Lobster Pot was earmarked for refurbishment as a heritage centre.
The `Lobster Pot' building Built in 1934,
the building was located in the car park opposite the Barwon Heads Hotel where it was used as a dance hall knonwn as the 'Lobster Pot'. In 1939 it was moved to its present location where the Australian Army used it as a recreation hail during the Second World War. Later it served as a temporary school building and a picture theatre in summer. When the Barwon Heads Parks Committee was formed the building became its offices and works depot. The parks committee later merged with Ocean Grove Foreshore Committee to become Barwon Coast Committee of Management. The building continued its use as a works depot until renovations began in late 2001.