History, Objectives and Mission:
The Nungarin Heritage Machinery and Army Museum has, among its objectives, “to collect, classify and preserve historical relics, machinery, buildings and records relating to the history of Western Australia, and more particularly relating to the history of Nungarin and surrounding districts”.
Achievements and News:
We’ve done it! The inaugural Vintage Rally and Searchlight Party were held on February 29th. We had a wonderful turnout of nearly 500 paying visitors, plus children, volunteers and exhibitors. Many of the visitors advised they had read our advertisement in the RAC magazine – it was a brave move putting the ad in as it was a costly way to get the word out, but with the financial contributions of Newtravel, The Woolshed Hotel, the Wheatbelt Market committee and the Shire of Nungarin the outlay was manageable. The CRC gave 'in kind' help by printing flyers and helping to get the word out through their network. It seems that we reached a wide audience and hopefully word of mouth will mean more visitors over the coming year.
The day was packed with people viewing the great range of vintage exhibits – there was a Cadillac, some vintage military vehicles, a Camaro, a wonderful little teardrop caravan towed by a vintage vehicle, great stationary engines, trucks, and of course the Model T Ford which got lots of attention. When people were tired of looking at the exhibits they looked at the museum displays, sat and talked, ate, drank, and talked some more. The atmosphere was wonderful.
The evening culminated in the searchlight shining over the gimlets, onto the wonderful museum building, and up into the sky. We were all in awe of the team working at the coal face to “tickle” the generator when it faltered. What a sight that searchlight beam was!
And thanks to Tom for his music which complemented the evening nicely.
Food and Accommodation
As predicted the town was busy, with many vans parked at the caravan park, the oval and McCorry’s Old Hotel. McCorry’s and the Woolshed were booked out for accommodation and some people needed to stay out of town, so the benefits flowed around the district as well.
The Woolshed Hotel was pumping on Saturday night and also had a great crowd at the Sunday session after the markets – so wonderful to see the lovely beer garden full of people chatting and enjoying themselves.
Laurie and his team were great supporters of the Rally – they set up and ran a nifty little bar at the Museum and all profits will be shared. Thanks to Great Northern Brewers who donated two kegs of beer – good on you!
The team at McCorry’s Homestead put on morning and afternoon tea and roast lunches to feed some of the hungry masses, and reported that they “were run off their feet” and very happy to have been a part of the weekend.
Thanks to Wegners Rural for helping out with supplies for our Museum café – we ran out of a few things and they were there to help!
Volunteers before, during and after the Rally are numerous. We had wonderful help from locals who came and cleaned and shifted, carted and organised – THANK YOU. We had help on the day with people who took money at the gate and café, cooked and served, cleaned and ran messages, turned the power back on every time it failed, and generally kept the crowd happy. We realise that shire workers have extra work when the town is busy, and thank them for all the calls answered and caravans booked in!
Special mention to Dave who cooked food for hundreds of people with barely a grumble, despite the constant challenges of the power shorts.
And – another special mention to Bill’s family members who were always ready with a spanner, tea towel or piece of advice whenever needed – you were invaluable.
We also had three volunteers who came for the rally and then stayed for another three days to help with many tasks – Tony, Dave and Ray are from the Military Section of the Vintage Car Club. With their combined expertise (and working with Phil) they managed quite a few jobs. Of particular note, they got the Bren Carrier started after some seven years of silence; what wonderful mechanics they must be! They’ve agreed to come back and help in the future; we will warmly welcome them.
Plans and Projects:
With the Rally now a wonderful memory, we have to focus on our next projects – completing the sand blasting area and getting the drum muster area built. Oh, and the brick paving still awaits………
Despite the huge numbers, hardly anyone wrote in the visitors’ book – they were far too busy looking and chatting!
Comments of the month:
From one small boy: “I loved controlling the tanks and climbing on them Tank you for having us.” (Pun intended).
From one couple: “May it go on forever – like the volunteers!”
And: “Fantastic collection of amazing military history. Congratulations Bill Hewitt and Crew!”
We have an ongoing need for general volunteers. We saw a few new faces and some old (returning) ones as well over the last few weeks – we couldn’t have been more pleased to have you come and help!
(08) 90465040 (please leave a message if unattended).nungarinmuseum.com.au