Nathan and Cassie Wilson, Imogen Wilson, Max Wilson, Anabel Wilson, and Ellie Stewart, all of Hervey Bay, explore Maryborough's Story Bank Museum.
Nathan and Cassie Wilson, Imogen Wilson, Max Wilson, Anabel Wilson, and Ellie Stewart, all of Hervey Bay, explore Maryborough's Story Bank Museum.

Why thousands are flocking to an old M’boro bank building

INNER children have been awakened and Maryborough’s unique connection to a literary icon has been showcased, all thanks to one magical building.

Thousands of visitors from all over the world have visited Maryborough’s Story Bank since it opened in late June last year.

The attraction, built in the old Australian Joint Stock Bank building where Mary Poppins author PL Travers was born, is a “bank that trades in stories”, mayor George Seymour said.

“In the first six months (June/July to December), 8270 people have visited, 20 per cent of which have been visitors to the region,” Cr Seymour said.

“And about 15 per cent of those visitors are international guests from places such as Spain, Japan, Germany, the UK and New Zealand.

“The festive season has been particularly well patronised with 1406 people visiting in December and January to date.”

Maddison and Chloe Smith from the Gold Coast look for 'mice' in the Story Bank's old bank vault with grandparents Tony Van Lysdonk and Carol Bradtke from Kilkivan.
Maddison and Chloe Smith from the Gold Coast look for 'mice' in the Story Bank's old bank vault with grandparents Tony Van Lysdonk and Carol Bradtke from Kilkivan.

The Story Bank is not just for visitors to the region, however.

Cr Seymour said nearly 2500 Maryborough residents had visited between late June and January, many of whom took advantage of the 50 per cent discount for Fraser Coast residents.

The bank building was renovated and turned into the one-of-a-kind museum, opened to coincide with last year’s Mary Poppins Festival.

It features a range of artworks, including sculptures of Mary Poppins characters created by Sunshine Coast artists, Jane Bailey and Mark Snell.

Inside, visitors will see sculptures based on the characters Jane and Michael sliding down the banister.

The Bird Woman is also featured, sitting on a park bench, and Mary Poppins herself is halfway up the staircase.

The whimsical instalments inspired visitors to record their reactions in the Story Bank visitor book.

“OMG! Inner child squealed!” one visitor wrote.

Another described the experience as “mind blowing and very highly informative” while another said “Every room, every detail and feature were perfectly magical”.

Others went for classic Poppins references when giving their feedback.

“Practically perfect in every way,” one person wrote.

Another summed it up with “Supercalifragi …. you get the idea!”

The Story Bank is located on the corner of Kent and Richmond streets, Maryborough, and opens every day, except some public holidays, from 9.30am. Last entry is at 2.30pm.

For more information visit storybankmaryborough.com.au or phone 1300 794 929.



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