Amiens Legacy Centre
Below is information about some of the features that make up the Amiens Legacy Centre.
The stone sign
As with many of the Granite Belt's balancing rocks, the Amiens Legacy Centre sign balances entrancingly to announce your arrival. The official entrance is 50m further down on your left, and leads to a parking area, but this sign is the first thing you'll see as you turn that last corner where Amiens Rd changes its name to Goldfield's Rd. Lifted into place by the Amiens History Group's own stonemason, Alec Harslett, these stone signs are a lasting tribute to the granite rock formations that shape the area known as the Granite Belt.
The Railway Carriage
Lovingly restored, this 1909 railway carriage sits atop newly laid railway line as an indicative symbol and tribute to the site that was the Amiens Railway Precinct in the days of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme. What seemed like an unending, dauntless task, took just over twelve months and couldn't have been completed without the input and assistance of over 100 volunteers who joined the project at various times. The result, is a beautiful tribute to not only the returned soldiers' era, but also to those men who worked for Qld Rail on the Amiens-Cottonvale branch line, who served overseas and never returned. The decor is "fit for a Prince" in honour the 1920 visit by the Prince of Wales to open the Branch Line from Cottonvale to Amiens servicing the emerging Soldier Settlement.
Housed within the carriage are stories, artefacts, photographs and memorabilia telling the story of the Branch Line and the connections of the sidings along this line with the battlefields of the Western Front that share their name. A visit to the carriage is a must-do for both railway and WWI enthusiasts.
The Passchendaele Shed
Betraying its origins in its name, the Passchendaele Shed started life as a forestry barracks building in the Passchendaele State Forest. Surplus to needs, she became available for the Amiens History Association to purchase and relocate. The building now enjoys a second life, serving initially as a meeting room for the group and a room where historical talks could be conducted. With the construction of the Amiens Resource Centre, the Passchendaele Shed is now a space for storage and curation of the ever-growing Amiens Legacy Collection.
The 26th July 2020 marked the official unveiling by Mayor Vic Pennisi of a significant art work at the Amiens Legacy Centre. ‘Forging A Future After The Trenches,’ is an original monochromatic painting by local artist Franco Arcidiacono. The mural draws the viewer’s eye and gives one a glimpse into the life of a soldier settler and his family. As with most Western literature, the story unfolds by following the painting from the left to the right. It depicts the ex-soldiers past, present and future and is a wonderful viewing and talking point.
Art and Craft
Over the years, many artists and artisans have donated their time and talents to the Amiens History Association. From handmade quilts to paintings, stained-glass windows to topiaried gardens, granite sculptures to cross-stitch masterpieces the Amiens Legacy Centre is as much an eclectic art and craft gallery as it is a historical precinct.
In September 2019 the Amiens City Council, France voted to build a bridge as an access to the Jardin de Plantes . The idea of a bridge is to act as a useful device as well as a monument and the French Bailey Bridge is donated by the Royal Australian Army Corps of Engineers. It recalls the Battle of Cerisy on 8 August 1918 when Australian Engineers built a bridge, which was crucial to the outcome of the battle. The bridge has been named “The Bridge of Friendship Between Australia and France”. For more on the story surrounding the creation of the Memorial Bailey Bridge and the story behind the Sappers whom it memorialises, CLICK HERE.
A twin bridge has been constructed in ANZAC Park in Toowong, Brisbane. Our Bailey 'look-alike' Bridge is installed at the Amiens Legacy Centre to allow pedestrians access to the centre from the carpark evoking its intention as both a monument and a useful device and we welcome all who cross her.
Bailey Bridges did not come into use until long after WWI, however the concept of a demountable bridge was used by allied troops on the Western Front using a design by Charles Inglis, known as the Inglis Pyramid Bridge.
Stanthorpe - A Tin Town
2022 was the 150th Anniversary of the creation of the township of Stanthorpe and as such, to many events and tributes to the mineral that put this area on the map. Tin was mined in the creeks and gullies surrounding Amiens before, during and after the area became the Pikedale Soldier Settlement. Cassiterite can still be found if you know where to look.
Panning in the gully that flows under the Bailey Bridge has become a popular part of the ALC guided tour and volunteers of the organisation get great enjoyment making tin jewellery and trinkets. These souvenirs are available for viewing and purchase in the ALC Gift Shop.
The Amiens Resource Centre (ARC)
Completed in 2023, the Amiens Resource Centre was built to house the growing Amiens Legacy Collection in a weatherproof, purpose-built space. It has given the members of the Amiens History Association the opportunity to reassess and curate their exhibits and to expand the scope of the Amiens Legacy to include important local stories such as the First Nations Kambuwal People, the Pastoralists, Post-War Migrants as well as expanding on the Railway and Soldier Settler stories that formed the original core of the organisation.
Experimental Indigenous Garden
During the era of Soldier Settlement, the Amiens village had a government run Experimental Farm as a place where returned servicemen and women and their families could go to learn skills for their new farming ventures. In an ode to this and in respect and honour of our First Nation history, the Amiens Legacy Centre has created a garden of indigenous plants that were used in some way by First Nations people. Many of these have yet to be fully explored as to their unique properties, thus this is an Experimental Farm for 21st century Amiens.