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"I'm a NSW surfer from way back. Now I sit on my veranda and look out at the ranges around Black Rock - and I'm still looking at waves. Only they're big and red and old. It's static surf!"

Bud Stephenson, artist, Black Rock Gallery

The Locals

Remarkable People Telling Amazing Stories

The people of Peterborough fondly remember the glory days of the mighty Garratt engines and the plucky T Class locos. But today their talents and energies extend to other pursuits – creating art, fostering community and cherishing the past for future generations…

Mary Zimmerman and Meldonfield: Mary’s husband Eldon built a scale model of the lovely old Peterborough station, bulldozed in the 1960s. Amazingly, he cut every stone block, carved every timber post and rolled every piece of tin from the remains of the actual building. Inspect his two-tonne labour of love downstairs in the YMCA.

Ruth Whittle and the Federation Quilt: Ruth narrates the story of the Federation Quilt on display in the 1920s Town Hall the biggest in regional SA. Be sure also to inspect the immense Hall, a space of timber, gild and velvet… 

Members of The Papier-Mâché and Wireworks Group: the old railway goods shed is now a gallery filled with life-sized people, animals and fantasy figures. Members teach people how to form them from paper, glue and chicken wire (donated by local farmers!). The striking creations can also be found populating spaces around town and beyond…

The Peterborough History Group and the ghosts of ‘inkies’ past in the abandoned printer’s workshop: in the year 2000, the owner of this 100-year-old business simply walked away from it. He left historic presses (which printed the Petersburg Times for decades), trays of ‘hot metal’ type and tens of thousands of documented jobs exactly as you see them today... (Click here for a recent article from the ABC.)

Chris Woodman and his rabbit-catcher father: local historian (and newsagent) Chris is a fount of information and well recalls the industry of his father. Woodman senior can be seen in an evocative photographic portrait on display upstairs in the YMCA building.  In the same area is another photo of the result of a night’s shooting which netted 365 pair of rabbits for local shooter Doug Evans (730 rabbits) in a 14-hour shift. Doug is the husband of Judy Evans, Secretary of the Peterborough History Group.  Rabbit trapping and shooting was a popular and necessary industry in country areas until the release of the calicivirus. 

Andrew ‘Percy’ Mercer and why Wednesday counts: buy your joint of fabulous local meat from local butcher Percy on a Wednesday and he’ll happily cook it for you at no cost!

Phil White and his 1923 cinema café, Café 229: homemade cakes and pies are served with a huge dollop of nostalgia in the old Capitol Theatre. Note the sloping floor (for rolling Jaffas) projection room above the gallery, and Willys Jeep parked in front of the stage!

Bud Stephenson and the Black Rock Art Gallery: Bud lives and paints in a beautifully restored building, formally the pub of a village that was left for dead by the demise of the railway. “What I paint, I hang on the wall. And if people buy it – well that’s great!”

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Peterborough Tourism
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Peterborough SA 5422
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