Remember the Rock: local lolly icon rusts

Castlemaine industrial art enthusiast and resident Randall Berger is concerned about the future of the iconic Barnes' Castlemaine Rock lolly tin. Photo: Eve Lamb

Remember Barnes’ Castlemaine Rock?
No doubt most Castlemaine residents – and Victorians with a sweet tooth do.
The iconic local lolly making business may have shut down operations back in 2018 after a massive 165 years of making life a little sweeter for generations – but someone who has not forgotten is Castlemaine local Randall Berger.
The promotions professional who has formerly worked on interpretive displays for Melbourne Museum has a passion for industrial art.
As such, he has become concerned about what the future holds for the unique Barnes’ Castlemaine Rock largescale lolly tin that still sits atop the former micro factory roof in Wesley Hill’s Wallace Street.
“The bottom’s rusting out of it and it’s just looking terrible,” says Mr Berger who wants to see options explored to conserve and publicly display the big tin as an important piece of Castlemaine’s history.
“It is essentially a work of industrial art,” Mr Berger says.
“My concern stretches right back to when Barnes was in trouble and nobody seemed to be coming along to save it. I mean, I think I bought my first tin back in the ’70s.
“Castlemaine Rock was so much associated with the town.
“I’ve always loved Castlemaine and this is part of Castlemaine’s history. If you don’t celebrate your history you’re going to forget it.”
Mr Berger wants to see a public conversation around options for the tin, suggesting the Castlemaine Art Museum, “up on the Hill”, the Visitor Information Centre or The Mill Castlemaine as all being potential venues for its prominent public display.
“Even if they offered Barnsey a chance to just take the tin and put it in the Visitor Information Centre or something as part of the history of this town,” he suggests as a public conversation-starter. More in today’s Mail, Friday May 15, 2020

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.