Local histories generally tend to focus on the movers and shakers of the community – the sportspeople, the church; schools, civic leaders; business people; early settlers and wealthy landowners. Mention is rarely made of the labourers or the working classes because they didn’t have the means to record and preserve their stories. Many couldn’t read or write and couldn’t afford to have their photos taken when visiting photographers hit town.
Inspired by Gun Alley resident and society member Ruby Kwijas, Gun Alley: The Forgotten Story of Lilydale’s Back Streets 1880 to Today aims to change all that. From just two photographs of John Street and two stories, the project has added more than 200 images and dozens of stories of families to the society’s archives. Through Gun Alley, the society has ensured their contribution and their stories will never be forgotten by future generations.
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