Paranormal Activity?

The museum was visited on Friday night by members of two paranormal investigation teams; Lorena Lyon and her husband Dave from Lyon Paranormal, and Allen Tiller, his wife Karen and Jason from Eidolon Paranormal. Allen was involved with the production Haunting Australia, which has screened in Australia and now screening in the UK.

The night started at about 17:30, with Russell arriving and ensuring that all the buildings were open. Terry arrived at about 18:30. The two Paranormal Teams had a good look around and we doing their work through out the night and finished about 01:00 on Saturday. They were a professional group of people, dedicated to their field. They had a lot of gear; cameras, videos, all sorts of lighting equipment and took footage and recordings from many of the buildings, objects and vehicles.

There was comment that they did possibly record / view some unexplained activity, but will need to review their data before making any determinations.

Both teams were keen to come back again and investigate further. They were interested in the site during WW2, and also that we are the first “public” to occupy the site since construction in the 1940s. They were also interested in the memorabilia we have, such as uniforms, radios, books etc, that may have a connection with a person.

It was an interesting night and certainly different to anything that we have done before at the site.

Bunnings Parafield Sausage Sizzle

The Military Vehicle Preservation Society of South Australia was given the opportunity to host the Sausage Sizzle at Parafield Bunning on Saturday, and while it was fairly short notice, Russell took the lead and organised the event brilliantly, and a number of members volunteered to help out on the day.

The day started early with Russell and Trevor starting at around 07:30 for the setup with the rest of the morning shift arriving soon after, with a Jeep and Saracen to put on display about 20 meters from the BBQ area.

John C arrived wearing a replica of his grandfather’s Light Horse uniform and was armed with a donations bucket and a stack of flyers for the museum, and spent the most of the day at the entrance to Bunnings chatting to customers and handing out the flyers.

The rest of us got down to work preparing, cooking and serving the sausages, and despite it being cold and windy to start with, the weather improved considerably and by about 10:00 it had become constantly busy, with the team working well together in order to keep the customers fed and the line moving.

The change over to the afternoon shift was done with military precision and the customers kept coming, although it became apparent that we were starting to run low on supplies, which is probably a good problem to have, but meant that some emergency shopping had to be arranged with Russell’s wife Tracy coming to the rescue, making 3 trips throughout the course of the day.

The vehicles attracted a lot of attention and there was usually one of our members nearby, talking to the public about them. It was unfortunate that we could not park them closer to the BBQ, but the nearby spaces were reserved for disabled parking.

Despite the fact that he never asked for a donation, John proved very popular in his uniform and managed to give away all of the flyers, and raise over $550, which is an amazing result!

While we still had plenty of stock, the customers began thinning out and we stopped cooking at about 17:30 and sold off the remaining inventory before packing up at about 18:00. The modular BBQ that was provided by Bunnings was quite amazing and packed up into a fairly small package with surprising ease, after a good clean, with the only thing left to do was to pack the remaining stock into Russell’s car and drive the Saracen back to the museum.

So after all this, how did we go?
BBQ gross takings – $2909.50
Donations – $572.50
Expenses – $957
Total Earned – $2525.50

As you can see, a fantastic result, that will go towards our building fund!

Sincere thanks to those that made the day possible and successful, in alphabetical order:
Bob (Baldy), Darryl, Don, Graham, John C, John F, Russell, Terry, Tracy, Trevor and Ray.
We also need to offer thanks to Bunnings Parafield for inviting us to run the BBQ, to their hungry customers and special thanks to everyone that dropped a donation in John’s bucket; it was an amazing and humbling result.

Classic vs Plastic Show n Shine

Yesterday was a great day for a car show. Unfortunately, a few other groups came to the same conclusion, so we were competing with them for entrants and spectators, but while numbers were down a little from last year, it was still a great event with some spectacular vehicles in attendance and some very enthusiastic owners.

Miss Stuart, our M3 Stuart Light Tank, put on a few driving displays and was as popular as ever. Sam, our resident tank driver, gave the gas cannon a workout and appeared to be having a great time, as usual.

The Nine Mile Snipers conducted 3 separate firings of their gun, with their usual level of professionalism and it was nice to see that their Number 8 Gun Tractor back in action, after being off the road for a while with mechanical problems.

