Ridgehaven Retirement Village Visit

Today the museum had a visit from the Ridgehaven Retirement Village, which was organized by Des Page. The tour was a great success and enjoyed by all members that attended. To conclude the week of organized tours was a visit from the Northern Careers Network on the 8th of September. We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to come and enjoy a little about what our historical museum has to offer.

Editorial By Maggie Bogar and Photo by Snapit.First Photography

Air Force Cadets Military History Tour

This is a guest post by Paul A Rosenzweig, Pilot Officer (AAFC) Australian Air Force Cadets, Public Affairs & Communication Officer

On 18 September, Air Force Cadets from a variety of squadrons of 6 Wing (South Australia) conducted the third phase of a Military History Weekend Tour, organised and conducted by 608 (‘Town of Gawler’) Squadron.

In addition to the educational aspects of the tour, appropriate to their rank and level of experience cadets were given the opportunity to develop their personal skills in leadership, self-reliance, confidence, teamwork and communication.



While the cadets learnt about Australia’s military history on this tour, it’s exciting to think that many of them might actually be serving in uniform for the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force in 2021

President’s Report 2015/2016

This time last year the Society was waiting on a response to our offer to purchase the museum site. Just before Christmas the response came in the form of a contract for the sale of the property and then the work began to deal with the legal issues and find funding before a settlement date at the end of April. Fundraising by members including a Bunning’s sausage sizzle raised a considerable amount as did tax deductable donations from members.

However as the settlement date came closer we realised we would not make it in time so we asked for the settlement date to be extended to the end of May which was granted. Those 4 weeks proved to be crucial as we were able to finalise a loan, we received significant donations from the Federation of Historic Car Clubs and numerous car clubs across the state, the SA Government granted an exemption from Stamp Duty on the purchase and we were granted a donation from the Salisbury Council to cover the shortfall just days before the deadline. The purchase of the site is now complete but we cannot be complacent as there is still a lot of work to be done over the next 12 months to keep the museum going not to mention a loan to be serviced so donations are still needed.

In a very good example of good fortune but bad timing was the surprise advice early in 2016 that not only had our tender submitted the year before to Defence for a M113 APC been successful but we had also secured the 2 other variants as well. Although thought to be at least a year away we learnt payment was required within 3 weeks with delivery to take place before the end of February. Committee realised that this was a one off opportunity that had to be taken advantage of and with the support of members funding was found and the vehicles are now on display. As it has been confirmed all the remaining vehicles were destroyed by Defence I believe we made the right decision.

Members Trevor Brown and Pat Brown were well deserved recipients of Australia Day Medallions for their longstanding to the Museum and the Community. The medallions were presented at our January meeting which happened to be on Australia Day by Councillor Graham Reynolds.

On a sad note Pat passed away in May this year and Gary Ford who many would have seen in the workshop passed in June after a short illness. We will miss two of our most valued members.

A number of successful events were held this year at the Museum the most notable being a Motorfest event in association with the Bay to Birdwood Run Classic, our Christmas party, the Show and Shine in conjunction with the Modified Ford Club and the Year of the Jeep Day in April. The last was exceptionally successful with more than $7000 raised for our Society property fund.

A number of outside displays were also attended by members and their vehicles such as Clipsal and Australia Day Parades. Of course we supported the veterans by supplying transport at the Anzac Day March and other RSL events. A day trip to Greenock Museum was well supported and proved to be very interesting. Committee is hopeful of organising more of these trips for members over the next 12 months. A number of members and vehicles attended Corowa in March including many who attended last year for the first time and returned this year.

In the Workshop thanks to efforts of members and volunteers considerable progress has been made on restoration of the WW1 FWD which we hope to have on the road for its 100 years next year, the Chev Gun Tractor and the Bedford Ute project for the Salisbury Council.

The Work for Dole programme has been very successful with numerous tasks being completed. Although now scaled down it will continue to be of benefit to us by greatly improving the appearance of the museum site and assisting the dedicated group of members and volunteers who tackle the ongoing task of maintaining the grounds every week.

