Portraying the results of a 20-year revitalisation, this documentary shows how a small Tasmanian community in Sheffield won the battle of ‘to be or not to be’ – triggered by the economy forcing people to seek life-opportunities outside their home-town.
The rescue plan was invented by the community itself in two stages. Firstly, to convert Sheffield into a tourist-oriented ‘Town of Murals’. The second stage creates a self-perpetuating working and exhibiting space based on a steam railway and the ‘big shed’ – a workshop where the preservation of industrial and agricultural heritage takes place through maintenance and inter-generational skills-transmission.
Collectively, they have rescued numerous steam-powered traction-engines, steam-rollers, steam locomotives and agricultural machines from being scrapped. By saving industrial heritage, the Redwater Creek Steam and Historical Society empowers the memory of the epoch when Tasmania had the status of ‘the bread-basket’ for early European-Australia.