Saturday, July 2, 2016
Pine Hill and Serviceton Stations Historical Day
The freshly washed gleaming luxury coach had seating for about 60 and I think half the seats were taken by BVRC members. The occasion was April’s National History Month Sunday outing and this year it was a gem. As we headed north then east for Pine Hill Station we were shown huge areas that had once been wide expanses of impenetrable native scrub and other areas that had been dense forests of tall native pines – now all cleared. A4 colour photos were passed around of native animals that once roamed these local lands; now extinct. Another area had once been enormous rolling sand dunes filled with prolific wild life and nomadic well content Aboriginals; the latter two are long gone, the former have been transformed into roadway materials. First disembarkation was at the site of the now demolished Pine Hill Station and wandering out several hundred metres from the road we stood beside two small stone chimneys. We had with us a photograph of the old station buildings taken in the 1980s and clearly showing their chimneys and with a very distinctive three trunked tree in background. All that remains now of this truly historic and quite massive 1800s slab and daub and thatch building are the two lonely chimneys and the tri-trunked tree. So sad. From there we went to the Pine Hill School; now also gone BUT the nearby Glenelg tree was truly spectacular. From the road it certainly looks ‘ho-hum’ and maybe that’s what has saved it from too many trampling tourists with their trash and vandalism because the closer you walk (and walk and walk), toward the tree the larger and larger it grows. Standing under its natural arch I was staggered it loomed about two metres higher than the top of my Stetson. A wonderful hidden gift from Mother Nature.
But it was time to be moving on and next it was the contentious SA/VIC border and enthralling stories and anecdotes – too many to record here – about the drama debate and debaclism of mapping this ‘line in the sand’ long before the GPS was even dreamed about and when mechanical clocks set in Greenwich London were the only means of navigating and chart reading all the way by sail around the other side of the planet; fascinating stuff.
By then we were running late for our final visit, the Serviceton Railway Station and its afternoon tea and I will not write too much as I doubt there’s a reader among you who has not visited this stunning architectural wonder from the golden age of rail. Being given a free hand to explore the depths of the various dark and gloomy basements, the dungeon and the prisoner cells below the station, the various offices, ticket booths and waiting rooms of the main station complex, plus going upstairs to the secret hidden accommodation rooms cleverly hidden under the roof eves by the architect in his design, well, what a ripper end to a ripper day for this newcomer to the Tatiara.
About the only slight negative to the outing was that it was so action-packed that it was long after fully dark by the time we returned to Bordertown and having never dreamed it would go so late I didn’t have my night driving glasses and thus I was forced to continued to sit back in a comfy passenger’s seat while Helen steered us home...so maybe that wasn’t such a negative after all.
Mundulla Show cont.
Accompanying this story is a photo of Matt Rowett and his brilliant HQ Holden Monaro, Matt’s standing with his four children. This photo is pertinent because at the club meeting prior to the Show it was raised that modified vehicles should be allowed in the club. As the debate on this began to flourish among the members present it was raised by a senior long term committee man that modified vehicle were already allowed in the club, had been accepted into the club previously and that what seems to have happened over the last few years is that everyone has become so obsessed with Historic Conditional Registration and with these vehicle having to be bog stock standard, that people have forgotten that modified vehicles are still legal in SA, are allowed on our roads and are not in any way banned or even discouraged in our Constitution; they simply cannot get Conditional Rego. This discussion on the night of the meeting arose because Matt was at the meeting and was keen to join in with a group of like minded automobile enthusiasts and to bring his family with us on picnics and runs and outings and all manner of BVRC social gatherings...and isn’t that what a club is all about? Hope you’ve joined by the time this issue hits the membership Matt.
Matt Rowett and his children and his HQ Holden Monaro
|Marlene Webb and friend Megan Hurtig|
dressed to the theme of Marlenes 1933 Ford Roadster
10 a.m. until the conclusion of the Grand Parade at 3 p.m.
That was the attendance required of our club members who took up the offer of free entry into the Mundulla Show for our classic vehicles. At the time I have to admit I wondered if that almost full day was just a wee bit too long for my equestrian addled attention span. And then it was all made much worse when Helen informed me she wanted to be at the Show before the start of the harness carriage driving at 9 am. It looked like it was going to be a looong day.
Funny how things turn out though because time simply flew; so much to see, so many folk to chat to – including super friendly and chatty local and State politicians who sought me out not visa-versa and this being despite too, my not having a baby to kiss – food and drink, and then suddenly it was oops, better hurry over to Lucille and get the gal packed up ‘n’ cranked up and in line for the Grand Parade; which was longer this year than a WA iron ore freight train and that saw cars coming off the oval after their regal lap as other vehicles were still driving onto the grass. Lap completed and after quickly parking Lucy.
Once again it was time to scurry down to the ‘swamp’ to watch the whip-cracking heats for the Stockman’s Challenge. Not sure what time we finally left that day but clearly a time frame of 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. hadn’t been anything to worry about and I wasn’t the only one from the club who stayed on after the parade either.
Overall it was terrific to see so many wonderful and diverse club vehicles turn out for the Show, sedans, utes, sports cars, motor cycles, trucks and tractors, we certainly provided a bit of everything for sure and it was great that our cars were parked with the very well attended ute muster vehicles too; it made for a mighty fine spectacle which was just as well considering the presence of the ABC TV film crew loitering around all day filming an entire episode of the popular Back Roads series.
|Megan Hurtigs grandsons in the back of the 1933 Ford Roadster|