I wish to convey my thanks to the committee and subcommittee who this year in particular has put in many hours of work and to all members who have contributed with their time or donations during the last 12 months. This really has been a year that has changed our Society for the better and now that the uncertainty with the property is over we will be able to meet a different set of challenges in the coming year.

Dave Carmen
President MVPSSA

Army Cadet Weekend at the Museum

The museum had a highly successful visit from the Army Cadets from Keswick a couple of weeks ago. Everyone had a good time and learned plenty. We look forward to working with the Cadets again in the future.

A synopsis of the visit is below:

On the weekend of the 24th to 26th of June cadets from 413 Pipes & Drums and 47 ACU Keswick held a training weekend at the NMVM. The point of this weekend was to introduce the Cadets to the NMVM. Some of the things that occurred were lectures on the history of hand grenades, submachine guns, the 25 pounder, and an educational quiz on the museum. The cadets were also introduced to various vehicles in the museum’s collection.

This was a great experience that was enjoyed thoroughly by all involved be they cadets, staff and also the various members of the NMVM whom were in attendance over the weekend.

On behalf of the Cadets and Staff we would like to express our most grateful appreciation to Mr Pinney and the other members of the NMVM whom were in attendance.

Pvt (AAC) John Flory
OPSO 413 ACU P&D / 47 ACU Keswick.

Museum Property Purchase Update

We would like to announce that settlement on the property at 10 Sturton Road, Edinburgh Parks took place on May 30, 2016 and it is now owned by the Military Vehicle Preservation Society of South Australia. This would not have been possible without the tireless work of our committee and our membership; as well as a number of generous donations from the Salisbury City Council, the South Australian Government, our members, a number of FHMCSA affiliated clubs, local businesses and the general public. The list of donors would be too long to publish, but we assure you that we appreciate all of the assistance that we have received.

In order to reach our settlement, however, we have had to secure a private loan of approximately $200,000. This loan needs to be serviced, on top of which, we have now taken on responsibility for maintaining and preserving the property, most notably to meet the loan conditions, upgrading the fire service and replacing the roof on one of the buildings . While we see the ownership of the property as an exciting opportunity  to preserve the site and provide an educational resource through the museum we are not completely out of the woods yet and any  support from  groups and individuals will be greatly appreciated.

We would like to remind everyone that the end of financial year is nearly upon us, and that as a Deductible Gift Recipient, any donations made to the Society in excess of $2 are tax deductible.

Thank you all for your support, which enables us to continue to serve our community.

We Need You!

As many of you would know by now, we are in the process of purchasing the property that the museum is currently housed on, a group of historically listed WW2 era buildings that served as a TNT plant during the war.

We have reached a point where we have made an offer and a deposit on the property and have secured most of the funding, however, we have a modest shortfall of around $60,000 and with settlement looming towards the end of May, we’re asking for donations to help us keep the museum going.

Unfortunately, despite indications to the contrary, the government (Federal, State and Council), have not yet given us any assistance with the purchase.

We’d like to remind everyone, both individuals and companies, that it’s almost tax time and as a registered not for profit organisation, donations over $2 are tax deductible. While we’d certainly love some bigger donations, every little bit helps, so even if you can only spare $10 or $20, we’d love to hear from you.

Donations can be made via PayPal on our website, via cheque or money order or in person at the museum. Please contact us if you have any queries.

Thanks for your support.

The National Military Vehicle Museum team.

Gawler Show 2015

The Gawler Show is the largest country show in South Australia, and is run the weekend before the start of the Royal Adelaide Show. This year’s show was on the 29th and 30th if August, and the museum attended with 4 vehicles, and the 25 pounder field gun with limber.

Setup started at 0930 on the Friday, leaving the museum with Ray driving the Acco with Limber and 25lb Gun, Mike driving the Koop, Ryan in the Kennys Blitz, Darrly Lavis in the “support vehicle bus” and Russell in his Austin. The group departed in convoy up the Northern Expressway to Gawler. Unfortunately about 5km out from Gawler the Kenny Blitz decided to give up the ghost, with a probable electrical problem. The rest of the group continued on to Gawler with remaining vehicles. and then returned to the museum in the bus to gather towing equipment to recover the Blitz. The Blitz was successfully towed to the Gawler Show with the Acco. Following setup all returned back in the bus to the museum by 1530.

