The Friends of Fagan Park

We enjoyed perfect weather and a huge crowd on our Open Day on September 30. It was an opportunity to showcase many of our working machinery and vehicles. We took many of them for a drive around the park, one of the few opportunities to give them a proper run. Thanks to all our volunteers for helping make the day the success it was. We have decided to lock in the Sunday of the October weekend as our Spring Open Day in future. On this occasion, Hornsby Shire Council adopted our suggestion to donate all of the parking fees to the Drought Appeal.

One of the machines run on the day was our Rider-Ericsson hot air engine. This is one of the museum’s prized possessions, and its operation baffles even engineering minded people. Its sole purpose is to pump water, utilising a wood fire to provide the heat required. It uses the expansion of air when heated and contraction when cooled, to impart power to a piston, with a large and heavy flywheel to maintain rotation through the cycle. For those interested, Google ‘Stirling Cycle’ for more information. These machines came into prominence in the mid to late 1800’s until internal combustion engines became affordable as power sources for pumping. Very few of these machines survive today.

Work continues on the 1918 International truck. There are plenty of things to do, and recent activity has centred on cleaning up the precious radiator. It needs repairs, and we are confident it will come good. The major obstacle is financing the restoration of the wheels, with all options being explored.

The Fagan Park museums 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.


Ian Browning, Honorary Curator, 0419 435 475.

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