Show n Shine (5)

This time, we offered rides in the International (Acco) 5 ton truck and the Alvis Saracen Mk 5. The Acco had recently had its water pump repaired and had attended the Lady Soldiers book launch earlier in the week. It is a very large truck and can certainly hold a lot of passengers. Vehicles rides were given for a gold coin donation, with proceeds going towards fuel costs and the museum.

We had planned to do a demonstration drive of our Mk3 Daimler Dingo scout car, which we had gotten running for the first time in about 6 years on Saturday, but a minor problem with the ignition coil and a leaking flywheel meant that we had to put that off. Hopefully it can come out to play at our next open day.

A special thanks to all of the volunteers that made the day a success, including, in no particular order:

  • The team from the Modified Ford Club of South Australia, who ran the gate, organized all of the car show aspects and tabulated the results of the judging.
  • The Nine Mile Snipers for conducting the gun firings
  • The Museum volunteers that kept the museum open and rearranged all the display
  • The drivers of the vehicles doing displays and giving rides to the public
  • The Coffee van, for keeping us all awake
  • The volunteers running the BBQ, Ice-cream and drinks area

As always, if you have any great photos or video from the day, please feel free to email them to us for inclusion in our event reports.

Lady Soldiers Book Launch

One of the great things about our museum is that the majority of our vehicles are operational and that means that we get to use them in the community, in support of events. Yesterday’s event, the Lady Soldiers book launch at the Keswick Army Barracks was an excellent opportunity to give something back to ex-members of the WRAAC and the RAANC.

Unfortunately, there was a minor mechanical problem with Terry’s Saracen preventing it from attending, but a quick substitution with Grant and his GMC, and we were back on track with the final list of drivers and vehicles being:

  • Russell – 1938 Austin Ten Staff Car
  • Sam – 1945 Ford GPW Jeep
  • Darryl – 1944 Willys MB Jeep
  • Richmond – 1986 110 Defender GS
  • Grant – 1941 GMC CCKW
  • Ray – 1973 International Mk5 AACO F 5

The vehicles arrived at the Torrens Parade Ground bright and early and were greeted by a group of approximately 35 ex-servicewomen, a few of their partners and a Channel Nine news crew. To say that the ladies were excited about the vehicles is an understatement and after posing for a few photos they loaded onto the vehicles, even though there was an approximate 20 minute wait for a couple of the ladies to arrive from the airport. From the laughing and chatting coming from the back of the vehicles, we’re pretty sure that they didn’t mind!

Departing the Parade Ground, the convoy travelled through the centre of Adelaide, where it attracted lots of attention, and made its way to the Keswick Army Barracks via King William Street, Greenhill Road and Anzac Highway.

After a brief service, there was a morning tea (the scones were fantastic!), the book launch, with many of our members purchasing signed copies of the book, and a lunch.

There was a brief segment on the Channel Nine News about the event:

We think that this was a highly successful occasion and the event was very well organized. We had a lot of fun and are always keen to provide assistance for this sort of event.

We would like to thank:

  • Helen and Betty, for organizing the event and inviting us to participate
  • Our volunteers, for providing their time, vehicles and fuel
  • Trevor, for the lunch, and
  • Special thanks to the ladies who had driven over across the Nullarbor from Perth for the event, whom took it upon themselves to conduct a collection on behalf of the museum’s building fund, raising over $400 for us.

The Script Jeep Goes to Birdwood

NOTE: This article was provided by a member, about their experience of the 2014 Bay to Birdwood Run. Another article covering the club’s involvement is in the works and should be published soon.

The script jeep (GPW 742) was up bright and early, ready to head down the hill to Glenelg for the start of its first Bay to Birdwood Run. Arriving at the bay, it was greeted by an array of classic cars and rare vehicles. Scanning around to find the platoon, it lined up in formation, waiting patiently for the start of the 61km journey to Birdwood.

While there was still over an hour until the veteran and vintage cars hit the road to mark the start of the run, there was still plenty to see and do down at Barrett Reserve. The 25-pounder gun crew was showing the crowds their skills, while the Alvis Saracen arrived in style, and even though it was unable to make the trip to Birdwood, it will forever be a talking point of the 2014 run*. Eventually the time came to start, the script jeep’s engine roaring into action with excitement (or fear, as the driver and navigator were girls). Crossing the start line, it continued along the streets lined with people waving, taking photographs and making the comment that would become all too familiar during the morning “Hey look, its two girls in a jeep…is that allowed?”

