Mandurama's old bank building has become Story Bank

BANKING ON SUCCESS: Lisa Hogendorp outside the old CBC Bank building in Mandurama which is now called Story Bank. Photo: Mark Logan.
BANKING ON SUCCESS: Lisa Hogendorp outside the old CBC Bank building in Mandurama which is now called Story Bank. Photo: Mark Logan.

Of all our historic villages Mandurama has been languishing behind when it comes to attractions for locals and tourists.

That though is beginning to change with Hugh Clarke the owner of both the Royal Hotel in Mandurama and the nearby Snake Creek Cattle Company purchasing the historic CBC Bank on the corner of the Mid Western Highway and Gold Street.

Now known as Story Bank the imposing two story brick building has been a residence for many years and when manager Lisa Hogendorp began the transformation into boutique accommodation, café and gallery space in October, the building's unique charm and the area's equine background came to the fore.

The old banking area is now a gallery and café.

The old banking area is now a gallery and café.

"After they bought the building we walked through it and being a bit artistic myself we thought it would make a great gallery space," she said.

"As we discussed more and more about what we wanted to do with the building, many of the other people involved were also horse lovers, so we decided to go with the horse theme."

Once the use of the ground floor, which still has the safe and some of the old banking counters and phones in place, was settled on, the four main rooms upstairs which made up the old manager's residence was next for rejuvenation.

Rooms are themed in different ways.

Rooms are themed in different ways.

The four rooms have each been given a theme with the main room taking on a polo theme thanks to the Millamolong Polo Club, a bushranger room featuring pictures of Ben Hall and other miscreants as well as a wool room and a Cobb and Co room.

"They all represent something that's important to Mandurama and the region," Ms Hogendorp said.

The gallery space features artworks from various artists that specialise in horses and other equestrian activities.

There are also native American blankets for sale as well as a range of local produce including Nyngana Honey that's sourced from a property only a few hundred metres away.

Rooms are themed in different ways.

Rooms are themed in different ways.

Ms Hogendorp said that the long-term plans include developing a kitchen garden that will provide the Royal Hotel with fresh herbs and vegetables.

They also have plans for art workshops with their first one, how to make a Turkish Mosaic Lamp, commencing on February 26.

For more details head tohttp://www.storybankmandurama.com/

Story Bank is open Thursday - Saturday 10:00 - 16:00 and Sunday 10:00 - 14:00.

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