3rd September to 15th September 2005.
Day 1 - Liverpool for Queanbyan.
Day 2 - Queenbeyan to Young
Day 3 - Young to Griffith
Day 4 - Free day.
Day 5 - Griffith to Yarrawonga.
Day 6 - Sub events.
Days 7 - Yarrawonga to Bendigo.
Days 8 - Free day.
Days 9 - Free day.
Days 10 - Bendigo to Bright.
Days 11 - Free day.
Days 12 - Bright to Tumut.
Days 13 - Tumut to Moss Vale. Presentation dinner, then make own way home in the morning.
Organised by Graham & Kerry email: email@example.com
Chris S held up the start by having a puncture before he left home. This gave many engineers the time to diagnose that the Dodge of Phil and Pam T would not be going any further than the start having no compression on one cylinder because of a burnt out exhaust valve. They turned around and got nearly home and then decided to call the NRMA to be towed the last few miles. They caught up to us at the motel in a modern after a very hard day’s motoring. It was nice to have four other cars, not going on the tour, see us off.
Andy presented Kerry and Graham with their name badges in front of many witnesses. Ros got attacked by a low hanging branch and had a scar on her forehead for about a week.
The Bayliss got underway with a purple bang after having problem with tubes and/or rust bands. Charlie D broke the water pump shaft and was seen in the motel finding another water pump under his seat. John C had one of the largest steak to be seen ..1 kg to be precise, for tea.
As it was Father’s Day Veronica wished every male a happy Father’s Day. We travelled around the back streets of Canberra to Tidbinbilla to visit the Space Tracking Station. Fascinating for all. Robyn W made an unlady like departure from the station. Luckily, she was not hurt. The misfiring of the La Salle started outside the Station and continued for the whole trip. Lunch for a lucky few was in the park in Yass down near the river. Beautiful!
A T/F dinner across the road, from the best motel of the trip (Federation Motel) was enjoyed by all. Bill and Alan M joined the tour in Alan’s Chrysler.
Today, as many days on the tour, were beautiful back undulating roads with green fields as far as the eye could see, due to the rains of the previous weeks. Tiny spring lambs were abundant everywhere.
Perfect vintage motoring.
Jim H was heard to say “I want to remind all the ladies that there are only a few hours of Father’s Day left.”
Keith W told everybody to visit the “Up to Date Store” at the top of the hill before going into Coolaman. It is an unrestored general store that boasts an original “Lampston Ball Cash System” which is reputedly the only one left in the world. It was another fascinating experience.
Kav was on point duty on a corner that Graham and Kerry thought tourists could miss. Thanks Kav.
Temora Park was a beautiful morning tea stop where we were joined by Don and Betsy M. Phil T was reminded of another birthday with three cakes and many candles.
At tea Bill M’s description of calarmari rings, “rubber rings and old garters”
A visit to the Catania Fruit Salad Farm did not sound very interesting but as it turned out Sharon and Joe M (the owners) gave us a very entertaining and informative visit with many brilliant phrases and punch lines.
Referring to how to take good cuttings of grapes “root before you shoot and you will get 100% success rate”. Another tip she gave us “always buy Valencia oranges when they are green as this is the best time to eat them”. She was a real character and had everybody in fits of laughter. Great!
A mile down the road to the McWilliams Winery where there was a big surprise for everybody, John and Marianne G were given a large cake to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Congratulations. Simon C the winemaker showed us around the winery and a few tastings were had, but few sales. Marianne and John were given a complimentary bottle of wine for their special event.
Many pink pieces of paper were seen out and around the city trying to find the answers to the questions. A thoroughly enjoyable day.
Today we were given a car name puzzle / quiz that was very carefully thought out, but much harder to untangle. A lunch stop in a park in Jerilderie near the lake was another lovely spot. A short walk to the Museum to see some Ned Kelly memorabilia.
Ted and Pat C’s deflating problems were finally overcome by having new tubes and rust bands freighted up from Melbourne, getting lost in Leeton and finally arriving in Griffith rather late.
The motel in Yarrawonga was in a beautiful spot just near the river. An organised BBQ in the grounds was well received by everybody and many thanks to Rod N and John C who did the cooking.
