Calls to restore Morpeth’s railway station are growing louder.
Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison met with concerned local residents, businesses and community groups at the station yesterday to call on the NSW Government to do something about the deteriorating state of the historic building.
Soil Conservation Service within Local Land Services is using part of the building however it has fallen into a state of disrepair and the Morpeth Business Chamber ‘It Must Be Morpeth’ and the Maitland Heritage Conservation Group are keen to see the landmark building restored and used for tourism and heritage promotion activities.
The locals say the restoration of a new anchor attraction in Morpeth would enhance work already being undertaken by Maitland City Council with state government funding to provide a walkway from Morpeth to Walka Waterworks.
Jenny Aitchison said under this Government it has been left to rack and ruin.
“It’s basically the start of a walkway that’s planned to go through that area and the local waterworks and all you see when you go down there is a very old derelict yard, with lots of graffiti around on buildings nearby and in fact when we were at the station we saw there was a broken window so people have been trying to get into the building, there’s paint flaking off the walls, it’s just in a disgraceful state of disrepair,” she said.
“The business chamber has some ideas about using it for a commercial space to drive some tourism and economic recovery in the region which is really important because Morpeth is a great heritage town.”
The station ceased to be used in 1953 and was a big part of the Hunter’s economic growth with materials being sent up and down the Hunter River.
“The conservation and heritage group are concerned because it’s part of our history that needs to be preserved,” said Jenny Aitchison.
“It’s part of the Maitland’s heritage past and particularly for Morpeth its on the main street, its something that connects the river and the history of the town.”
“Upgrading the station will make a huge difference to Morpeth’s tourism with the state government already providing funding to Council to do a walkway that starts right three, it would just be such a shame if people have to start a heritage walk at a derelict station,” she said.
2021 is the bicentenary of European settlement in Morpeth and heritage groups want to see the building restored to its former glory.