The sharing of Luggate's rich history is transforming the
township from a ''hidden hollow'' into an exciting place to
live and visit, resident Graham Taylor says.
Mr Taylor is one a group of amateur historians working on two
separate committees to preserve Luggate's past on paper and
to mark next year's centenary of the town's landmark Red
They have just produced a booklet about the bridge, which
will be launched at today's 2pm unveiling of a recently
completed pair of concrete draught horses on Luggate's main
The horses are displayed in front of a restored wagon
installed last year to recognise the town's history as a
Eventually, the booklet will be included as a chapter in a
full Luggate history book, a much needed resource for the
area, Mr Taylor said.
While ''probably more things happened in Luggate than the
rest of the Upper Clutha'', much of it had not been written
''It's been a hidden hollow, just a place you whizz through
and ... probably even the locals won't appreciate what
they're sitting on there. But I think it's got a very rich
''The beauty of having an exciting history is it takes away
that dull image.''
Other chapters would include Luggate's geography, social
history and the goldfields of the area, which were ''a lot
richer than what a lot of people realise''.
The book was originally planned for release in time for next
year's October 21 bridge centenary.
However, the committee running the project quickly realised
it was a much bigger job than envisaged and a five-year time
frame was more realistic, Mr Taylor said.
In the meantime, the booklet was a good lead-up to the bridge
centenary and a teaser to ''drag quite a bit of stuff out of
the woodwork'' for the larger book, too.
Already, the Upper Clutha community had proved a great source
of historical knowledge and project volunteers.
''People are now starting to take a bit of interest in their
history and the surrounds ... of all the things I've been
involved in over the years, this is the first one that I
haven't had to twist any arms. People have just come forward
and got stuck in.''
The bridge centenary celebrations would follow much the same
format as those that marked the opening 100 years earlier, Mr
A community picnic and official speeches would take place at
the bridge, before festivities such as a sports day, barbecue
and banquet for dignitaries back in Luggate.
''The idea is if you're a 5-year-old kid, you would like to
think in 50 years' time they'll remember it.''