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One of the howitzers at Cannon Hill being craned onto a truck
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Natalie Willsher from Pacific Materials Handling, Mark Mirtschin from Warrnambool City Council and Peter Sell from RA Steel

Cannons to be made safe again

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 10 June 2020

A pair of hundred-year-old artillery pieces have been removed from Cannon Hill for repairs.

The World War I era howitzers have been taken to Pacific Materials Handling in Warrnambool where a group of staff and volunteers will carry out the works with help from the Warrnambool RSL.

RA Steel generously transported the cannons for free.

Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert said that he was pleased to see the guns get some attention.

“As well as the stunning views, the cannons are synonymous with Cannon Hill,” he said.

“Their position on Cannon Hill means that they’re exposed to some pretty harsh elements, especially the salt air coming off of Lady Bay, so for safety reasons, these two cannons had been fenced off for some time.

“It’s important to understand though that this is not going to be a full restoration. 

“A condition report was completed on the artillery pieces in the precinct in 2019, and the cost to carry out a full restoration would run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The guns will be made safe again while being cleaned and repaired as much as practicable so they can once again be enjoyed by the community without the need to fence them off.

“I would like to thank Pacific Materials Handling and everyone else involved for collaborating on this project. This is the great spirit of cooperation and community mindedness that our city is known for, and it has really come to the forefront during the current pandemic.”

Pacific Materials Handling has offered to house the cannons for free while the works are carried out.

“It’s about cleaning them up and making them safe to get back to something that looks decent,” Managing Director David Hetherington said.

“Our welding and metal work staff will lend a hand to carry out some of the work too.”

The cannons will be worked on over the coming months before being returned to Cannon Hill.

 

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