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Historic Property With Stories to Tell to Change Hands After 65 Years

By George Southwell

If anyone has a good yarn to tell, it’s Boorowa local Mervyn Campbell.

With retirement beckoning (even though he’d rather keep working), Mr Campbell is selling his 2,624 m2 block in Boorowa’s CBD, complete with the 25m x 23m shed and all the machinery and equipment that kept his and his father’s business running for almost 65 years.

While Mr Campbell and his father ran the business as a welding and engineering enterprise, servicing all corners of NSW with silos, sheds, stock yards and “anything else anyone wanted”, he has a story or two about the property, including a mystery fire that burnt down a brick building that still stands.

“It burnt down in 1951, the night of the Catholic ball on 23rd of October and I found out it was the priest who burnt it down.”

Mr Campbell goes on to explain it was an accident, but the priest was at the site with someone he shouldn’t have been with, doing things he shouldn’t have been doing. Mr Campbell said it was all kept very quiet, but the priest came forward personally to confess.

“The building behind the house was where they used to make furniture, it was also the original old morgue; there’s a lot of history.”

Mr Campbell talks about “Old Jack” who lived in the house before it burnt down. Not only Jack by name, but a Jack of all trades – a dentist, mechanic and undertaker.

“Jack wanted to sell, and dad bought it in 1957; Dad had been working there before that.”

In 1963, a 15-year-old Mr Campbell left school and helped his dad build the shed that stands strong today.

“Me and my dad built all that, all the concrete floor we did by hand with a little Vilis mixer and a crowbar and shovel.

“I actually wanted to be an architect, but the old man couldn’t afford that, so I started working for him.”

Over the years the business built a customer network across NSW, with Boorowa’s central and rural location proving ideal.

Being a rural centric business, work fluctuated with the seasons, employing up to 10 staff at one point and dropping down to the father and son combination in other years.

“In 1988 we built 97 silos, it was a bumper year.”

Agent George Southwell knows the next generation to take on this space will also reap the benefits from the property’s location.

“Nowhere else can you find this amount of land with a huge commercial shed in the centre of town, within walking distance to all the shops and cafes,” he said.

“For anyone wanting to start a new enterprise or take their current business to the next level, this property offers exceptional value and unsurpassed location.”

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