Saturday, day one, 9 am to 6 pm, Terry Kowalik, Don Blackmore, John Fisk, Ryan Vallis and Russell Vine. It was a busy day, with lots of interest and many brochures handed out. It was a great promotion for the museum and also the show and shine on the 20th of September.

Sunday, day two, 9 am to 5 pm, Young Terry (dressed in artillery battle dress – lots of pics taken with him), Bill and Eileen Prior, Ron Day and Russell Vine. Again great day and busy lots of interest and brochures hand out in large numbers. Ray Hall, Mike and Thomas Jebb arrived later in the day to assist with taking the vehicles back to the museum. The first run left at 1700, leaving the Kenny Blitz behind to collect on the second run, Austin car, Koop and Acco / Limber and gun back at museum by a little after 1730. Ray with Mike, Thomas and Russell then went back to Gawler to recover the Kenny Blitz. It was slow drive home back along the expressway, which was now getting dark. Russell followed behind in his Barina applying Hazard lights off and on to let the traffic from behind know we were travelling slow. We arrived safely back at the museum by 1930. Unfortunately the Koop, noticed on return the generator has given up with bearing issues, but it somehow made it back ok.

All in all a successful weekend and fantastic opportunity to advertise the museum, society and the work we do, especially to people and families north of Adelaide.

Thanks to all that attended the two days at the show and also taking the vehicles up on Friday and returning them Sunday afternoon / evening. It was a tiring couple of days, but well worth it.

we will be attending the Royal Adelaide Show for its full 10 day run, however part if the agreement with them is that they will transport all of the vehicles on flat-bed trucks, so at least we won’t have to worry about breakdowns.



Greenock Aviation Museum Club Run

A trip by a number of members, family and friends to the Greenock Aviation Museum.

It was an early, chilly start, meeting at the museum at 0930 for a 1000 departure. The group left on time, in a convoy, along Main North Road into Gawler. Half of the group took a detour to Richmond Gregory’s home with the others (who didn’t want to tackle Richmond’s driveway) heading to the Lyndoch Bakery for a coffee/cake and sit in front of the fire.

Following us all getting back together at Lyndoch, we hit the road again for the drive through Nuriootpa then onto Greenock. There was a small drama on the way with Russell’s little Austin A30 deciding to lose power and come to a stop and roll into a car parking spot on the main road. A quick look under the bonnet revealed that the distributor cap had unclipped (too many railway lines at speed maybe – but it is British). Once clipped back on, it was all good and he was on his way.

We arrived at the Aviation Museum to be welcomed with our lunch, snags, salad and bread with urn boiling for a nice brew. After lunch an intro talk about the museum, its content and also the owners history of flying and purchasing a wide variety of aircraft and parts following the war and his tales of exchanging parts over the years.

It was very interesting, with a large collection of aviation engines, aircraft and artefacts and also the largest collection of model aircraft in the southern hemisphere. Outside a Canberra Bomber and a replica Mustang ( aircraft 🙂 ). Also a busy workshop full of spares of all sorts including a Rolls Royce Merlin on a stand, however it unable to run for us due to a carby issue. There were other sheds with tractors and farm machinery and a 1927 Whippet sitting on a trailer awaiting “restoration”.

To end the visit had a listen to the start up of a Commer Truck fitted with a TS3 diesel knocker engine, a very unique and awesome sounding engine.

We all departed a little after 2pm.

Those who enjoyed the day, in “historic cars” Geoff Klau and Rod Dent in their Jeeps, Sam and Lorraine Cutajar in the E Type Jag, A few of Sam’s friends in a nice Mustang and an early Falcon, and myself, Tracy, William and Spencer squeezed in my Austin A30. In “moderns” were Dave Carmen and family in the Ford Territory, Bob “Baldy” Cottle and his 3 grandsons in his Falcon wagon, and also meeting us up at the Aviation Museum Darryl and Janice Lavis in their SS Commodore.

It was a great day, and a big thanks to Geoff Klau on making it happen.

President’s Report 2014/2015

Well another year has passed and it is almost time for the AGM.

