• Tony Bosworth

Back to Bilpin campaign celebrates first hugely successful birthday

A year ago today, right after bushfires had ripped through Bilpin, a group of locals and Hawkesbury councillor Sarah Richards, got together to form the Back to Bilpin campaign to get people to visit the area once again and breathe new life into the battered community.

The group – Cllr Richards, Lionel Buckett from Wollemi Wilderness Cabins, Bilpin Country Lodge’s Michael Sperling, who is also head of the Blue Mountains Accommodation and Tourism Association, plus residents Michael and Jane Hughes - came together to workshop ideas to let tourists know it was safe to return to Bilpin.

“Five of us stood at the well known and much loved Bilpin Apple sign and launched our BackToBilpin campaign,” said Cllr Richards today.

When it all began...the Back to Bilpin campaign launched a year ago today

“We crossed all of our fingers and toes, hoping for a positive response. Little did we know what was about to happen...with over 8000 shares and almost one million people reached that week alone on Facebook, we were in total awe at how much the wider community came on board to support our little town.”

So today, on the same date they got together a year ago, they gathered at the same spot to re-enact the photo, this time with a few more locals joining in.

“We just want to take this chance to say a huge thank-you to every person and family who jumped on board our campaign with such enthusiasm and made the trip to the Bilpin area to support our small businesses when we needed it the most,” Ms Richards said.

“You saved us. You kept people in jobs. You ensured that our little tourism strip along Bells Line of Road survived, despite the odds being stacked against us.

Margaret Tadrosse, owner of The Bilpin Fruit Bowl, presents Cllr Sarah Richards with a trophy for all her hard work

“It means the world to us all and we will be forever grateful. We truly hope that you keep coming to visit all of our amazing businesses well into the future.”

Since the fires and the Covid pandemic, Bilpin has become increasingly popular with day trippers, locals from other suburbs and weekend visitors too.

Today, as locals revisited the site, Margaret Tadrosse, owner of The Bilpin Fruit Bowl, thanked Sarah Richards with a trophy.

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