Cleve's National Trust branch celebrates its 45th birthday.

BIRTHDAY: Cleve National Trust members Rex Kobelt, Judy Kraehe, Alison Turnbull, Maurice Smith, David Asser and Malcolm Nield at the birthday celebrations on Sunday.
BIRTHDAY: Cleve National Trust members Rex Kobelt, Judy Kraehe, Alison Turnbull, Maurice Smith, David Asser and Malcolm Nield at the birthday celebrations on Sunday.

The Cleve branch of the National Trust celebrated the Cleve Agricultural and Folk Museum’s 45th birthday on Sunday with an open day and barbecue.

Museum curator Maurice Smith said the National Trust’s first job in Cleve was in 1972.

“The first job was placing a cairn plaque at the Cleve school, where the old school building burnt down,” Mr Smith said.

The museum was opened in the old council chambers on Fifth Street and uses the old council depot shed for storage.

The old chambers is home to a collection of early pioneering artefacts including household articles and an extensive collection of photographs and local records. 

In the sheds, the museum has a collection of agricultural machinery and other large historic items.

“Our main purpose is preservation, restoration and maintenance of early items, donated from Cleve and the surrounding districts,” Mr Smith said.

“People donate their old headers, tractors and even old petrol bowsers, and we restored and maintain them.”

One of the branch’s current project is the restoration of former Mangalo farmers Gil and Melba Wake’s first automatic header.

We are all volunteers here, and we rely completely on donations and grant money.

Cleve Agricultural and Folk Museum curator, Maurice Smith

“We try to get around to restoring as much as possible but we are in need of more help,” Mr Smith said.

“We are all volunteers here and we rely completely on donations and grant money.

“We have a really great relationship with the Cleve council and they help us with community grants and work here and there.

“There is no way the museum could do all of this on its own, so the council helps out where they can.”

The branch is now looking raise funds to build another storage shed.

“The shed was built in the 1980s but we need more room to storage everything,” Mr Smith said.

“We’ve just received a community grant from the Cleve District Council, which will help us with that.”

The Cleve Agricultural and Folk Museum is open by appointment.

The National Trust Cleve branch meets bi-monthly and has about 10 members but is looking for more.

“Even if people don’t want to become a museum member, they can come and volunteer with our projects,” Mr Smith said.