The bricks that built a city

The bricks that built a city

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Yirrakurl Aboriginal artist Melissa Spillman and photographer Colleen Rankin. Photograph — Richard Polden.

It’s been 100 years since the naming of Byford, and today marks the beginning of a four-day community celebration in honour of its rich history.

The Centenary of the naming of Byford, spearheaded by the Byford Progress Association, will run from November 19 until November 22 at Byford Dome. 

Over the last four months, the association has been busy researching the history of the town and gathering more than 200 photographs.

The event will feature historical photographs of what life was like in Byford, the town’s many natural wonders and combined Aboriginal art by YirraKurl. 

The suburb has come a long way since the 1890’s, when it was home to just a small number of large landowners who built their own homes and grew their own produce.

Over the years, it continued to grow – with the state brickworks opening in 1914, various settlement schemes bringing families to the area and the establishment of several schools. 

Byford is now home to more than 20,000 people – and that number is expected to double in the next 16 years.

The idea was first floated by Association president Colleen Rankin, who said she felt it was important to share the town’s rich history with its thousands of new residents.

“I gave it a lot of thought and had a number of ideas and the association were eager to do it,” she said. 

“I love Byford to bits and a lot of the people here, most of the people here, are new. 

“Many residents don’t know anything about the town and just how important it was to Perth. 

“They don’t know that our bricks built the city of Perth, they don’t know that our milk and our eggs went in on the train and they don’t know that we had some of the first farms in the 1940’s. 

“I want everyone to know just how important Byford is and what an amazing place it is to live. 

“It’s also about the beauty of the place – we have the most beautiful wildflowers and natural reserves of national importance.” 

The event will run daily from 8am until 7pm at 829 South Western Highway, Byford. 

For more information, or to join the Byford Progress Association, visit facebook.com/ByfordProgressAssociation