Even at the ripe old age of 72, the script jeep was mixing it with the best of them, showing that age is no limitation, overtaking a number of cars and even one very smoky red truck along Anzac Highway and Greenhill Road. Cruising through the suburban streets, the crowds and even the people participating were smiling, waving and saying hello as the script jeep drove on through to the bottom of Anstey Hill Road, the start of the one-way section and one very steep hill. This was only seen as a challenge; moving into the right hand land, this ultimate off-road vehicle overtook about eight vehicles in one fell swoop, but obviously with too much enthusiasm, as a vapour lock resulted. After recovering from the minor hiccup, the script jeep continued to cruise through the amazing Adelaide Hills, handling the sweeping bends with ease, dodging many broken down cars and even managing to smile for the official photograph. Finally, having left the bay two hours before, the script jeep arrived in Birdwood safely, crossing the official finish line and claiming the all important prize, the 2014 plaque.

Having arrived, the script jeep was able to find out the adventures of its comrades… The Bedford QL Tanker had a flawless run up the hill while Dave’s 1943 Ford GPW had a couple of temperature issues (reaching 200°F) while pulling a trailer up Lower North East Road. Having caught up with everyone, the only thing left to do was to have a picnic lunch and relax for the afternoon, while watching the 1942 M3 tank “Miss Stuart” have fun playing in the paddock, creating dust clouds while doing donuts. Whispers went around the National Motor Museum, so it was inevitable that Channel Nine News would come have a sticky beak at the all-impressive tank. The script jeep looked on as the journalist struggled into the turret, while the cameraman was so impressed with Miss Stuart that he fell at her tracks (well, technically, he tripped over a hole dug out in the last trip around the paddock.) Everyone was so enthralled by Miss Stuart that people came out of nowhere at the sound of the engine and stayed even longer when the engine cover was removed. Even Brenton Ragless, from Channel Nine had to come see what was creating such a bellowing sound, so much so he got a drive (don’t panic, L-plates were used). However, the most famous voice to be heard all day was Peter over the loud speaker, as he was interviewed about the museum and he did such a good job (almost like he had done it before!)

Dave's Jeeps

In standing back and watching everyone pass through the military display, it was realised that even though the big boys love their big toys (proven by the massive smiles on their faces), the next generation were enjoying the day just as much, if not more. William spent the day showing off the Austin Ten, explaining to everyone very proudly that this was his dad’s car. While his brother Spencer, who really loves the driver’s seat of the Austin Ten, spent the day either losing his hat due to the rather strong winds or sitting in the car catching up on the daily news on the Ipad (that is one tech savvy kid!)

As the day drew to a close, the script jeep watched as a many cars left and the crowds died down, signalling that it was time to head home as well. With Miss Stuart very ingeniously loaded onto the truck trailer, destined for the museum and in need of some more petrol, the script jeep started his engine, ready for the trip back home, after a rather exciting and tiring day for all involved.

*Mostly due to the fact that the reason it didn’t make it was due to the owner “topping up the radiator” by filling the oil tank with water. More on that later…

Motorfest 2014 – Miss Stuart and Friends

Thanks to everyone that came out to today’s Motorfest event, “Miss Stuart and Friends”, hosted at the museum.

It was a successful event, with over 40 people attending to inspect our collection and to see the vehicles in action, most of which were still out from yesterday’s Bay to Birdwood Run and were ready for some action. To top off a great day, the weather was perfect, rides were available in some of the vehicles; and the barbecue was as popular as ever.

We look forward to running this event again next year!

Miss Stuart Goes to Birdwood

UPDATE: Due to transmission issues in the Birdwood area, the proposed news cross has been cancelled.

Today Miss Stuart, our M3A1 Stuart Tank, made the trip to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, in order to be featured in a news cross tomorrow and to put on a display at Sunday’s Bay to Birdwood Run event. It should be a great day out and we have a considerable number of vehicles attending.

Many thanks to everyone that assisted with the move.

