JULY EXCURSION – LITHGOW SMALL ARMS MUSEUM

With the Covid-19 pandemic destroying the club’s plans for proposed excursions in 2020, it has been “a long time between drinks!” And of course, to add to the drama was the forecast of heavy rain. Nevertheless some hardy elements of the Z Car Club membership were determined to press ahead with the excursion plans.

Individual members coming from different locations had to fight their way along the A32 with sleeting rain, fog, slippery roads and speed limits changing almost every km as they progressed towards the Hydro Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath, the first point of call. Stumbling out of their vehicles into the cold and wet environment – the Hydro Majestic stood like a beacon of hope, even if it was a long walk from the carpark.

Once inside, hot coffee and the camaraderie of other members stiffened the resolve to ensure the success of the excursion. New members, Diana and Josh were welcomed and congratulated on their perseverance to attend in the trying conditions. It was now time to undertake the second leg of the journey to the Lithgow Small Arms Museum. Craig, being a native of these parts offered to lead the convoy and suggested that we try a route where Emus might be observed. The convoy bravely headed out into the fog and rain again with members trying to keep track of the car ahead (which was almost invisible in the conditions). After about half an hour’s drive the convoy approached Methven Street where the Museum was located. It was noted that the building opposite the museum still had numerous broken windows (as was the case on our last visit 2 years ago). Not sure what is happening there – ready for demolition perhaps?

The trip to the museum could be rated as Fog 10, Rain 10, and Emus 0

Once inside the foyer of the museum Ray managed to secure the minimal $7 entrance fee for the group (as had previously been negotiated). The museum had been newly renovated with a few new exhibits including golf clubs and spanners!! Huh!! There were a number of different firearms evident on the ground floor (from our previous visit in 2018). Gravitating to the first floor the group observed a wonderful display of rifles, machine guns and hand guns of various calibres. Craig found a .50 calibre revolver which would put the “Dirty Harry .44 magnum” to shame by its huge presence. There were so many interesting and different exhibits that the group spent some time observing and photographing a variety of firearms.

It was now time to move to the next leg of the excursion; lunch at the Lithgow Workmen’s Club (or Workies). It was still raining outside as the members headed off to Tank Street, Lithgow. The Workies club turned out to be a very pleasant environment with a nice ambience and friendly staff. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions the original booking had been pared to a maximum of ten – but members were able to find additional seating. The quality of the meals was of a good standard and reasonably priced. The final total for the day was twelve members and nine cars – which was an exceptional result with the atrocious prevailing weather conditions. And those that had made the effort to attend, really enjoyed the day.

Ray