The St James Silo Art Committee chose local artist Tim Bowtell to paint their silos after seeing his portfolio on line. He far surpassed their expectations and has a great future in front of him.Tim’s career was in graphic design and he started painting in 2005. He studied Visual Arts at TAFE and had a solo exhibition at the Benalla Art Gallery in 2011. He has since gone on to paint silos and walls all over Australia to great acclaim, and many of his canvases are available at North East Artisans in Benalla – find out more about Tim Bowtell (pictured below in front of the St James silos).
These 4 silos, two concrete and two metal, are currently owned by GrainCorp, who gave their permission for painting two in 2018 and a further two in 2019.
The Coles Story – it all started here!
Not many people realise that the tiny town of St James is the home of the very first Coles store.
George Coles Snr. purchased the north Eastern Stores in St James and Lake Rowan in 1882 and GJ Coles was born in 1885 attending the St James State School. The shops sold a great variety from household goods, fresh produce and farm supplies. GJ’s mother died in 1900 so they sold up and returned to Geelong in 1902. George Coles remarried and returned to St James in 1905, where once again the children were re-enrolled for schooling. GJ went to Melbourne to learn how to run a business and on his father’s deteriorating health returned to St James, purchasing the business in 1910. He paid £4,500 @ 5% over 3 ½ years. By 1913 he had made a profit of £2,000 and decided to sell out and open his first store in Smith St. Collingwood. He never forgot where he came from and his generosity to the town earned him a portrait on the main Silo.
Find out more about the history of the St James historic silos here.
Whilst you are here, why not find out more about the following:
- G J Coles story at St James
- St James Public Hall
- Historic Shop Front renovations to the old town
- Sporting Clubs
- Filming the Today Show
- The Old Gaol