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:

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.

Museum Article on – Salisbury Council rejects NMVM’s plea to buy

As reported on, the Salisbury Council has decided not to assist us in purchasing the museum property and we now need to urgently find alternate means of funding if we are to remain where we are.

If anyone is able to offer any assistance, now is the time to let us know; remember, donations over $2 are tax deductible and being so close to end of financial year, you can claim it back straight away.

The article can be read in full at the following link:

Our Time TV – Interview with Trevor Brown

Here is a bit of a blast from the past, an interview filmed with our Public Relations Officer, Trevor Brown. This was originally uploaded to YouTube on November 26, 2011, and while many things have changed at the museum, Trev is still our Public Relations Officer!

Sadly, it looks like Our Time TV is now defunct, as their URL goes to a domain squatter’s site and they have not published any new videos to YouTube in almost a year, but you can see the rest of their uploads here.



Stolen Motorcycle

John Belfield’s 1989 Harley Davidson MT 350 has been stolen and he offering a generous reward of $2000 for information leading to its recovery.

It is a distinctive ex-MOD (British Army) trail bike, fitted with a gun case and panniers and was stolen from the museum building at 456 Belgrave Hallam Road, Narre Warren North, VIC 3804 between the 3rd and 4th of May, 2014.

These are exceptionally rare in Australia, so if you see one for sale, please check its numbers against the ones provided here:

Registration Number: 6918H

VIN Number: 1HD6RLT10TY000036

If you have any information, you can either contact us; or call John directly on (03) 9796 8216 or 0400 900 193

Angel Flight Open Day – June 2014

This post has been updated on 18/06/2014
Thanks to everyone that came out and supported our Angel Flight open day and to all of the volunteers that made the day a success. After expenses have been tallied, we raised $1130 for Angel Flight.

The number of attendees at today’s event were down on what we would have hoped for, and it appears that the weather report was to blame for that, despite the fact that there were only a few light showers and for the most part, it was a lovely day.

Members of the public went for rides in the Universal (Bren) Carrier, 15 CWT CMP (Blitz) truck and the ever popular Alvis Saracen armoured personnel carrier; were entertained by live music, driving displays from “Miss Stuart”, our M3 Stuart tank and the M16 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage (based on the M3 Half track), static displays from the Barossa Light Horse and Draught Horse association; food and drink, and of course, our museum!

We will be posting more photos and videos as we gather and upload them, but if you have any particularly good ones, please feel free to send them to us.


Traffic Mayhem in a Saracen

We caused some mild mayhem today by taking Terry’s Saracen Mk 5 from Colonel Light Gardens to the museum, in preparation for tomorrow’s Angel Flight Open Day. This was the first longer distance drive of the Saracen in the 9 months or so that he has owned it (~40 km) and, for the most part, it behaved very well.

Putting petrol in it was a little painful as the fuel tank is very large and the Rolls Royce B80 Mk 6A engine is quite a thirsty beast.

Come by tomorrow and see the Saracen at the museum for the open day. You can have a ride in it, if you like!



Museum Article on Adelaidenow Website

As reported by the Advertiser, we are currently trying to find funding to purchase the property on which the museum resides. It should be pointed out, however, that the article sensationalizes the situation a little and we certainly won’t be closing at the end of the month, no matter how things end up going.

It should also be pointed out that Goodman Property have been very fair and reasonable in their dealings with us and we have enjoyed a very good working relationship with them over the years.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the museum to go towards the property purchase, please let us know

The article can be read in full at the following link: