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One of the murals
Hearing the story

Sheffield Murals

Thursday, August 21, 2003
A picture tells a thousand words and Sheffield in Tasmania has an amazing tale.

Sheffield is a living art gallery. In 1986 it was suffering economic decline and a public meeting was held to see what could be done to save it. It was suggested they copy the Canadian town of Chemanius, which successfully allowed murals to be painted on the town walls depicting the history of the area.

The town is in Kentish municipality, a gentle agricultural area which grows vegetables. In the 1960s thousands went there to work on Lake Barrington hydro-development scheme. When that was finished there was a good road system, but the departure of the workforce threatened the town's economic existence.

Each year they hold a Mural Fest, when new murals are unveiled. There are now around 55 murals in the municipality, which has earned it the title of Tasmania's outdoor art gallery.

Another wonderful part of the town is Slater's Country Store. John Dyer, the present shopkeeper, is the fifth generation of his family to run the shop. It opened in 1899 and has traded ever since.

One highlight of a visit is the flying fox change-dispensing system. Before cash registers were thought of, money was put into a cylinder, attached to a wire and the shop assistant sent it whirling through the store to the office upstairs.

The store has two murals on its outside walls and John always likes to tell the story behind them.

There are locals who run tours from the Visitors Information Centre. They dress in period clothing and can tell you all the ins and outs of their special town.


Sheffield in northern Tasmania


Sheffield Visitors Information Centre arranges tours on request. They cost $5 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Mural Town Tours
Visitors Information Centre
Pioneer Crescent, Sheffield 7306
Ph: (03) 6491 1036

Slater's Country Store
52 Main Street
Sheffield 7306
Ph: (03) 6491 1121

Qantas: 13 13 13

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