This time last year the Society was focussed on the future of the museum at its present location after Goodman’s asked us if we would like to purchase the site. After discussions with the members Committee had decided to pursue the opportunity and submitted an offer prior to the June deadline nominated by Goodman. Unfortunately the offer was not accepted and in December another higher offer was submitted. Currently we are still awaiting a response and while this seems to be taking a long time it is felt that this will occur in the new financial year.

In the meantime Committee is pursuing funding through donations and possible sponsorships. I am pleased that through the work of members and donations we have over $24,000 in the property fund. In addition we have pledges from members in excess of $30,000 toward the site purchase.

Increased publicity for the museum through newspaper articles and TV coverage this year has helped to increase visitor numbers and it is becoming more popular with other Clubs and School Groups in particular. Also in demand with groups is the catered BBQ and thanks must go to the regular team who make this possible.

A number of successful events were held this year at the Museum including a Motorfest event in association with the Bay to Birdwood Run, our Christmas party, the Show and Shine in conjunction with the Modified Ford Club and the Year of the General Day. The last two were the largest and most successful with considerable monies raised both for our Society and Charity.

A number of outside displays were also attended by members and their vehicles including Clipsal, the Aviation Museum, Salisbury RSL, Torrens Parade Ground, Salisbury and Port Adelaide Christmas parades and Australia Day parades. The Anzac Day March this year was well supported with more than 30 historic vehicles provided to transport the Veterans. While we are able to assist the Veterans we will continue to provide vehicles into the future.

A number of members and vehicles including some of our newer members attended Corowa in March this year. This is a tremendous event and I would urge all members to speak to those that have experienced it with a view to going next year.

In the Workshop thanks to efforts of the members and volunteers considerable progress has been made on restoration of a number of vehicles including the Desert Chev and the McGrath trailer. The North South Ford and Bedford Aircrew Bus are now completed and on display. Essential and in some cases major maintenance of the Stuart, Bren Gun carrier, Marmon Herrington and the No 8 Gun Tractor this year contributed to a very busy year. Projects for the next year include the WW1 FWD which subject to a Grant application we would like to have mobile for its 100th year in 2017.

The instigating of a WFD programme has been very successful with the Museum building almost fully painted both inside and out and a myriad of other tasks which have greatly improved the appearance of the site. In addition the model display and the WW1 displays have been upgraded. This has been a very successful programme and we have the opportunity to embark on a larger programme for the coming year.

Every week a dedicated group of members and volunteers have continued the ongoing task of maintaining the grounds including endless grass cutting and spraying of weeds.

It is important to reflect that all this essential work mentioned above only gets done because members and volunteers regularly put in the time to make it happen and without it our Museum would not exist.

I wish to convey my thanks to the committee and subcommittee who again have put in many hours of work and to all members who have contributed with their time or donations during the last 12 months.

Finally the year ahead will again present some significant challenges but hopefully the ownership of the Museum site and our future will become clearer so we will be able to improve and grow the Museum.

Dave Carmen
President MVPSSA

ANZAC Day 2015

25 April…..not just any day on the calendar but a day to commemorate the men and women who have served in our defence forces and remember those that have fallen. This ANZAC Day was even more significant as 2015 marked 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli during World War One, where the legacy of the ANZAC was born.

The day started early with many attending dawn services across the state, including a massive crowd at the War Memorial in Adelaide. Once the sun rose, it was soon time to start forming up for the March through the city, beginning on North Terrace and heading down King William Road. Historic military vehicles, Red Cross cars and Defence vehicles arrived early at their appropriate positions. Veterans came from far and wide and when they catch a glimpse of the military vehicles that they remember driving during their service, they were eager to stick around for a conversation and a chance to reminisce. However, what nobody will forget is the sight of a Saracen being driven down North Terrace, weaving in and out of people and vehicles, on its way into Rundle Mall for the ANZAC Day commemorative display.

As the start time drew closer, the drivers and their loading skills helped the ever smiling veterans into the vehicles, making sure that they were comfortable, secure and that their waving hand was working. I was in the Group 5 transport pod, with a couple of very nice looking jeeps, including the ever famous Reggie and a first time driver Liam; and, who you say, were the lucky veterans with us? that would be Doug and Alec, two mates from the 10/48th Battalion.

