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Brinkworth Museum and Historical Reserve

The Museum and Historical Reserve, formally the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, was officially handed over to the community in a special service during the State Jubilee 150 celebrations on 2.11.1986. The museum and reserve are to be preserved, and are managed by, the Brinkworth History Group, a registered member of the History Trust of South Australia

The Collection and State Jubilee 150

The collecting and collating of photographs and material to preserve the history of Brinkworth and surrounding districts began when the Historical Society was formed on 30th April 1984. This lead to the development of a display of photographs and items of historical significance, for the Jubilee 150 Celebrations in 1986 and the official handing over to the community of the former Catholic church building, grounds and original contents. 

Major restoration and painting of the building was undertaken for this event with the help of a local government grant and many hours of dedicated work by volunteers.

Australian Bicentennial Project

Restoration continued with major work being done to the leadlight windows through a bicentennial grant for the Bicentennial Celebrations, held in Brinkworth in October 1988. The leadlight windows were designed and made by E.F. Troy, leadlight artist.

Brinkworth Centenary and Book Launch

The Centenary Committee was formed in 1989, and organized the Centenary of the township of Brinkworth, celebrated on the 2nd to the 4th of October, 1992. 

The celebrations opened with the colorful Centenary Ball and launch of the history book "Magpie Creek Junction: a history of Brinkworth and District". The Centenary Book Committee was formed soon after the Centenary Committee, and compiled and published this history of Brinkworth and District in the hundreds of Boucaut and Hart.

The centenary celebrations included a street parade, activities in the town and a bush dance held on the oval at the Recreation Ground. To conclude the weekend a memorial church service, community lunch and school reunion of past and present students and teachers of the Brinkworth and past surrounding schools was held in the Memorial Hall.

Copies of the history book are available via members of the History Group and at Brinkworth Post Office.

Railway History Walk

Brinkworth was a major railway junction built at Magpie Creek to facilitate both northern (to Gladstone) and western (to Port Pirie) lines. 

The railway's history can be easily appreciated by reading the informative signs along the Peppertree Trail, a 2.4km return walk along the old track, from the original stockyards to the junction where the lines diverged to Blyth or Snowtown.

The railway was of vital importance in the development of town businesses, of schools, of small localities such as Hart and Condowie and of the agricultural industry in the days before road freight.

Brinkworth History Group

In 1993, the Centenary Committee and the Centenary Book Committee disbanded and the Brinkworth History Group was formed to maintain and continue to collect, collate and manage the Brinkworth Museum Collection and the Historical Reserve Grounds. 

Registration with the State History Centre in 1997 assured the history group of funding through the Museums and Accreditation Grants Program (MAGP) and similar grant funding avenues to assist with the management of the Museum Collection. The History Group continues to receive support from the History Trust of South Australia (HTSA) and in 2006 completed the required re-registration process to remain as a registered museum.

The museum building is maintained from funds raised by the group, and with support from the Wakefield Regional Council. In May 2009, the History Group was granted funding through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program 2008-09 to repair the western wall, roof vents and down pipes of the museum and install a rainwater tank.

Displays and Development

The History Group participates annually in the History Trust of South Australia's state History Festival in May each year and coordinates displays and events with various themes each year.

The Brinkworth Museum Redevelopment Plan is underway with stages 1 and 2 of a four stage program completed.

Stage 1: The permanent display "Religion in Regional South Australia"

Stage 2: The installation of infrastructure and storage

The museum primarily focuses on the permanent display "Religion in Regional South Australia", seasonal displays and the collection of photographs, documents and small objects.

Grant Funding

Funding for museum projects over the years has been sourced from:

  • Museums and Accreditation and Grants Program (MAGP)
  • Community History Fund
  • South Australian Federation Grant 2000
  • Volunteer Small Equipment Grants
  • South Australian History Fund
  • Volunteer Grants Program
  • Australian Government’s Local Community Infrastructure Grant Program
  • Wakefield Regional Council - various

Friends of the Brinkworth History Group

"Friends of the Brinkworth History Group" is by way of a $10 donation annually. This contribution assists with the current project at the time.

