Steinbook Hall has a new stone wall feature, thanks to the handiwork of one local resident.
When Colleen Burke from the Steinbrook Progress Association contacted her neighbour Dick Rochford, they were after tips about improving the grounds for upcoming weddings and functions.
Specifically they were thinking about plants, but instead would end up with something far more impressive.
While Mr Rochford is a garlic farmer, and former high school careers advisor, he is also competent at constructing stone walls.
"When Dick attended we were met by wedding planners Desley and Sharon who advised us that a flat level area of ground in front of the hall would be ideal for photos," Colleen said.
"The plants were then forgotten and next thing Dick's building us a stone wall."
After many discussions among members, regarding size, colour and shape of the rocks, plus materials Dick would need to construct the wall, rocks were collected by members, and volunteers were at the site along with cement and sand.
Colleen said it took approximately six weeks to complete it to the stage that the wall was completed and ready to be backfilled with soil.
"Association members arranged a meeting with Dick and over a cuppa on the verandah at the hall, he told us how he learnt his craft.
He explained that as a young lad growing up in Ireland, it was his job to repair the holes in the rock walls on his family's property.
Dick and his wife Dora arrived in Australia in 1975 making their way to Tenterfield in 1984.
After moving to their property on Geyers Road, Dick again took up his hobby of rock wall building, erecting a blacksmith's stop, a round house, arches and of course retaining walls.
Their latest adventure was the purchase of the property south of town known as Hiawatha where, on show is his latest statement piece the stunning rock gateway to their property.
"Steinbrook Progress Association members are so grateful and proud of the beautiful rock wall," Colleen said. "We are also pleased and encouraged by everything we have achieved since we made the decision to restore the old hall to its former glory and then some."
Other improvements have included a septic system, covered barbecue area, cement pathways, new steps, a lovely sunny verandah, a new kitchen, a rebuilt fireplace and chimney, corrugated iron shutters, a restumped tallowwood dance floor, new fence and new gates.
The hall grounds have been planted with Kurrajong trees, shrubs and agapanthus. Constant mowing and repair of grounds has given us a healthy lawn area.
"As an association we are always wanting to enhance and improve the hall and grounds," Colleen said.
"Still to come is a pergola trellis garden setting. Inside we are hoping to update and extend our kitchen with new appliances to complement our new dishwasher. We also have an abundant water supply with three new 5000 gallon tanks."
Since the beginning of restoration the hall has hosted many dances, birthday celebrations, reunions, New Year's Eve parties, Irish nights, Christmas and Christmas in July events.
Branding nights have also been very successful and a lot of fun.
"We've also had the privilege of hosting luncheons and get-togethers for our senior citizens from our local nursing homes," Colleen said.
After all these years and happy and fun times they would love some younger members to join the association.
"Since the beginning of restoration we have had our Tenterfield Shire councillors helping us along the way with grants and advice.
"The folk of Steinbrook, Black Swamp, The Scrub, Bungulla, Tenterfield have willingly come on board and volunteered their skills and time to help us with our restoration adventure," Colleen said.
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