Who can believe that it has been 30 years since the flood that caused the evacuation of Nyngan? Along with that of course was the closure of the railway to Bourke, the closure or the Railway Station and the realisation for the need to do something to record the 'Story of Nyngan'.
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As part of the tribute to the beginning of the Museum, we were intending to open the new section of the Museum and the all new exhibits. As you are aware this was not possible, however, we are not ready yet anyway. This week will hopefully see the completion of the upstairs building and we will start setting up the displays as soon as we can after that.
We are waiting on the completion of the beautiful new floors, which had to be replaced due to white ant damage, in the ground level and then this area will also be staged. We are also extremely excited to have the extra space provided by the two sheds.
Once display cabinets and artefacts are set up in the new areas, we will have a clear space to set up the Palais Theatrette, which will house the flood video and photos.
Whilst working on the telecommunication display, I came across this telephone which has a toggle switch for siren or bells. Collin Pardy seemed the obvious person to enquire about this item, and sure enough he was able to provide the story.
Firstly however, the telephone was made by Ericsson Telephones Limited (ETL) which was founded as 'British L. M. Ericsson Manufacturing Co. Ltd in 1903 as a joint venture between the National Telephone Company and L. M. Ericsson of Sweden. It was renamed to Ericsson Telephones Limited in 1926.
Now to our telephone.
Collin informed me that the NSW Fire Brigade Station 406 in Nyngan opened in 1935 and Albert Priest was the first captain. When Stan White was Captain, from August 1969 - 73, he had one of these phones at his house and one at his shop. It can be assumed that previous captains would have also used the same system.
Fire calls, back then, came direct to the captain of the local brigade and using this phone he could set off bells in all the firefighters houses and then flick the switch and wind the handle to set off the siren on top of the fire station.
The bells in all the firefighter's houses were connected, through the switchboard, to this phone. The system was replaced when the manual switchboard was replaced in 1988.
Then a Telstra phone was put in each house and eventually the set up went onto a beeper system operated from 000.
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