The railway arrived in the 1870’s. Frequent river flooding meant that the railway line didn’t pass through Greytown. The railway line passed instead through Woodside where the river was more manageable and less prone to flooding. Woodside is about 5 km from Greytown. There was a separate railway line from Woodside station into Greytown.
The lack of direct railway access meant that Greytown was no longer the pre-eminent town in the region. Very little new construction went on from 1920 to 1970, while the other towns nearby developed and modernised. This meant that Greytown’s original colonial buildings and established trees were left largely untouched.
The 2006 census records the population of the town as 2,001. This represents an increase of 3 people since the 2001 census. My wife and I have three children born in 2003, 2004 and 2006. So that makes us directly responsible for the population increase. We’ve done our bit. It’s now up to others to increase the town population.
I am currently chair of the Greytown Heritage Trust. We are a charitable trust established with the simple aim of working with developers and local authorities to maintain Greytown’s colonial charm. It’s a bit of a balancing act. We don’t want to see a collection of relics. Sympathetic development needs to be encouraged.
Tonight we had our first meeting with our board members elected at our recent AGM. We allocated roles and responsibilities for our organisation and mapped out some goals for the coming year. As well as chairperson, secretary and treasurer, we now have formal roles/subcommittees for:
- Property management
- Historical research
- Heritage advisor
- History lecture organisation
- Website management
- Public relations
- Special projects
We have an active and enthusiastic committee. It’s going to be a good year!