News from the Friends of Fagan Park

Well, our wishes did come true – what a lovely lot of rain we had at the end of August! Unfortunately, the catchment and the farmers missed out, but it has freshened up the park for our Open Day on Sunday of the long weekend, 6th October. Come and join us, meet some of the Friends, have a chat about our displays, and enjoy a cuppa.

The 1918 International truck restoration proceeds apace. Mind you, it will probably be another year or two before it is finished, as there is so much to do. Nevertheless, we can tick off a couple more milestones achieved – the gearbox has been reassembled, and the radiator has undergone a full rebuild.

The Bave-U orchard spray pump that has been a troublesome restoration is finally running well, thanks to the persistence of a couple of our Friends. It refuses to be started with the crank handle, so a starting aid has been rigged up, a much easier method than hand cranking. I hope it will behave and run on display at the Open Day.

One of our past restorations is the Atco Auto Scythe pictured. It was quite dilapidated but complete when donated to us. We worked our magic on it and it looks good and runs beautifully. These were made in UK before and after WW2, but are fairly uncommon in Australia. Machines of this type are very much frowned upon these days as they are very dangerous to say the least! Just the same, it is an interesting machine, and similar in function to the much more common Allen Oxford scythe in our collection.

Council has deemed much of our workshop machinery, (all of which had been donated over the years,) did not meet WHS standards. As a result, they have replaced several items, and provided a number of new battery powered tools. On order, as I write this, is a new lathe, and it will be cause for much celebration when it arrives! I do think this investment by Council represents an endorsement of the value they see in our service to the community.

The Fagan Park museums and Netherby Homestead are open every Tuesday, our volunteering day, and we open the museums on the second Sunday each month during the afternoon. All visitors are welcome.

We would especially like to encourage people to join our group, and ladies are most welcome. Contact me at the park on a Tuesday or phone anytime.

Ian Browning, Honorary Curator, 0419 435 475.