A PIECE of Leeton's history has been saved from landfill on the hunch of some clever residents.
When helping a friend clean out a family home, John Hindmarsh discovered a bag of old photographs.
The first thought from the pair was to put them in the rubbish pile, but then they decided to save them.
However, to get to the bottom of this story, first we must go back to the very beginning of how all of the pieces of the puzzle came together.
This is the story of serendipity and it ties in with the new Leeton Museum and Art Gallery where a team has been working for some time to get everything up and running.
Key to the museum's first exhibition was the creation of wall-sized visual panels developed from a cache of original images and photographs sourced from the community including from the Leeton Family and Local History Society.
Graphic designer Fran Macdonald had been working her magic with the images, which showcase the shire's history and story of water.
One afternoon, Mrs Macdonald and Suesann Vos from Leeton Shire Council laid all the images out on the floor of the WCIC building where the museum is now located.
The vision was coming together, but they felt something was missing.
Even chief research officer for the Leeton Family and Local History Society, Wendy Senti, who was a special adviser on the museum project, couldn't put her finger on it.
I want to say a big thank you to John and Jim. We strongly encourage everyone to think like them. Their quick thinking and sense of history has saved a very valuable piece of Leeton's past.Suesann Vos, Leeton Shire Council
This is where Mr Hindmarsh's part of the story starts to be woven in.
He had volunteered to help a friend clean out his mate's parents' house in Maiden Avenue.
It was here, in the back of a shed that the bag of old personal photographs were unearthed in immaculate condition.
The catch was, the photos didn't belong to the family who owned the home. There were no leads.
In the end the pair almost gave up and thought it would be easier to send the photos to the tip, but alas the images seemed too beautiful to do so.
Mr Hindmarsh said he could tell they were of historical value to the shire.
He even recognised some of the people in the photographs, families of Leeton pioneers.
It was here the picture started to take shape after he recognised one person in particular, who was dressed to the nines posing with several others beside an iconic Tiger Moth plane.
It was Jim Tiffen Senior, the father of another of his best mates.
Mr Hindmarsh decided to take the photos to show his mate, the son of Jim Senior - also named Jim Tiffen - and his wife Robin Tiffen.
The pair were overwhelmed, with Jim Senior a notable member of the community during his day. He was the one-time general manager of the Letona Cannery, a farmer, pilot and friend to many. As one of the early innovators of the MIA, Jim Senior was part of a small group of earliest aviators.
His Tiger Moth was famous as he used it to rescue people and deliver supplies in the times of the floods in the 1950s, flying at great personal risk out beyond Yanco and across the Sandigo, Gogeldrie and on towards Narranderra.
As a result of the find, the Tiffens enlisted the help of their daughter Sarah, who was assisting with the final piecing together of Leeton's new museum.
"Dad started to think the photos belonged in the museum, so everyone could share them and so maybe we could work out who all the other people were featured in the pages," Sarah said.
In another twist to the story, contained in the albums were the images the team had been missing all this time of the original twin water towers on "Hydro hill".
This image and others were what was required to finish off the exhibition. It was the gold the curation team had been looking for.
Just last week the albums were officially presented by Mr Hindmarsh and the Tiffens presented the albums to become part of the museum's collection.
"Between them they know so much history and they know so many stories about all the people and the families in town," Mrs Vos said. "The Tiffens have been here since 1912. You can't get more local than that."
Mrs Vos said the museum was a place where stories could be shared and told, not just now, but into the future.
"Our museum at its heart is a place to tell our stories and our stories belong to all of us in the memories, the memorabilia, the photographs and artifacts that tell the history of our community," she said.
"(That is) from the time of our original Wiradjuri nation all the way through the huge achievements and struggles of our pioneers, our agricultural innovators, our immigrants.
"All these things make us who we are. The most important thing to remember is that this is a shared story. And we are all part of it.
"I want to say a big thank you to John and Jim. We strongly encourage everyone to think like them. Their quick thinking and sense of history has saved a very valuable piece of Leeton's past."
You can now view the albums at the museum, which is open Monday through to Saturday each week.
The Water by Design exhibition is to the left inside the former WCIC building, while a photography exhibition can be viewed to the right. Entry is free.