If you are in a position to become a member and/or assist with any other help with the functioning of the museum and surrounds please make contact with the president, secretary or committee member of the history group. (Contact details under Museum Opening Times)

Museum Opening Times

The museum opens on the first Sunday of the month (not January) from 2 – 4 pm. and other times by appointment. Coin donations are gratefully accepted.

For appointment bookings contact:

Fred Groom Phone 0427462023 or Gilbert Welke 0428462031

This plough, purchased by Albert and Norman Weckert, road contractors for the Hut and Hill River and Snowtown District Councils, was used to prepare the main street of Brinkworth for bituminising in 1934, as well as work on local roads in the district.

It is mounted on a cairn of stones collected from the remains of the Angle Grove and Rochester Hotels, Brinkworth Hotel Stables and the Anama Eating House.

In 2010 the Brinkworth History Group (in co-operation with Wakefield Regional Council and Brinkworth Progress Association) opened an informative historical walk, "The Peppertree Trail".

Brinkworth was a major railway junction built at Magpie Creek to facilitate both northern (to Gladstone) and western (to Port Pirie) lines. The railway's history can be easily appreciated by reading the informative signs along the Peppertree Trail, a 2.4km return walk along the old track, from the original stockyards to the junction where the lines diverged to Blyth or Snowtown.

Living Herbarium

South Australian Federation Grant Funding was received in 2000 to establish the 'Local Flora – Living Herbarium' project to highlight and preserve the unique area of 'senna shrubland' vegetation in the Historical Reserve, the only remnant native vegetation in the town of Brinkworth.

Visitors admiring the remnant Senna Shrubland.

Inset: Close-up of Senna flowers.


Sunday 6th May 2018

The Brinkworth History Group welcomed visitors from NSW, Queensland, WA and Tasmania to their History Celebration display ‘Recipes for change’ on Sunday May 6th. These visitors were travellers staying in Brinkworth’s caravan over night stay who were delighted to be in a small town on the ‘right’ day and pleased with what they found.

Another visitor, from North Adelaide, was a great-grandson of the J.J. Maloney remembered in one of the Catholic Church/Museum lead light windows. His grandfather had apparently moved into Brinkworth in its early years, determined to found a place for the Catholic community to worship. The Church was built and furnished within a year. Fred Adams (a history group member and former altar boy) was thrilled to record this story.

Descendants of Vida Wundke, who was a resident of Brinkworth, donated Vida’s hand written cook book to the museum. Vida was known to be a great cook and her book surely has variety.

Brinkworth History Group was thrilled by this appropriate donation.

Many visitors were interested in the changes to food over the years, whilst others were engrossed in the display of old utensils and tools. Some revelled in the display of 125 old cook books published between 1890 and 2017, discovering lost recipes. All enjoyed the Devonshire Tea in the hall and chatting about food as it was in their childhood.”Our only take-away was fish and chips on Fridays” was a frequent comment. Others remarked on chicken now being available anytime and not just at Christmas.

Brinkworth History Group event for the


Unveiling of signage and cairn telling a brief history of the historic coaching site at


Sunday 2 May 2021

2 – 4.30 pm

⦁ 2.30pm unveiling of signage and cairn

⦁ Afterwards walk of Rochester area

⦁ Refreshments served

⦁ Reprint of the Rochester Centenary 1873-1973

by RJ Noye available for sale.

Toilet facility available

Contacts: Fred Groom President BHG 0427 462 023

Helen Weckert Secretary BHG 0429 466 086

Above: Gwen and Maurice Secomb from Windsor reading the story of Vegemite and cheese

Above: Local and former Brinkworth residents enjoy a Devonshire Tea while discussing recipe books and food changes.

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