Since the recent refurbishment, Netherby Homestead has enjoyed strong interest, and recently hosted a sizable group of Year 2 students from a district school. The kids showed a lot of interest in the ice chest, a forerunner to the refrigerator, and the old wooden box telephone – the Fagan’s phone number was Dural 6. They were also impressed with the display of pre-decimal coins associated with the fully functional 1908 National Cash Register. The words ‘penny’, ‘thrippence’, ‘shilling’ and so on, have disappeared from everyday language now, as have all the slang words like ‘zac’, ‘dinar’, ‘bob’, etc.
A recent event was the 16th annual Velocette Day hosted by the Friends. With over 45 mostly historic motorcycles present, it was a very successful day. Velocette made a very wide range of models in Britain from 1907 until 1971, and held many racing titles. However, their model LE of the late 1950’s was the company’s saviour, being adopted as the British ‘Postie’ bike of the period. Its water-cooled engine was nearly silent. One standout on the day was a Vincent Black Prince – super rare and a great privilege to see.
Work on the international truck is proceeding slowly, with the Orange chassis now stripped bare. This is as far as it can be progressed for the moment, while we assess the engine, gearbox etc. We are currently determining the best path to getting the wheels restored, and we have consulted specialists in the Southern Highlands and ACT. The water pump restoration is now complete. I previously mentioned the steering wheel – the new wooden rim looks magnificent! We can be very proud of the skills of our members.
The Friends of Fagan Park are on deck every Tuesday, our volunteering day, and we open the museums on the second Sunday each month during the afternoon. We welcome all visitors and are happy to showcase our treasures.
Ian Browning, Honorary Curator, 0419 435 475.