ANZAC Day was a perfect day weatherwise, drawing large crowds to Fagan Park and many of them visiting the Museum precinct. We took our vehicles for a parade through the park, including the newly completed Farmall F14 tractor. A couple of small issues arose as you might expect on its maiden run, and these will not be difficult to fix. Our tea and coffee was popular and we actually sold out of the homemade ANZAC biscuits.
Mention was made previously of the recent resurrection of our McDonald diesel roller, and this was started a couple of times and even driven a short distance up and down to show off the rumbling behemoth that it is. After ANZAC Day we were able to put it back in its shed after nearly 12 months.
Netherby Homestead will be closed for all of May for ceiling replacement and a complete repaint.
One of our members is close to completing the restoration of a Ba-vu pumping unit. These comprise an integrated 2-stroke engine and high pressure pump all of their own design, and were used for orchard spraying, sheep delousing (an alternative to dipping) and so on. They were manufactured in Victoria and are quite uncommon in NSW. As donated, ours was missing a few items, but we were able to acquire another to complete it.
We have just commenced work on the 1918 International Model K truck, at this stage dismantling the donor chassis. The wheels will be a particular challenge, being solid rubber on wooden-spoked wheels (known as artillery wheels). There are few remaining people capable of re-spoking and re-rubbering these types of wheels, even though they were once common. See the attached photo of one of the rear wheels – it certainly needs some work! We really expect challenges at every turn, which is what makes a project such as this so interesting and rewarding. One notable feature however – it is 100 years old and has been stored in the open for goodness knows how long, yet there is minimal rust, and every nut and bolt has loosened with little difficulty, a testament to the quality of materials used back then. The climate out West would also have helped of course.
The Friends of Fagan Park are on deck every Tuesday, which is our volunteering day. The museums are open to all on these days, and on the second Sunday of each month (afternoon only). We encourage visitors to ask about our projects, as well as about any of the artefacts on display. Who knows – you may become interested in joining us!
Call Ian Browning, Honorary Curator, 0419 435 475.