See past in present Sunday


'Past and Present' by Judy Robertson won Riverdale's photography competition and features on its Heritage Fair poster for the April 23 event.

'Past and Present' by Judy Robertson won Riverdale's photography competition and features on its Heritage Fair poster for the April 23 event.

We treasure the past and admire the fortitude and sheer grit of the people who built Goulburn. Can you imagine having to wear – and wash, even – all those clothes. Those children having so much on, they wouldn’t have been able to run the way kids do now; and Dad or Grandpa must have been so hot wearing a thick jacket.


Judy Robertson picked up on nostalgia with her prize-winning photo. She and other volunteers also make old-fashioned preserves in our kitchen, to sell at the Heritage Fair on Sunday, April 23. Her Goulburn Show prize-winning plum jelly was made using plums from a tree planted by Edward Twynam, whose family was in occupation for nearly 100 years; the medlar products from a tree planted by original Inn owner Ann Richards in the 1840s. Lois Thornborough and Margaret Perrin run the vegetable garden where the produce – rhubarb, jam melons, tomatoes et cetera – are grown almost exactly as Twynam probably did back in the day. He was a keen vegetable grower. We have a photo of him sitting under the medlar admiring his bean wigwams.


We are passionate about the National Trust’s bid to save our past for future generations, and of course Judy’s photo catches that perfectly, with the people of the past looking at the Riversdale Garden plant stall, run by some avid volunteer gardeners selling Riversdale plants to raise money to help preserve this amazing property. The general entry fee goes towards this as well. Incidentally, we try as much as possible to run the garden using old-style know-how and methods. How did they manage for watering, though?


Perhaps plain old fun isn’t clear in Judy’s photo, although the people you can see look quite happy. But I promise you, Sandi Bell and Carol James are huddled together, cooking up fun things for the kids to do and some great old-fashioned fun for everyone, such as the tug of war. They really knew how to enjoy themselves in the old days: no sitting on the couch watching telly … and while we can’t have the Antiques Roadshow on site, we have a similar service happening, so bring along your small items for valuation. You’ll love the market stalls, lots of bric a brac and lots of handcrafted things and lots of good old-fashioned food: hot pies handmade by Dawn Giles, beautiful fresh homestyle cakes, and lovely local wines for sale.


Through the house, three exhibitions on show: some amazing handmade lace, a Twynam family exhibition, and it’s the last chance to vote for people’s choice in the photo comp. House entry is included in the gate entry fee .

  • Riversdale is at 2 Twynam Drive. Phone 4821 4741. Open Mon-Tue-Thu, 10am-2pm; Sun, 10am-3pm.