Getting Ready for the 2014 Bay to Birdwood Run

Yesterday was a hive of activity at the museum with a number of vehicles being readied for the 2014 Bay to Birdwood Run.

The work varied from the minor to the major but on the whole it was a very successful, if long, day, with several members locking up the museum and leaving at 23:00!

Some of the highlights were:

  • Fitting a newly re-cored radiator and rebuilt carburettor to Dave’s 1942 GPW and giving it a tune-up
  • Changing the oil and starting up the Bedford QL fuel tanker
  • Topping up the fluid flywheel in Terry’s 1953 Alvis Saracen
  • Working on the starter motor of Ryan’s M16 MGMC
  • Fitting a newly rebuilt transfer case to the 9 Mile Snipers‘ Number 8 Gun Tractor
  • Final inspections and checks on Russell’s Austin Staff Car

While everyone did a stellar job yesterday, I would like to give special thanks to Dave and Geoff for their help with the Saracen’s flywheel (a terribly difficult job in a confined space) and to Peter for doing a wonderful job of rebuilding the Number 8’s transfer case and to Hugh for assisting with fitting it.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at this year’s Bay to Birdwood Run!

Events Calendar Bug Fix

An ongoing problem with the events calendar was that the date and time information was not being shown when viewing an event (listings in calendar view were fine).

The root cause of the problem was determined to be a conflict between how the calendar works and the site’s CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), which has now been fixed.

Let us know if you notice anything else strange happening on the site.

Penfield Park Railway Open Day – August 2014

On Sunday, Russell, our Secretary and Terry, our Webmaster, visited the Penfield Park Railway, during their monthly open day in order to promote our museum, and our upcoming open day on the 14th of September. To make the visit more interesting and to appeal to the public a little more, we took along Russell’s 1938 Austin Ten Staff Car and Terry’s 1953 Avis Saracens Mk 5 APC. It was a great visit with lots of interest generated in the vehicles and the museum; particularly the monthly open days.

We really enjoyed the visit and were really impressed by the facilities at the Penfield Park Railway and would like to thank the members of the Penfield Model Engineers Society for inviting us and making us feel very welcome. Russell even managed to find a source for an engineer’s hat! Unfortunately, due to a conflict with the Bay to Birdwood, we probably won’t be able to attend the Railway’s next open day, but we are keen to be back again in October.

The Penfield Park Railway has over 2 Km of track on their property, which incorporates tunnels, bridges and other features and unlimited train rides are included in the cost of entry. They also have a radio controlled sprint car track, canteen and BBQ facilities, and are very well suited to kids birthday parties. They are open on the last Sunday of every month (except December), and have several twilight open days each year; more details can be found on their website.

Malaya and Borneo Veterans Day 2014 Gun Firing

Last Saturday, the 9th of August, The National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia held their annual Veteran’s Day service at the Torrens Parade Ground.

For around 10 years our gun crew, the “9 Mile Snipers”, have attended this service, firing 3 shots from the 25 Pounder Field Gun during the minutes’ silence at about 20 second intervals. The gun crew are proud to support this event and it forms part of their regular events calendar.

The next day, Wayne Milburn dropped a CD full of photos from the event at the museum for us to put up on the site, which are included in the gallery below. Thanks Wayne for the great pictures!

Bay to Birdwood Interview with SA Life

The museum was visited on the 7th of November by Kelly Golding from Channel 7’s SA Life, as well as the Bay to Birdwood’s Communications Manager, Belinda Petersen, to film part of a promotional segment for this year’s Bay to Birdwood Run.

They were interested in showcasing some of the more unusual vehicles that have been entered into this year’s event and the 1953 Alvis Saracen Mk 5 armoured personnel carrier certainly met that requirement.

As you are probably aware by now, the theme of this year’s Run is “100 years of Military Motoring History” and our museum will be entering a number of vehicles into the event. If you are interested in entering a military vehicle, you can still submit a late entry, with details of the run here.

At the time of the interview, the Saracen was showing low oil pressure, so we weren’t able to get much action footage, however subsequent investigation has shown that some water had gotten into a junction box when we washed it and had shorted out the warning light, so it should be all good to go again in the near future.

The footage will be airing on Sunday the 14th of  September at 17:30 and will also feature interviews with the owners of a 1924 Amilcar and a 1915 Dodge.

