PHOTOS: Horsham's May and Millar wagon restored

AN EXTRAORDINARY restoration of a wagon is finished after three years of work.

Don Mitchell, Ray Cutjar, John Williams and Chas McDonald set about restoring a May and Millar wagon in March 2011.

The wagon, manufactured between 1898 and 1920, sat idle at the Wotonga basin deteriorating until the Horsham Tidy Towns Committee enlisted the men to restore it.

With the help of Cyril Carracher, who spent 140 hours with paint brush in hand, they have reproduced a marvel of Horsham's history.

Tidy Towns committee chairman Don Johns said the wagon was the best community project he had ever seen.

"It's amazing the time and effort they have put into it is extraordinary," he said.

Mr Johns said it would be entered in the cultural heritage category for the Victorian Tidy Towns Awards.

Foundry owners Samuel May and James Millar were instrumental in shaping Horsham in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

They were both mayors of Horsham and gave vast amounts of money, land and time to community organisations.

Mr Mitchell said he hoped the philanthropic spirit exhibited throughout May and Millar's lives would live on as the project entered its second phase.

"We had two local businessmen who put their heart and soul into their business and they eroded a lot of their profits with community work," he said.

The Tidy Towns committee in partnership with Horsham Rural City Council is trying to raise money to construct a purpose-built display structure at the eastern end of May Park.

Considerable community donations and enthusiasm will be required for the project.

"We need help to make a memorial to some of the founders of Horsham," Mr Mitchell said.

He said donations from individuals, corporate sponsors and philanthropic organisations could be made by calling Mr Johns on 5382 2803.

Fellow restorers Ray Cutjar and John Williams were unavailable for the photo.

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