Phil and Pam T, Tony and Margaret S-W had been carefully planning the event’s day for quite a while. Showering people with water as they burst 5 balloons was greeted with laughter all round.
Kim’s navigational nightmare from last year was used again and the same people got it wrong again. Everybody joined in the spirit of the morning’s events and worked to together wonderfully. Thank you to everybody.
After lunch (which consisted of the previous night’s left overs) we had time to explore Yarrawonga. A pretty little town with a sinking bridge. A clock Museum was very interesting and the Pioneer Museum back across the NSW border had a veteran Renault and a 1927 Pierce Arrow Roadster! A very rare car in Australia.
An easy run to Shepparton , past dairy farms and fruit orchards, sheep and cattle .
The Chris S and George A took a detour and went to an advanced driving circuit that they use for their truck drivers. What they thought would be a sedate drive around the circuit, turned out to be a hair raising ride on second lap consisting of four wheel drifts, hand brake turns and a drive in reverse at a great rate of knots. Judging by the video that John G took there were some very white faces and ….and…. Veronica was left speechless!!
Onto Nagambie for lunch. A shower forced everybody into cafes in the town. A couple of nice antique shops interested many people. A “vintage bridge” caused some worried looks and a wide ride. After lunch, a pleasant drive along back roads to Bendigo where we had another great outlook over Lake Weerona.
Bendigo is a very pretty city and many things to do. Some of the ladies went straight to the Bendigo Woollen Mills to buy wool, others went to the Cathedral in the centre of the town to see it’s magnificent architectural splendour, while the fit people went for a walk around the beautiful lake.
An organised dinner in the motel was well received and appreciated.
A first for any tour this morning. The tariff included breakfast in the restaurant and it was a great meeting point for the next 3 mornings.
The men and the women separated for the morning. The ladies took the early bus into Bendigo CBD to do some serious shopping. Veronica spotted a bargain in the jeweller’s shop and was banging on the window to make sure nobody else beat her to it. Others visited Myers, a terrific hat shop and of course a patchwork shop. They then went to the Beechworth Bakery to wait for the men to arrive.
The men went to the Australian Defence Industry factory. They were shown the vast complex which was made in 1943 in just 9 months as part of the war effort. Here they saw the design prototypes, manufacture and assembly of the Bushman troop carrier. A great big 15 tonne monster that can travel at 110 km/hr. We saw the results of simulated mine explosion on the prototypes. Frightening but fantastic interesting morning that we all enjoyed.
After meeting up again at the Bakery we all proceeded to the Talking Tram Museum for a shortened tour of the City (because a truck had torn down some of the electrical wires). A very brief hail storm made everybody scurry back to their cars. Then onto a mine tour. 35 “miners” put on their safety hats, lights and batteries and went down to the second level (of 17 in the mine) This was far down enough for many, but it was the site of a wedding for one couple a few months previously. Demonstrations of air distribution, drilling and rock dumping trucks made us realise how noisy and claustrophobic mine life was and still is. Robyn had her eyes tightly closed as the lift ascended to breathe fresh air once more.
At Breakfast Andy announced that Graham and Kerry had to leave the tour early this morning as Kerry’s mother was gravely ill. Tony was to fill in (to give him the experience) and Steven and Michelle (who had just joined us last night) were to give out the questions.
Maldon was the destination for today and “the train was to leave at 10am sharp so don’t be late”. Bells, whistles, flags, station master and uniformed guards were all seen at various times. As a result the train left with the precision as we would expect in NSW but not in Victoria ……35 minutes late.
There was class division between first class and second class carriages. The only difference the first class had arm rests and doors on each compartment. All shared the square wheels as it rattled it’s way through picturesque country to Castlemaine. The steam loco did a quick turn around, hardly giving us much time to do anything. Lunch was in the historical town of Maldon.
The return trip for some (as per the instructions) headed for Bendigo via Bridgewater. Three cars past us going the same way in 20 miles. Green hills and plains, gum trees lining the undulating road made excellent vintage motoring.
At tea time ten of the tour group celebrated Ron and Shirley N’s 57th wedding Anniversary.
Who was seen running from one unit to another with only a towel around him? Only description was he had shiny black hair. The hot water heater for 4 rooms was past it’s use-by date and showers had to be shared in another unoccupied unit.
