Ross Bridge Festival
21-23 October 2016
The king and the queen on the Ross Bridge invite you to Ross this October, to celebrate the 180th birthday of this grand old stone lady that spans the Macquarie River. The Ross Bridge is highly unique, being the only known bridge of its kind in the World with carvings along all of the arches.
Historic Theme for this year ~ the Ross Bridge viaduct
When the Macquarie River was in flood in days gone by, the Midlands Highway was cut at Ross, until a viaduct was built in 1933 and served as the other highway until the Midlands Highway by-passed Ross. All traces of the old viaduct have long since vanished and for many, it is a forgetten era of history. We were recently given two fascinating photos of the Ross Bridge viaduct in use, which have been placed on our Forum. We would dearly love to see more photos and hear of any stories. If enough information can be gathered, a booklet could be made for anyone interested in the history of Ross. Can you help? See the historic photos of the viaduct in use in the Vision Ross Forum ~
3pm Friday 21 October
The historic record shows that the Ross Bridge was opened by the Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, George Arthur, at about 3pm on 21 October, which this year falls on a Friday. We will be on the Ross Bridge at 3pm for a simple acknowledgement of this historic event.
Walk into History
10am Saturday 22 October
Meet at the Ross Bridge ~ Free event
Anyone who would like to go on a guided tour of the Ross Bridge and to the Old Military Burial Ground, are welcome to join us. Of particular interest will be to examine the location of the old viaduct, which once kept the Midlands Highway open during floods.
Ross Bridge Forum
2-4pm Saturday 22 October
Antler Room, Man O’Ross Hotel
$10 per head ~ space is limited to 40 people, so book early
This forum will give a report of the progress of the National Heritage nomination of the Ross Bridge.
Also featured will be the old Ross Bridge viaduct, that kept the Midlands Highway open when the Macquarie River was in flood. This was a vitally important period in the history of the Ross Bridge.
The forum will include discussion about why the Ross Bridge Art exists at all and what it means for Tasmania’s culture, heritage and the history of art in Australia.
Art in the Oval
10am-4pm Sunday 23 October
Visual artist Kim Peart will be setting his easel up on the old school Oval next to the Town Hall. Kim invites fellow artists to come to Ross for this event and make art on the Oval, reflecting on the wild passions in stone found on the Ross Bridge.
All funds raised over this event will be directed toward the care and interpretation of the Old Military Burial Ground, where Daniel Herbert is buried.
Looking toward next year ~
In 2017, when the 181st birthday of the Ross Bridge comes around in October, we will be looking toward two key events.
Ross Bridge Art Award
Artists will be invited to make a painting of the Ross Bridge and enter their work in an exhibition to be judged for the prize. Works exhibited can also be available for sale to the visiting public.
Ross Bridge Sandstone Challenge
All artists who love carving sandstone will be challenged to be in Ross in October next year, to participate in a sandstone carving challenge between 9am and 4pm on the chosen day. Contestants will be given an hour for lunch and recovery at Noon. A prize will be awarded for the winning entry and other works made available for sale to the visiting public, unless the artist cannot be separated from their creation.
National Heritage List nomination
Early this year Friends of Ross nominated the Ross Bridge for the National Heritage List. Sadly, our beautiful bridge is not under consideration for this year, but will be automatically reconsidered for next year. We were a bit surprised when we read the letter from the Heritage Branch in Canberra, when they described the Ross Bridge as not having ~ "the "outstanding significance for the nation" required for a place to meet threshold for National Heritage values." If you believe the Ross Bridge is worthy of National Heritage listing, you could send a postcard to the Prime Minister and let him know your views on the matter. The question remains: should people in Tasmania have to prove that the Ross Bridge is of National Heritage standard, or should the selection committee be calling in the experts for their views and opinions.
With any enquiries about the Ross Bridge Festival, for this year or next, contact the Friends of Ross ~
The Ross Bridge Festival receives sponsorship from ~
Sponsors for this and next year’s Ross Bridge Festival will be welcome.