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New home found

Tuesday, 29th November, 2016

Pieces of the old merry go round are set to be the centre of the exhibit. Pieces of the old merry go round are set to be the centre of the exhibit.

By Daniel Stringer

The memorabilia from the iconic era of the Johns Brothers has found a new home and will soon be on display for all to see. 

Ernie and Percy Johns operated the Palais De Danse in Broken Hill, which became a local institution, for over 40 years. After the Palais was closed back in the late 60s, everything was moved into storage, where it stayed until it was recently unearthed.

Lorelle Emmett is the daughter of Ernie Johns and she and her husband Ken had been running a furniture store in the same building that once housed the skating rink and fun park.

After the store was closed earlier this year all the souvenirs from the bygone era were once again revealed and in an attempt to find a new home to display the memorabilia, Lorelle invited local museums to come take a look for themselves.

“Over the last few months we have been very pleased with the amount of people who have come through,” said Lorelle Emmett

“It has been lovely to get the stories from people who can remember going there in their childhood,” she said. 

In the end, it was the Sulphide Railway and Historical Museum who answered the call and preparations are already underway to open the exhibit to the public.

A new shed will be built to house the exhibit and the Railway Museum are now asking for the community’s support to help them fund the project.

“We are looking at around $80,000 to build the shed and complete all the works,” said museum curator, Christine Adams. 

“We need as many donations as we can get, because we can’t allow these historical items to leave the city,” Mrs Adams said.

“This is an opportunity for the Broken Hill community to say we want this saved and yes we will help,” she said. 

Iconic items such as the merry go round and other sideshow attractions will be the centre of the exhibit. 

Work will begin once the museum completes its current projects and it is expected the exhibit will be open by the end of 2017.

Donations can be made to the cause by getting in contact with members of the Railway Museum Trust.

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