This exciting multi media collaborative exhibition by Cast Net Productions maps the history of cycling in and around Grafton.
Bike Town is a collaboration between Cast Net Productions, Clarence River Historical Society, the Grafton Cycle Club, local artists and Grafton Regional Gallery, aiming to capture, share and preserve Grafton's long and intriguing cycling history through animation, community engagement and an artists' talk to connect communities and heritage.
During the making of the documentary film, Wheelmen of the Clarence 2017, Danny Loyden and Sammy Lovejoy (Cast Net Productions) invited members of the public to be filmed relating their personal cycling stories. During this process it became obvious that there needed to be further artistic exploration into the rich history of bicycle riding as a common comment was “Grafton used to be a bike town, everyone had a bike”.
Cast Net Productions received funding for a Heritage Near Me – Local Heritage Strategic Projects grant through the NSW Department of Environment & Heritage. This grant enabled the production of the ‘Bike Town’ project in collaboration with local artists Cass Samms (Curator, Animation Artist); Rochelle Summerfield (Visual Artist), Craig Freeman (Composer), Tracy Pateman (Metalworker), Meg Lucas (Actor) and was mentored by Elka Kerkhofs (Animation) and Jill Moonie (Story).
Through their research and community engagement for Bike Town, the project team has discovered so much more than they had anticipated, including:
• hundreds of newspaper articles starting from the 1890s when the Grafton Cycle Club formed, followed by the formation of the South Grafton Cycle Club and construction of two cycle tracks
• controversial stories of bike racks in Prince Street, Grafton
• the worldwide impact of bicycle riding for women
• young touring ladies who trans versed Australia on their bicycles
• the diversity of cycling stories from the local community - club members, BMX stars, social riders, mountain bike daredevils and people who rode to school.
• The generous loaning of memorabilia and antique bikes from various parts of NSW and Southern QLD
In the words of Nigel Blake, Secretary of the Grafton Cycle Club – “Embrace the Bike Town!”
This project was assisted by the NSW Government through the Heritage Near Me program.
Image credit: Three Wheeler courtesy Clarence River Historical Society