Being one of the very few women drivers on the day, I received a couple of comments (all in good spirit of course!) as I got into the jeep ready to set off. This included “are you sure that you know how to drive a jeep?” – They were pleasantly surprised when I said I had been driving a jeep for 11 years. The 10/48th Battalion flag bearers, who were going to walk just in front of the transport pod said “promise, you won’t run us over!” – They were still standing at the end of the march, so I guess I achieved my objective there.

With military precision, at 0930, the police horses set off, marking the start of the march and as each group moved off, the transport pods roared into life, joining the convoy down to the Cross of Sacrifice. Now, I knew that 25 April 2015 was going to be big, but it wasn’t until I was driving down the streets that it really sank in. Both North Terrace and King William Road were lined with a sea of people, 6 rows deep, all clapping and cheering for each and every veteran; you would be forgiven for feeling a little emotional and proud of the Australian spirit.

After passing the saluting points, including the Governor, we crossed the bridge over the River Torrens, smiling for the TV camera (of course!) and heading down Sir Edwin Smith Drive for the dismissal/dispersion area. Having returned both Doug and Alec to their families, I received a kiss and a hug from both men as a thank you – it was an absolute pleasure and an honour, they were both so lovely and I hope to see them next year.

Following the march, each driver headed to Bonython Park for a BBQ for a chance to debrief and reflect on the morning that had been – however, looking in the distance, there were dark black clouds heading our way. As suspected just after lunch, the heaven’s opened and we took this as a sign the universe was telling us it was home time – THE MISSION WAS ANZAC DAY 2015 AND THE MISSION WAS A SUCCESS.

Clipsal 500 2015 – Day 2 – Friday

We attended the Clipsal 500 for 5 days. This is the article for Day 2, the Friday the 27th of February. See below for the others.

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Friday brought out the weather that the Clipsal is famous for – 35 degrees with fair humidity made it fairly uncomfortable for everyone and most people were looking for shade. We were somewhat jealous of the Air Force and their large, air-conditioned tent.

Numbers were up from Thursday and we handed out a lot of flyers to interested parties, many of whom indicated that they might attend the GM Day in April.

The promo girls were out in force and were keen to have their photos taken with the vehicles.

There was, of course, plenty of action on the track too, including the crazy ( Paris to Dakar rally style) trucks, which were lifting their front wheel off the ground when accelerating and making huge jumps – they were very popular with the crowd.

It was great to have cold water available thanks to the RAAF, the heat certainly made that a necessity.

There are some pics from the Ferrari display and the new LaFerrari, at a special price of around $1,000,000!

Corowa Swim-in 2015

This is a guest article, written by the daughters of our President, giving a unique view of their experience at the Corowa Swim-in this year. Being the biggest military vehicle event in Australia, Corowa attracts a healthy patronage and many of our members attend every year.

Corowa, New South Wales… a country town on the banks of the majestic River Murray, the birthplace of federation and come March each year, the meeting place for hundreds of military enthusiasts. The week-long event brings vehicles from across the country and allows anyone who’s anyone that has even the slightest interest in military vehicles to exchange stories, wisdom and just get caught up in the atmosphere of Australia’s largest military vehicle gathering.

However, this event is not just for the men and boys, I can guarantee that the girls have just as much fun; it’s such a great family event. All held in Ball Park Caravan Park, this is a unique event, where you can wake up in the morning to the sound of a Jeep driving by, followed by a Blitz, and a Dodge bringing up the rear of the convoy.

Each year comes with a theme, and 2015 brought about the “Year of the Emergency Vehicle and GM”, and it did not disappoint. It all started on Monday 9 March, with participants beginning to arrive, setup camp and head down to HQ to register. Tuesday 10 March was pretty much the same and with no scheduled activities, the options were endless… you could spend time in the local cafes, complete a bit of retail therapy and/or catch-up with friends you haven’t seen in a year.

