Ballina's heritage on display

DOILIES, cushion covers and other handicrafts are documenting the region’s history during the Ballina Heritage Festival.

Ballina Shire Council has organised the festival, which started yesterday and will run until April 24, which showcases handicrafts created and collected by local women from 1870 to 1970.

Council’s cultural development officer Kate Gahan, said the Crafty Ladies exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina was a key part of the festival program.

“This exhibition explores the history and contribution of women in the shire from all walks of life through sewing and craft items,” she said.

“Women living in the shire have contributed their sewing, craft and other handiwork to the exhibition, as have the region’s historical societies.

“This is a unique opportunity to see these items that have originated from both private and local public collections.”

As part of the celebrations, Jane Gardiner from the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society said the organisation was exhibiting ‘Out of the Box’, a display of local glory box items.

“We have handmade things on display that people put in their glory box, including night items such as silk and embroidered pyjamas, and day items like aprons,” she said.

“We also probably have the world’s largest display of doilies, and we’ve got a range of things like Bible covers, scone covers, and milk jug covers from the 1890s to the 1950s.”

Ms Gardiner said it was important festivals such as this were held, which allowed the region to showcase its past.

The Alstonville Plateau Historical Society is located at Crawford House on Wardell Road, and is open on Friday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday from 1pm until 4pm.

The Northern Rivers Community Gallery is at 44 Cherry Street, and is open from 10am to 4pm Wednesday through to Sunday.

For more information on other great displays around the Ballina Shire during the Heritage Festival, visit

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