According to Google the “Wingham Advancement Group Inc is a not-for-profit community organisation dedicated to making Wingham, New South Wales in Australia, a better place for our community and visitors.”
WAG was founded on 5th June 2000.
It has given Wingham the dreaded bedpan waterfall amongst other “beautifications” unsuited to a heritage village. It decided free overnight camping at the small Riverside Park area was a good idea which has been a disaster. And unnecessary. The showground has amenities and facilities the riverside does not. (Whether there are spaces available or not is sadly, a sign of the times.)
The latest doozy someone has contemplated for Wingham is a planned mural for the toilet block in the Central Park of what appears to be vicious snapping turtles by the evil look in their eye. Whatever artistic merit aside, it has been pointed out that even if it is supposed to be the Manning River Helmeted Turtle (Purvis’ Turtle) that species does not appear at The Brush or in the estuary as it is exclusively a freshwater species.
Many locals feel this toilet block should not be adorned with murals. The toilet block quietly reflects and, most importantly, does not deflect or detract from the surrounding heritage buildings and the centrality of the town square.
There were proposals to paint this toilet block in gaudy hippie-style colours and patterns a la Nimbin, shortly after it was constructed, but locals, opposed it for the same reasons.
The much touted Wingham “beautification” plan by Council is a pretty pathetic effort it seems. Visit other heritage towns and you see large shady trees, immaculately restored heritage buildings, shops and cafes that reflect the town’s olde worlde appeal.
Wingham has lost Flett’s cottage, the Stationmaster’s Cottage, the wonderful railway Goods Shed, the grand Emporium, The Wingham Hotel with its magnificent Cobb and Co stables, to name a few.
Heritage homes are knocked down to build “modern” boring boxes. Thank goodness the beautiful old home at the Bungay roundabout is being privately restored. We need to save many others.
Wingham could be so much more. But it needs professional guidance, not amateurs even if well intentioned.