What is a Tasmanian Country Town Hall? Well, it’s the hub of the community that at times brings the residents of the town together. It’s usually an unassuming piece of architecture set on the main street or near the main street of a small country town. You probably don’t even notice it as you drive on through. But it’s been sitting there through many a year and in all sorts of weather just waiting for that day or night when it gets all spruced up for a special event or occasion.

Country Town Hall - Gunns Plains, Tasmania

Gunns Plains country town hall (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

The Little Country Town Hall

by Michelle Kneipp Pegler

The Gunns Plains Hall is one of those small country town halls that gets used fairly regularly. This community, which I am a part of, loves nothing more than to make use of their town hall. The Craft Group uses the hall every second Saturday of the month. This group was started in 2008 to help support the hall. We bring along any sort of craft and have a chat and make session. There are a number of regulars who attend and are willing to pass on skills or help. I have learned how to spin while in this group and enjoy it enormously. Women, men and children… it’s not just for housewives, everyone’s welcome to join.

Country Town Hall - Craft Group

Craft group: country hall (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

Gunns Plains Potato Festival

Our major fundraising event for maintenance of the hall is the Gunns Plains Potato Festival. It’s held every year on the Recreational Day holiday in November. The Festival has lots going on during the day to keep everyone entertained and always draws a crowd. Other events to use the hall that have been held during my time in Gunns Plains, have included Ten Days On The Island music night, casserole nights, catering for cross country runners and catering for bus loads of people who visit our community.

David Foster Chops Some Wood

We had an Indoor Woodchop night with David Foster and other great axemen not that long ago. What a great night that was. We’ve also had a Scrapbooking weekend, Christmas BBQ and a Sell/Swap/Trade/Barter day and a community party/get together to unveil work, celebrate and thank volunteers who helped with the recent renovation work done on the hall. We have also had other assorted events, which make use of our wonderful country town hall.

Country Town Hall - David Foster

David Foster: Gunns Plains (photo by Michelle Kneipp Pegler)

My Patch in Place Quilt Project

We are currently working on a community quilt project called “My Patch In Place” which will see the combination of quilt squares that represent each family or person who live in our valley, added to a big quilt that will take pride and place on the wall of the hall. People who visit the hall will be able to see a snapshot of who lives or has lived in the Gunns Plains area in 2012.

So as you can see a small country hall is the heart and soul of a community and when put to good use it can have a feel-good effect on the residents of these country towns. Rural spirit is alive and well in Gunns Plains judging by the amount of hall use our little country town hall gets. This is just a little peek into the life of one Tassie rural town hall. There are many out there in small country towns throughout Tasmania that still get used just as often as they did when originally built. And let’s face it. Where would you hold those town events and get-togethers if it wasn’t for the humble little country town hall?

Michelle Kneipp Pegler writes a blog called Leven River Farm as well as articles like this about the north west coast of Tasmania. If you’d like Michelle to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.

Map: Gunns Plains Country Town Hall, Tasmania…

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