This weekend in Portland, the Wallnuts will celebrate 21 years of their annual gathering that adorns the walls of building in town with their hand painted signs and artwork.
A visit to Portland is like taking a trip down memory lane for many with the hand painted advertising sign prominent around the centre of town in laneways and in the facades of buildings.
Ron (Biddy) Bidwell OAM visited Portland back in 1998, when he noticed some old Ghost Signs adorning the walls of the Portland Co Op Building.
He loved the town that much he moved to Portland and decided that the town inspired him to create a tourist attraction to support the local businesses.
In 2001, he invited his fellow signwriters from far and wide to a weekend in Portland NSW, from around the countryside they travelled to signwrite The Signs of Yesteryear – Australian Advertising Signs from Pre 1950, And the story of The Portland Wallnuts began in Australia, “because you would have to be Nuts to Paint the Walls in Portland”
Over 110 Signwriters have visited over the last 21 years to donate their time, skills and knowledge to painting the walls around Portland in this time.
The group now continues Biddy’s work basing themselves in the Portland CO-Op building on Vale Street which will be the main place to head to over the weekend, with books and merchandise on sale that support the continuing work of the group in the town, along with the generous support of the local businesses and community.
For all the details, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWallnut