An overcast and cold morning with threatening rain greeted the small number of members who met in Warragul to commence the Warragul to Heyfield Steam Rally run. The 5 member’s cars were joined on the run by 3 Toyota 86’s (prospective members) whose owners were keen to participate in an organised GSCCR club run.
Club president Mark McKibbin handed out to all participants a well presented detailed map of the proposed route. Given that Mark was a late replacement to organise the run, his excellent efforts were very much appreciated. Leaving Warragul at 10:00am the convey of members lead by Mark in his ‘1950 Citroen 11BL 11781H’ headed north east and onto Old Sale Road, and then wound our way via Yallourn North, Tyers, Glengarry and Toongabbie to the Cowwarr “Art Space” gallery for a coffee break. This provided us with the opportunity to sit down and have a chat as well as view the art work on display in this magnificently restored former butter factory.
Following our caffeine and cultural fix we all headed off to Heyfield, including the Weymouth family who joined the run at this point. This segment of the route was on relatively long straight roads so the focus was to watch the speed and keep a look out for speed cameras (we passed one sitting just outside Toongabbie). Also, as typical of those who know the region, the weather had changed and by the time we reached Tyers it was sunny and dry.
Arriving at the Heyfield Steam Rally we witnessed everything from Stationary engines of all shapes and sizes to Steam Engines, Vintage/Classic Cars, Trucks, Tractors, Motorbikes and Memorabilia. We set about viewing the various displays as well as watching the Tractor Pull competition (which may not be on everyone’s bucket list but it was interesting to observe how they run these events).
Once we had soaked up all that was on offer we separately made our way home, We and the Witney’s enjoyed an excellent lunch at the very popular Heyfield ‘Café 3858’. Thanks Mark for organising a very pleasant and interesting run.
Article and pictures by Phil Barnard
A FAMILY DAY OUT
After prevaricating whether to take a punt on the weather improving in East Gippsland, we finally decided to chuck the grand kids into the ‘modern’ as John Fowler calls them, and hit the road with the aim of catching up with the Warragul group at the Art Space in Cowwarr for morning tea. Unfortunately there were a number of delicate art installations set out on the floor of the gallery that were not kid-friendly, so we went on ahead of the group into Heyfield.
Considering the lousy weather in West Gippsland, we found Hayfield dry and sunny with no signs of rain or mud. After parking the ‘modern’ we headed for the food stands and the market stalls. Once we’d checked these out and had something to eat, it was on to the Tractor Pull. Various vintage tractors were endeavoring to pull a counter-weighted sled along a gravel track as the weight was moved up a sliding scale on the sled it put more weight on the back axle until the tractor finally came to a stop. The competitor who moved the sled the furthest won his or her class.
After the Tractor Pull we had a demonstration of starting an old crawler tractor with a shotgun cartridge. By now I thought I’d better check out the car and truck displays. Among the trucks was Bill Aitken’s original Dodge V8 truck in fully restored condition. Several cars vied for Best in Show, but the ones that would interest our members most were the XK 140 coupe, the Mark 5 Jaguar and a beautiful 2.5 RM Riley drop head, one of about 120 built in right-hand-drive.
The kids enjoyed the blacksmith demonstration and the examples of different things that he could make. They also liked the steam engines, especially the stationary engine where they were allowed to pull the cord that blew the whistle. Many of the steam and petrol engines had belt-driven equipment attached to them like pumps and chaff cutters, but the one the kids liked best was the corn husking machine, particularly after the corn was made into pop corn and they were given a bag each.
Finally the grand Parade was held and the steam traction engines, trucks (including Bill’s) cars and vintage motor bikes drove around the Parade Ground. By this time many of the exhibits were starting to leave, so we decided to follow suite and headed to Cowwarr Weir for an afternoon tea picnic. Luckily the weather held up and we didn’t get any rain until we reached Yallourn North. On reaching home we learned that it had rained there on and off all day, so we had made the right decision on heading east to Heyfield and the sunshine.
Thanks to Mark McKibbin for organising our family day out.
no images were found