Alstonville dance teacher finds treasures under her studio

TREASURE TROVE: Sue Whiteman, owner of the old St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Alstonville, has come across some old treasures such as an old window, a portable stage and a number of easels, in a clean up under the building.
TREASURE TROVE: Sue Whiteman, owner of the old St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Alstonville, has come across some old treasures such as an old window, a portable stage and a number of easels, in a clean up under the building. Doug Eaton

WHEN Alstonville Dance Studio owner Suzanne Whiteman did a routine termite inspection of her dance hall last weekend, she expected to find nothing but dust.

She had no idea generations of dancers had been leaping above a treasure trove of artefacts for the past 18 years.

In the process of cleaning up for the new school term, Ms Whiteman happily uncovered quite a lot from beneath her dance hall.

She found a 12-piece stage, a selection of tools, ladders and easels and - in what appears to be the most interesting find - a sign from St Andrew's Presbyterian Church that she thought could be up to 100 years old.

"The hall is coming up to its centenary, and most of these things look like they came from the days when the hall was being constructed," Ms Whiteman said.

"It just looks like they finished up the hall and threw everything they'd used to build it underneath," she said.

Ms Whiteman said that when she bought the hall someone had mentioned an old stage was underneath the hall but she never thought much of it.

However, the discovery of what appears to be a cedar stage made her wish she had looked beneath her feet sooner.

"I'd really love to use the stage for the dance studio," she said.

"It's really exciting to find something that has been made in a time when quality was really good.

"The stages we currently dance on don't sound nearly as good as this one does with tap shoes on," she said.

Ms Whiteman is now looking to find anyone who may be available and willing to assist in restoring the sign and the stage.

She is also calling for public to help identify the artefacts.

Topics:  alstonville dance studio

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