24 July 2023

The memory of a tireless worker for the Medlow Bath community will live on following an upgrade of the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains village. 


Elsie Langford moved to Medlow Bath with her husband in 1948 where the pair raised five children. Elsie became a staunch worker and advocate for her community, fighting for safety upgrades and new facilities for her community. 


For about 20 years Elsie hosted monthly garage sales at the small community centre that was later named in her honour, with all the money raised donated to local charities including the Rural Fire Service and village residents’ association. 


When it was announced the Elsie Langford Centre would be demolished as part of the Medlow Bath Upgrade, with the resumed land to be used to build water quality basins to collect and filter run-off from the highway, Transport for NSW engaged the community and Elsie’s family to find a new way to honour her memory. 


“People like Elsie Langford have always been the backbone of small communities such as Medlow Bath and their determination to improve local towns and local lives should not be forgotten,” Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said. 


Alistair Lunn, Director West Transport for NSW said “The Elsie Langford Centre stood for many years as a reminder to the community of all Elsie had done and, now it is gone, a plaque honouring Elsie’s memory will be installed on the stone fence at the top of the Station Street bridge to ensure she is remembered for generations to come.” 


Elsie’s daughter Kerry Mannix said her mother would be delighted by the move to ensure her memory lives on. 


Ms Mannix said Elsie’s successful campaign in the 1990s to have a new Station Street bridge built was one of her proudest accomplishments. 


“We used to have so many accidents on the bridge because coming from Bathurst you would have to make a sharp right-hand turn and then a sharp left-hand turn to get across the bridge and there were always truck accidents there,” Ms Mannix said. 


“Mum fought for that bridge to be built and I think it’s wonderful that she will continue to be remembered for everything she has done for Medlow Bath.” 


Ms Mannix said her mother had always been an active participant in the Medlow Bath community. 


“She raised us five kids and then was involved with the RFS and progress association as it was known then, and then she just kept working,” Ms Mannix said. 


“The community centre had been a BP depot and when it closed down the council decided to name it after mum for all the work she had done.”