The scheduled programs didn’t begin until Wednesday 11 March, where many vehicles joined the convoy through the streets of Albury finishing at Hovell Tree Park. Thursday 12 March saw another run but in the other direction, to Yarrawonga/Mulwala, where the vehicles were displayed at Sacred Heart Primary and Club Mulwala as part of the RSL’s 100 year commemoration of the Gallipoli landings. Friday 13 March brought about a run to Rutherglen to visit Gold Battery.

On top of all of these planned runs, there were plenty of other things always happening back at camp. Many were wheeling and dealing for parts off the back of trailers like a flock of seagulls, as most of the vehicles that participant in this event are over 70 years old and as the years pass, they have a greater need for constant maintenance. Yet, if you were looking for the ultimate military shopping experience, the place to be this year was “Nigel’s emporium” undercover shopping with carry baskets and merchandised bags and most importantly, EFTPOS. He had everything a military enthusiast would need for restoring his jeep and he even knew what you needed before you did.

The place to be in the afternoon though was down at the river lagoon, watching the amphibians make a splash upon entry into the water (great photo opportunity)… this is where I spent my time, getting loads of rides in one particular amphibian and was even lucky enough to take the wheel (Thanks Mitch!!!). The other good way I found to spend my afternoon was taking our jeep out for a bit of off-roading along the river banks, leaving dust in my wake… well, a WWII jeep is the ultimate off-road vehicle, other cars may go faster, but it can go anywhere. When the sunset, you would think that all good enthusiasts would head off to bed, no we stay outside to watch the searchlight beam in the night sky… there was only one complication, the night skydivers, but once they landed, the sky was ours.

You may think that already a lot has happened in the space of a couple of days, and you would be right, yet there was still more to come. The main day was Saturday 14 March, with a parade down the main street, vehicles driving two a breast down the road and being lead by the sounds of emergency sirens… it looked and sounded amazing. The fleet of vehicles eventually made their way to the Corowa Showgrounds and Racecourse for the annual swap meet… the place for more wheeling and dealing. Come the afternoon, the only thing left to do was relax by the river before the long drive home the following day, back to work and reality, allowing the countdown to 2016 (“Year of the Tank and Chrysler 2”) to begin.

Clipsal 500 2015 – Day 1 – Thursday

We attended the Clipsal 500 for 5 days. This is the article for Day 1, the Thursday the 26th of February. See below for the others.

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The Thursday was the first day of the Clipsal 500 open to the public and it was also the School Groups Offer day. We had an 0800 start, with Ray, Terry, Mike, Thomas and Russell manning the display. It was a busy day, with a steady stream of people visiting us and showing a lot of interest in the vehicles, especially the school kids. Feedback from the public was very positive.

The rest of the ADF display came together very nicely, with a number of changes made between the time when we left on the Wednesday and Thursday morning, notably, the arrival of Team Army with their Project Digger Ford LTD and Armygeddon Land Rover, which were very popular with the crowds and sounded absolutely awesome when running. The LTD had an issue on the track, during a burnout display, and came back on a flat bed after catching fire. Fortunately the cause of the fire was found to be a leak from the gearbox and no major damage was done.

Overall, we handed out a ton of flyers and had a great time interacting with the public on a very nice day.

Clipsal 500 2015 – Day 0 – Wednesday

We attended the Clipsal 500 for 5 days. This is the article for Day 0, the Wednesday the 25th of February. See below for the others.

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It was an early start on Wednesday with Russell, Mike and Terry arriving at the museum at about 0730 to do some preparation and checks on the vehicles, with Terry and Mike in the Mk 5 Alvis Saracen and Russel in the C15A “Koop” Blitz. It was noted that the Koop was a little low on fuel, but Russell figured that it would probably be ok to make it to the nearest service station. Terry wasn’t so sure and insisted that he carry a jerrycan – this proved to be fortuitous, as the Koop ran out of fuel at the intersection of Commercial Road and Salisbury highway. Russell quickly put some fuel in while sitting at the traffic lights and then managed to get the Koop running again, before making it to the BP on Salisbury Highway, where both vehicles were refuelled.

At the service station, the vehicles got plenty of attention, as usual, including from a couple of police officers that were there getting their morning coffee.

With full tanks of fuel, the vehicles had a good run into the city in the morning traffic and plenty of people were waving and taking photos.

