History custodian looking forward to family time

A passionate custodian of Hillgrove’s history, Judy Cox, has retired after 20 years as the local museum attendant.

Judy has cared for the Hillgrove Rural Life and Industry Museum collection, opened its doors to locals and visitors and provided insight to the once thriving mining town.

After two decades in the role, she has decided to hand in the museum keys so she can spend more time visiting family and doing a bit of travel.

“I’ve loved taking care of the Hillgrove Museum and meeting so many wonderful people from all over the world. But I feel now’s the opportunity to take time for myself and do a bit of travelling,” Judy said.

Housed in the former Hillgrove School building, the museum is managed by Council and complements the Armidale Folk Museum.

In 1895, Hillgrove was a vibrant gold mining town with six pubs, four churches, the school and a population of more than 3000. Hillgrove began to decline after 1900 as the mines ceased to be profitable.

The Hillgrove Museum tells the story of the rise and fall of this once busy place. It shares the lives of the families who called it home and how the miners won wealth from the unforgiving earth deep underground.

The museum contains a fascinating collection offering insights to everyday life in old Hillgrove.

The museum will be temporarily closed from 5 November while a new attendant is recruited.

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