BELLA VISTA FARM IN LOCKDOWN

Friends of the farm have been caring for the sheep, weeding and tending the extensive gardens and carrying out essential maintenance.

The farmhouse has been given a facelift by painters experienced in heritage restoration and the safety rails to the upper storey verandahs have been heightened, completing conservation work commenced by The Hills Shire Council in 2019.

Dennis Willcox, whose family owned the now-demolished Severn Vale Farm, Kellyville donated two cast iron stoves – a Bega now installed in the old shop and a Wellstood in the original kitchen. Also donated by the Willcox family are a chiffonier which graces the drawing room, a hall stand and a sideboard. After much elbow grease, the Friends have restored them all to their former glory.

President Graham Rawstron, Vice President Heritage Sharon Rawstron and Treasurer Carolyn Gould successfully applied for two grants which were awarded in March – a State Government Community Building Partnership Program Grant, to help fund the restoration of the Carriage Room in the Coach House and a Hills Shire Council Community Grant to continue work on the gardens.

In May, Graham conducted an inspection with a view to discus s Council’s proposed Works Program for the Farm Buildings. Research by Friends about the people who lived and worked at Bella Vista is ongoing. Everything is moving forward to welcome visitors again.

Open Days (1st Sunday of the month) will resume once lockdown has been lifted.

Friends of Bella Vista Farm would like to meet anyone who has an interest in history and wants to serve the community and would like to become a Friend. Check out www.thehills.nsw.gov.au or send enquiries to friends.bellavistafarm@gmail.com for more information.

Read this “Three Treats for this Winter” story