The Koop and Saracen arrived onsite at approximately 0945, with no sign of Darryl, Janice and their Jeep, so we made our way onto the main straight for a “PR Shoot”, with the Saracen in pole position, and the Koop in second place… This got plenty of attention and cheering from the crews that were setting up in Pit Straight.

After that fun, we moved on to the ADF Oval, followed closely behind with Darryl and Janice arriving in the Jeep. There were a few false-starts to our setup, as the ADF had us move around a few times to make room for their displays, before moving us to a great spot opposite the RAAF tent, next to the sideshows – It had us “with” the ADF, but also in our own area and allowed us to differentiate ourselves from their display somewhat. We moved the vehicles in to place, setup up our tent and were loaned a brand new TV by the ADF for putting on a looping video. We were all set for the start of the event on Thursday and departed at about 12:30.

2015 Salisbury Australia Day Picnic

Following on from an early start on Sunday, for the Wanderers Australia Day Birthday Party, there was another very early start on Monday for the Salisbury Australia Day Family Picnic, held at Carisbrooke Reserve. The vehicles needed to be in place by around 07:30, for safety reasons.

Meeting at the museum, Grant’s GMC, Terry’s Saracen, the museum’s C15A “Koop” Blitz, and Ford Gun Tractor departed in convoy and made their way along the short drive to the reserve. While acting as Commander in the Saracen, Mike took some footage of the vehicles, which is unfortunately a little shaky.

When we arrived at the reserve, we realised that we had turned up at the wrong entrance, and had to do a couple of U-turns on Main North Road to make our way around to the side entrance. Who would have guessed that a Saracen has a better turning circle than a GMC CCKW?

At the reserve, we then met up with Russell with his Austin, and Sam with his Jeep and set up our display on a good spot on the hill. John arrived sometime later in his Jeep, and was again wearing his WW1 Light Horse uniform.

We enjoyed the free breakfast while, unfortunately, the Air Cadets set up their display in front of us, partially screening us off from the rest of the already growing crowd.

The Nine Mile Snipers flawlessly performed their first firing of the day, 3 rounds, at 09:25, prior to the raising of the Australian Flag and the National Anthem.

It was a great day, with perfect weather, a good crowd, food and entertainment. The sideshows and displays from other clubs received lots of attention and we were inundated with interested members of the public wanting to inspect our vehicles and talk to us about them. We handed out over 800 flyers during the day.

The Gun Crew’s second firing, at 13:00, 4 rounds, also went flawlessly, although it was a bit hectic in the middle as the MC had the crowd start counting down for the third shot, requiring the team to load in double-time, but they did make it in time.

We made some good contacts on the day, sold some merchandise from our display and raised some donations.

The trip back to the museum was a little problematic, as the Gun Tractor broke down on the rather steep climb out of the reserve (possibly due to fuel starvation), blocking a rather narrow pathway that was backed up with trucks – of course it was the lead vehicle and had the rest of us blocked in with it. After some tricky shuffling, we managed to get some other vehicles around it and tow it back on to the flat, where we were able to get it started again. The gun tractor has been putting in some significant mileage over the last few years and is due for some much needed TLC, including swapping the tired engine over for a freshly rebuilt Ford V8.

We would like to express thanks to the Rotary Club of Salisbury and the Salisbury City Council for inviting us to this event. We had a great time and look forward to attending again next year.

Brittany Jean Museum Visit and Photo Shoot

Tuesday afternoon, we had a flying visit from US model Brittany Jean. Brittany also provides care packages and supports various US and foreign military veteran organisations including Soldier On (Australia and UK) and many others through Vixens 4 Veterans. This organisation raises money for veterans with PTSD.

Brittany arrived a little after 15:30, with her photographer, and Kevin Noel from the Wanderers Rock and Roll car club. Kevin arranged the quick unscheduled visit while Brittany was in Adelaide for her flying four day visit before heading to Brisbane then back to the US.

Brittany had a few photos with the Stuart Tank, Dave’s GPA, the North South Ford, Searchlight and Russell’s Austin. She was all done in a little over an hour!

Keep an eye out on Brittany’s Facebook page with details of her visit to the museum.