Dial a Local

Dial a Local

Dial up a local and listen to some tales that only we locals know!

Two bright red vintage phone boxes are a cheerful sight on the streetscape of our Ross village. One of them even has a working phone. The “Tasman Flag” red wooden phone boxes are among the many lovely features of Ross, and send imaginations into ponderings of yesteryear. They are popular with visitors for fun photos.

One of the phone boxes was empty for many years. The team at the Tasmanian Wool Centre have been maintaining the phone boxes and for years have tossed around ideas for ways to make meaningful use of the empty one. One day a brilliant idea was struck upon… Dial a Local!

A plan was developed over 2 years, sourcing funding, gathering stories from local residents and making them available to listen to via an old fashioned telephone in the old fashioned telephone box.

Today that idea came to fruition, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning in Ross for the launch of our brand new visitor experience, Dial a Local.

Now visitors to Ross can Dial a Local and listen to the stories and memories from local Ross residents.

With all of the life changing events that have happened from the 1930s till now,  imagine the stories and conversations that have taken place in these phone boxes!

We have captured many stories so far, told by real people from our community. Seven stories told by four of our locals are already loaded onto the vintage telephone. The oral history program for the Wool Centre to collect the fabulous stories of our local community is an important, and ongoing project.

We are grateful for the contribution and assistance of many:

Tasmanian Community Fund, who saw the potential as we did for this project. TCF is doing a great job for Tasmania, and we thank Sally Darke for attending our opening today.

Northern Midlands Council, who helped us fight to keep the vintage phone boxes here at Ross when they were once destined to be replaced by ugly modern ones! Thank you Councillor Janet Lambert and General Manager Des Jennings for attending today.

Joe Robinson from Bitlink. There’s a heap of technology in this project, and Joe listened to our ideas, and magically turned them into reality. Thank you for your work, and for joining us today.

Our biggest thanks is to our amazing locals who shared their knowledge, funny stories, and voices with us. They are:

Bob Davis
Hazel Wickham
Richard Bennett
Sandy Harvey
Elsie Knowles (stories to come)
Josie McEwan (stories to come)

And a huge thank you to Enid Harding, for officially cutting the ribbon and launching our Dial a Local experience today! Enid worked at the Campbell Town telephone exchange 46 years ago. A life size photo of young Enid at work greets you as you enter the phone box.

Enjoy these photos from the launch today of Dial a Local, the newest visitor experience at Ross.

The ribbon is ready for the official opening of Dial a Local.

The ribbon is ready for the official opening of Dial a Local.

Debra Cadogan-Cowper introduces the Dial a Local visitor experience at the official launch today at Ross.

Debra Cadogan-Cowper introduces the Dial a Local visitor experience at the official launch today at Ross.

Attendees at the launch of Dial a Local, at Ross, Tasmania. Image credit: Picture Ross.

Attendees at the launch of Dial a Local, at Ross, Tasmania.
Image credit: Picture Ross.

Enid Harding cuts the ribbon, officially launching the Dial a Local visitor experience at Ross. Image credit: Picture Ross

Enid Harding cuts the ribbon, officially launching the Dial a Local visitor experience at Ross.
Image credit: Picture Ross

Enid Harding, who cut the ribbon, congratulates Debra and the Tas Wool Centre on the Dial a Local visitor experience.

Enid Harding, who cut the ribbon, congratulates Debra and the Tas Wool Centre on the Dial a Local visitor experience.

Enid then and now! 46 years apart. A photo of Enid standing next to a photo of herself taken 46 years ago.Enid then and now! 46 years apart.

Bob Davis, one of the locals you can listen to on the Dial a Local telephone, with Enid Harding, who's photo greets you when you enter the phone box.

Bob Davis, one of the locals you can listen to on the Dial a Local telephone, with Enid Harding, who’s photo greets you when you enter the phone box.

Joe Robinson, developer of the wonderful technology behind the Dial a Local experience, with Tasmanian Wool Centre manager Debra Cadogan-Cowper, and our official ribbon cutter Enid Harding. Image credit: Picture Ross

Joe Robinson, developer of the wonderful technology behind the Dial a Local experience, with Tasmanian Wool Centre manager Debra Cadogan-Cowper, and our official ribbon cutter Enid Harding.
Image credit: Picture Ross

Northern Midlands Council General Manager Des Jennings, Tasmanian Wool Centre Manager Debra Cadogan-Cowper, Tasmanian Community Fund Chairperson Sally Darke, Northern Midlands Councillor Janet Lambert, attending the launch of Dial a Local from a vintage phone box visitor experience.

Northern Midlands Council General Manager Des Jennings, Tasmanian Wool Centre Manager Debra Cadogan-Cowper, Tasmanian Community Fund Chairperson Sally Darke, Northern Midlands Councillor Janet Lambert, attending the launch of Dial a Local from a vintage phone box visitor experience.

Pretty flowers and refreshments at the launch of Dial a Local.

Pretty flowers and refreshments at the launch of Dial a Local.