UPDATE – the footage and a transcript of the interview can be found here:

http://www.salife7.com.au/adelaide-hills/people/interesting/bay-to-birdwood-2014

Resthaven Memories at Work Visit

As part of Resthaven’s Memories at Work project, the museum was visited by a member of the Community Respite Services and a previous Air Force driver, in order to take some photographs for the project.

Resthaven is an Aged Care Provider and the Community Respite Services team supports the older person and their carer, to ensure the person is able to stay at home, safe and well, for as long as possible. The team spends time with the older person, while the carer has a short break from their role.

The Resthaven Community Respite Services team has entered a photographic exhibition in the SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival. It is titled Memories at Work, and features photographs of older people sharing their unique career stories. The photographs highlight the diversity, resilience and wisdom of their generation, and illustrate how those older members of our community have laid solid foundations for future generations.

“We had a great time wandering around the Museum yesterday, taking snaps of our client. She lives at home on her own with family support and respite – which is where we enter the picture. The Museum Volunteers were very helpful and, thanks to them, we had a lot of fun.”

The Memories at Work exhibition will be open to the public from 5th to the 24th August, at Cafe Finniss, 28 Finniss St., Marion, during normal cafe business hours.

TV Spot with Channel 9 News

This morning the museum was visited by Rob Kelvin from the Channel 9 news team, who interviewed our secretary, Russell, about the current situation at the museum and our struggle to raise funding to purchase the property.

Rob and his team took a keen interest in our plight and spent about 90 minutes at the museum, looking over the collection, talking to us about our history, direction and challenges and went for a ride in the Saracen APC.

At this stage, we don’t know when the interview will be airing, but it will form part of the 6 PM news service at some stage this week, probably tonight or tomorrow. We will update the post when we know more. We have been told that the segment will air tonight during the 6 o’clock news, so please tune in to Channel 9 and keep an eye out.

Raising Funds for the Museum Property Purchase

You may have seen some articles in the newspapers over recent weeks which require clarification.

The Military Vehicle Preservation Society of South Australia Inc. is a not for profit organisation that operates the National Military Vehicle Museum for public education of Military history.

The Society presently leases the heritage listed ex DSTO buildings at Sturton Rd Edinburgh Parks to house the Museum collection.

The original 5 year lease has come to an end and the owner, Goodman, has offered it for purchase by the Society at a very reasonable price. However should the Society not take up the offer the lease will continue but the property will be put on the market. If the property is then sold, the Society would be left without premises for the Museum. However, we see this as an opportunity and are determined to ensure the museum continues.

The National Military Vehicle Museum is one of the larger military museums in Australia specialising in the technology of military equipment, with emphasis on military vehicles. Besides showing the development of military vehicles over the last century, the Museum also displays a wide range of militaria, with the signals (communications) display, covering over a century of technical development, one of the most comprehensive in the country.

The value of the Museum to the community may perhaps be best portrayed by the words of the Society’s patron, Col. Bill Denny AM BM.

“The Museum is well organized, well led, well managed and very highly regarded within the ex-service community. Some of the vehicles and exhibits are unique and it plays a pivotal role in ensuring that our nation’s military heritage is not lost.
The Museum provides an invaluable community service including providing all of the military transport for the annual ANZAC Day March in Adelaide, which makes the South Australian commemoration march unique.
The Museum also has a significant educative role within the community, teaching young people about our military heritage using vehicles with which children are invariably more interested.”

The Society has over recent months been lobbying the Salisbury Council, State and Federal Governments to find a way to purchase the site but to date we have been unsuccessful in finding funds for the purchase.

The Society is a charitable entity and registered with the ATO as a Deductable Gift Recipient and we are now hoping to save the Museum through Tax Deductable donations from the Society members and the public as well as possible sponsorships.

If you would like to become a corporate sponsor or make a donation, please contact the Society. We would be pleased to speak with you further.

New Addition – 1942 “Script” GPW Jeep

One of our members has recently acquired another Jeep to add to his collection.

The Ford script Jeep is GPW 41689 with a build date of 7/42 and is restored to running condition. It just needs a little bit of finishing off to get it ready for registration.

In the meantime a bit of road testing inside the Museum grounds should iron out any bugs and hopefully it can be ready for the Bay to Birdwood in September.