Signpost Goldfields Racing Museum
Gold coin donation
The KBRC has, after a number of years, found a home for the many items of historical value previously housed in the old Trainers' rooms. Originally in 1993 following Signpost's historic Triple Crown win, owners David Reed, Keith Biggs, Dick Austin and John Sarre donated $10,000 towards the creation of a racing museum. The western end of the 'Old Tote' building has now been restored and renovated to create a wonderful, secure area for the display of these unique historical items.
A marvellously restored turn of the century hansom cab forms the centrepiece of the display. The cab was restored and made available for display by life member of the KBRC, David Reed. There are numer photographs from the 1900s that illustrate these cabs in numbers waiting outside the course for punters lucky enough to be able to afford the ride back to town.
The Chronograph, installed on course in 1903, was one of only two of its type installed at a racetrack in Australia. The other was at Flemington, the famous clock tower described in many race calls. The Chronograph was wired to the various starting points around the Kalgoorlie track and was triggered by the starter along with the starting bell. This marvellous old timepiece was located in its own hutch about 50 metres from the winning post facing the grandstand.
Prior to photo finishes, the Judge was the all important person on the racetrack, as his word often meant the difference between roast beef or beans for dinner. In 1965 'photo finishes' were introduced into the industry and there is a display of the first photo finish equipment used at the Kalgoorlie and Boulder racetracks, along with the equipment the Judges used to produce the photo from which the result could be derived.
The Signpost Goldfields Racing Museum is also home to a near complete collection of the 'Australian Turf Register' from the 1860s through to 1950, and from all accounts this is a unique collection. There are also many rare studbooks, racing calendars of the various States and other early thoroughbred publications from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
One of the more recent exhibitions is a display of the 'colours', complete with the original mud, worn by Damien Oliver when winning the 1995 Melbourne Cup on Doriemus for local owners Keith Biggs, Dick Austin and Rodney Russell. In keeping the connection with the big day at Flemington there is also a 1905 Melbourne Cup replica trophy on display, won by former Perth and Kalgoorlie Cup winner Blue Spec.
Stroll around the Museum and each display cabinet reaches back in time, whether it is the great collection of old race books, enclosure passes, licenses and entrance tickets from the early 1900s, the various medical and first aid implements used in those early times or the meticulously kept, hand written Committee Minutes, accounting ledgers, Clerk of Scales registers and many other treasures. The walls are also lined with magnificent photographs of the champions and crowds of that early Goldfields period.