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Sewing passion tailor-made for Clermont Historical Centre

He could arguably be the Tailor Swift of the sewing world in regional Queensland with his unique passion for antique sewing machines.

Les Walsh will share his extensive knowledge on the history of the sewing machine at the Clermont Historical Centre on May 14.

The former aircraft mechanic is also a proud collector of 150 antique sewing machines with one dating back to 1860.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said Mr Walsh’s visit will be a little bit of a homecoming mixed with excitement to share his story and passion.

“Our Clermont Historical Centre is proud to host Clermont-born Les Walsh,” Mayor Baker said.

“We’re thrilled he will appear to talk not just to people who sew but also to anyone who enjoys tinkering with machines or who remembers the prominent place the sewing machine once held in most households.”

Mr Walsh, former owner of a Townsville quilting business, said the sewing machine was the first piece of machinery introduced in most households.

“Back in those days, you had to make your own clothes and mend them, make curtains and everything had to sewed,” he said.

“When I was operating my business, I became interested in the mechanisms that made sewing machines sew”.

The Clermont Historical Centre will be open from 3pm on May 14 with visitors welcome to wander the centre and view the outdoor exhibits including the Masonic Lodge, home to the centre’s sewing machine collection.


The event is free with afternoon tea to be served from 3.15pm before Mr Walsh’s talk begins at 3.30pm. For catering purposes, RSVPs are appreciated by calling the Clermont Historical Centre on 4983 3311.

For more details on Clermont Historical Centre’s opening times please visit or call Council’s Customer Service Centre available 24 hours a day seven days a week on 1300 ISAACS (1300 472 227).


Image 1:  Les Walsh pictured in his home which houses 150 antique sewing machines.


Isaac Regional Council - Brand, Media and Communications    (07) 4846 3550


7 May 2019