More than 80 Sporting Register members enjoyed an a la carte meal and birthday cake at Willow Grove’s Duck Inn to celebrate the Club’s twenty-first anniversary this weekend. Our hosts were gracious in finding extra tables and chairs for the half-dozen or so who turned up without booking in, but with events like this, it makes it far easier for all concerned, if members follow the booking protocols – really, it’s not that difficult!
The morning began cold and damp following overnight rain. Participants assembled at the Warragul Woolies’ car park before receiving instructions and being flagged off by our event organiser, Phil Barnard. Being the middle of winter, it was no surprise to see hardtops and soft-tops securely fitted on those convertibles that were participating. The route followed Brandy Creek Road out through Neerim South to Noojee where some grabbed a coffee before continuing east on the Baw Baw Tourist Road towards Icy Creek where they turned right onto the twisty forest road that passes through tall-timber country around Fumina. Your correspondent had found a photographic location along this section of road and managed to capture some shots before the cars broke out into the sunlight again near Hill End on their way to Willow Grove.
Sitting by the roadside on a folding chair in the middle of a rainforest during Gippsland’s winter is probably not most people’s idea of fun, and after enduring a hum-drum parade of Nissan Patrols, Hilux utes and Camrys, it was almost exciting to hear the tuned engine notes of sports cars echoing through the forest as our convoy approached my location. All the drivers seemed to be behaving themselves and treating the road with respect as there were still some damp patches of bitumen beneath the dense overhead leaf canopy. Thirty-one cars took part in the social drive, and they were joined at Willow Grove, by another dozen or so which made their way directly to the Duck Inn. The car park was full to overflowing and it was tremendous to see such a variety of sporting and classic cars being used as they were intended.
Thank you to Phil Barnard for his work in bringing this event to fruition. It was a tremendous turnout and a fitting way to celebrate the Club’s Coming Of Age.