News from the Friends of Fagan Park

By Ian Browning

Amid so much uncertainty, we are soldiering on, and we have been really keen to “get back to it” and enjoy the camaraderie that is so strong amongst us. Fagan Park News 

Welcome to our new recruit, Angela, who is making quite an impression on the Homestead garden.

We will already have held our Australia Day open day when this edition comes out. Preparation commenced as soon as we returned to duties late last year, finding that our Leyland truck has suffered from not being started and driven for so long, having to repair an aluminium fitting in the cooling system that had corroded away.

Also, the McDonald road roller needed some serious work, which has been completed.

Our big celebration followed the successful first start of the engine of the 1918 International truck. With a temporary fuel tank rigged up, it fired at the very first try, which amazed us all. Much as I would love to take it for a spin, there is a fair bit of work to do before that can happen.

For those who would like to share the moment, it can be viewed on the YouTube channel ‘isandian’.

I hope we can be forgiven for using a cranking aid – it sure beats the crank handle!

We are well on the way to restoring a Howard “Gem” rotary hoe, originally used by the Peebles family. The photo shows it resplendent in new paint, awaiting the fitting of the engine. We are trying to locate original decals to set it off.

Another project just started is our Meadowbank vertical engine. This undertaking is an earlier restoration that had encountered problems that we are hoping to fix.

The engine itself is unique in every way. It is the sole survivor of a batch of 12 made at Meadowbank, Sydney, in 1915, for the Trans Australian Railway, which was opened in 1918, linking Port Augusta in SA to Kalgoorlie in WA.

We believe they were used for pumping water up into overhead tanks to replenish the steam locomotives that hauled trains across the Nullarbor.

Whilst all this has no relevance at all to Fagan Park, the engine itself is a valued part of the collection.

If you would like to contact us to offer your services as a volunteer, call Ian 0419 435 475, or Vern 0405 703 413.