Excellent instructions showed most tourists beautiful country on back roads. How did Kerry and Graham ever find them? Some got lost and gave various reasons for their problems.
The cool wind got most people putting on their scarves and their parkas.
In Rushworth for morning tea many of the locals showed much interest in our cars.
Charlie D broke an axle at the nut causing the wheel to fly off, ripping the mudguard and damaging part of the bodywork. Gaffa tape made it look slightly better. What else does Charlie carry under the seat?
Nigel and Jan B together with Jan’s school friend Marianne, joined us in Bright for the rest of the Tour.
More pink sheets were seen wandering the streets of Bright. As we did in Bendigo and Griffith we learnt more of the local town than we did previously. The Tourist Information Centre answered many of the same questions.
Jim H could not get the DA to start this morning. The coil, condenser and the points were changed and it started. Which is the faulty bit Jim? The other two good bits you can bring with you next time.
Chris S’s mob borrowed a car and went skiing for the day. Others toured local hamlets while some went bush walking. A nice day to do as much as we wished, or, just relax.
A local enthusiast showed about 15 men and 3 women his collection of a 1911 Napier, a SP250 Daimler, an early veteran Humber and a 1923 Marmon sports roadster. He is looking for a 20” spare wire wheel which was stolen off his ute when he was bringing the car home! Bill M was seen as the navigator in the SP250 heading to a second collection of Jaguars.
Boules appeared at happy hour and Kuko and Jim M seemed to take turn in winning each end.
“Disaster Day” or, as Tony put it the next morning “the day of attrition”
Tony and Margaret S-W’s Oldsmobile had a terminal engine failure just out of Bright NRMA Veteran Vintage and Classic Insurance to the rescue.
Brian and Ellen J as well as George and Marcia had fuel problem but finally got to Tumut.
Alan and Anne E’s DA water pump finally gave up the ghost just after he try to help Brian. NRMA Veteran, Vintage and Insurance to the rescue again.
The back up crews in both terminal cases have to be thanked immensely as they got to Tumut in the dark….. much to worry of both moteliers. It rained heavily that evening.
In the mean time the Kiewa Valley and the B546 road to Walwa were the most spectacular views of the tour. Picture perfect.
The view early in the day may have been beautiful but nobody saw it because of the fog.
An early stop for morning tea at the “Dog on the Tucker Box” where we were greeted by members of the Cootamundra Club who came across especially to greet us.
Past members and ex Tour Director Kevin and Sue S who now live in Harden, were there too.
The boring run up the Hume goat track seemed to go on and on. It was a welcome sight to see Goulburn but the biting cold wind lived up to the cities’ reputation. Another back road to go and be safely into Moss Vale and Kerry and Graham joined us once more, as did Kim and Jan R, Redman and Ann K, Jason and Louise.
Moss Vale Golf Club was the venue for the final dinner of the tour where we were asked to come in period costumes. Most gathered into the spirit of the night. Al Capones, black and white suits and beautiful frocks and feathers on the ladies made a colourful and happy party.
In his final speech for the Tour Graham thanked Keith for his photographic skills, Kav for his checking of the tour notes prior to the actual tour, Rod and Keith for their back up help.
After Graham took most of my speech to thank everybody for such and excellent tour, I spoke to the assembled multitude. “Thank for being game enough to take over the excellent job of your predecessors Kevin and Sue. Thank you for taking us over some brilliant back roads, excellent scenery, great motels and very detailed notes.
None of us can thank you enough for giving us such a marvelous holiday with such a friendly bunch of people.”
I am sure I spoke for everybody on the Tour.
Dress Up - Runner up - Chris & Mary S
Winner - Ted & Beryl S
Beryl wore an original1920's outfit, and was admired by all.
Petrol Consumption - Best - Jim & Marcia M Least - George & Marcia A
Hard Luck - 3 way tie - Phil & Pam T, Tony & Margaret S-W, Alan & Anne E
Questions - Runner up - Phip & Pam T Winner - Alan & Anne E
Events - Runner up - John & Marianne G Winner - Frank & Veronica S
Overall - Runner up - Andy & Ros A Winner - Tony & Margaret S-W
Report by Ros & Andy A (last minute scribes)