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Forget about flavour and paint the town beige

In the extract below Elizabeth Farrelly in her Sydney Morning Herald column of 6th August 2008 refers to Wrought Artworks.

The Burton Street tabernacle holds these stories, and others, twined into its fabric, so its restoration is a small enrichment of the sort that should be constant and expected, in a city like this, but are actually rare to the point of applause.

Compare with the State Government's headlong race for the Annual Philistine Award (NSW Division) to be announced on November 24, Davis Hughes's birthday. Not only are our wise and fearless leaders about to cram another 100-storey tower's worth of office space onto the Hungry Mile.

They are also, at the other end of the scale, evicting one of Australia's last remaining blacksmith and wrought iron shops from its right-and-proper home at the Eveleigh locomotive sheds.

Wrought Artworks uses the world's largest collection of steam-powered blacksmithing equipment for its original purpose, making a perfect fit between heritage, architecture and use.

Of the 3000 skilled workers who once animated Australia's first locomotive workshop, six remain: two partners and four apprentices. But for the Government, it's six too many.

Frank Sartor may thunder like Ridley Smith about "jobs, jobs, jobs" for Redfern-Waterloo. But this priceless half dozen, and the nugget of flavour and meaning they bed into the city, will be gone forever. In their place? More beige-on-beige global pap.

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