News

Former Ballina man's mission to find guns

IN SEARCH OF HISTORY: Local historian Marelle Lee and Townsville military collector Bruce Buchanan inspect the Ballina site whe
IN SEARCH OF HISTORY: Local historian Marelle Lee and Townsville military collector Bruce Buchanan inspect the Ballina site whe

By GRAHAM BROADHEAD

BRUCE BUCHANAN is in no doubt why Ballina Shire Council should be digging up its buried World War I trophy guns: "They're memorials."

The Townsville military collector and Vietnam veteran was in Ballina yesterday showing council's heritage officer, Kate Gahan, where he saw the two guns buried at one of the town's old tips in the early 1960s, when he lived in Ballina. "Men would have died capturing those weapons," he said of their importance.

"I'd like to see them recovered. They should never have been buried in the first place." Mr Buchanan was just 10 years old when he discovered the two guns ? a 77mm field gun, which was captured in 1918 near the Somme, France, and a 76mm trench mortar, captured in the same year at Accroche Wood ? while playing at the tip, which was closed not long after he made his discovery. He has been pushing council to search for the guns for the past 12 years.

Yesterday he estimated the search area would need to take in about 50 square metres of the former tip site, which was levelled after its closure. He said a ground-penetrating radar, or even a metal detector, could pick up the 'two tonnes of metal'. "It wouldn't take much before you start digging," he said. Mr Buchanan collects smaller pieces of military memorabilia like helmets, firearms and bayonets.

He said trophy guns were presented in the 1920s to towns which supplied troops to the war effort. The trophy guns were particularly sought after by collectors, and were 'very valuable', Mr Buchanan said.

Ballina Shire Council is keeping the location of the Ballina trophy guns under wraps for security reasons. The council's heritage officer, Kate Gahan, said the heritage value of the two guns would be assessed as part of the Ballina shirewide Heritage Study, which was due to be finished by the end of this year.

Ms Gahan said recommendations on the guns, and other heritage items, would be made to the council after the study had been placed on public exhibition.

She said heritage items were assessed using guidelines determined by the NSW Heritage Office, the State Government body that administers the NSW Heritage Act.



Girls were refused bail after house trash charges

GIRLS CHARGED: Lismore Police arrested three teenage girls regarding alleged property damage to a youth home in Keen St, Lismore, The trio were bail refused and will appear in court today.

Three young females bail refused in Lismore

Hazard burning had no contingency plans

HOT STUFF: It might look green out there but dry conditions combined with stronger winds make for hazardous condition for fuel reduction fires. The RFS is asking landowners to have contingency plans in place.

Burning off needs good planning

Fawcett Bridge to close for load testing

Fawcett Bridge will close for load testing.

Closure to test current load capacity on bridge

Local Partners

Tunnel work means traffic diversions for motorists

ESSENTIAL maintenance work will be happening inside the St Helena Tunnel causing changed traffic conditions from next Monday.


Bee Gees music is 'stayin' alive' 40 years later

HOT HITS: The Australian Bee Gees Show is coming to the Northern Rivers.

Show celebrates 40 years of Saturday Night Fever

Expo to help you discover your career

Do you know someone who would benefit from a Careers expo?

Richmond Valley youth are invited to careers expo on August 28.

Connect with North Coast artists on 2017 Mud Trail

On the path of the 2017 North Coast Mud Trail.

"To have completed a piece created by your own hands...is special.”

The two stars who intimidated Chris Hemsworth

HE plays a superhero on the big screen, but Chris Hemsworth has revealed that he was ‘weirdly shaken’ when he met two other big name actors.

Sam Newman: How a Playboy magazine changed everything

The new crew of The Footy Show.Source:Supplied

How a Playboy magazine changed everything.

Leah slams Matty: ‘I was incredibly disappointed’

Leah says she was ‘incredible disappointed’ with Matty J.

BACHELOR evictee's controversial chat with Kyle and Jackie O.

John Eales finds peace with the haka

Inia Maxwell and John Eales in a scene from the documentary John Eales Reveals: The Haka.

Rugby legend is on a quest to learn about a sacred Maori tradition/

The Bachelor recap: Secret pasts publicly exposed

Matty J is left speechless on The Bachelor.

TWO Bachelor contestants’ secret adult pasts have been exposed.

Mother-daughter duo passes Top of the Lake test

Alice Englert, Jane Campion and Nicole Kidman pose for a photograph at the Top of the Lake: China Girl Australian premiere in Sydney.

Alice Englert is a feisty addition to the cast of mum's crime drama.

What's on the big screen this week

Idris Elba in a scene from the movie The Dark Tower.

IDRIS Elba debuts as the Gunslinger in The Dark Tower.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause

Reports of Ibrahim family connections to farm and food hub

John Ibrahimat Bluesfest 2012.

REPORTS circulate colourful Sydney family have investments on the NR

Stunning, heritage-listed Coast home going under the hammer

STUNNING: Buderim House, a stunning heritage-listed Queenslander estate, is going to auction.

Coast home that played host to royalty is set for auction