The 50’s Museum

Our February run was Ern’s second journey into the unknown for the year. Eight Z’s ventured up the M1 to West Walsend for a visit to the 50’s Museum. Driving into an industrial estate we were a little apprehensive  but came across a crowd of people and a genial security guard who ushered us under a covered area for our own private Z show.

The Museum is in fact a large factory building, unintrusive from the outside,  but full of 50’s and early 60’s membrabillia (genuine milk bar with jute box for us oldies) and the most impressive collection of 1950’s and 60’s American Classics I have seen. We should have tweaked with the hot rods and a beautifully restored Pearce Arrow in the parking area but no one was quite ready for the cars within.

A couple of Fords and Chevs and a good representation of Mustangs and Corvettes in one area and the other containing 30 to 40 gems. All the now discarded marques such as Buick, De Soto, Studibaker, Mercury, Nash and Cadillac and a couple forgotten.  All with Heritage Plates and in immaculate condition

It’s understood to be the collection of a single individual and must be the ultimate rev heads shed. Well worth a look.

A quite drive around Lake Macquarie and with lunch at the Doylo Club completed a great day. Thanks again for the organising Ern.

Sydney Heritage Fleet

Despite forecast of rain, sleet and snow a dozen intrepid members ventured to the Sydney Heritage Fleet shipyard at Rozelle for our June run.

The day commenced with coffee and cake at Hobbs Shed and a rundown by Terry on the background of the Fleet for which he is a volunteer. The organisation ,which is non profit and  relies on donations and charter income, was founded in 1965 to preserve the 1902 VIP steam yacht Lady Hopetoun. Many remembered James Craig which sat on a floating dock at the end on Victoria Rd for 20 years during restoration and is now the pride of the fleet.

Terry showed us around the large storage shed which includes work areas, old timber sailing boats, dinghies, and old motors of various shapes and sizes.  Boats under restoration include Kookaburra, a 1950’s speedboat which operated tourist runs from Manly and a lifeboat from HMAS Melbourne. The James Craig is undergoing major rigging work and two spars, which are being repaired and are around 20 metres in length impressed the crew on the difficulties in handling these ships prior to the use of modern cranes.

We then looked over the main workshop where the many hundreds of years of hard earned skills of the senior volunteers are employed in making replacement plates and steam engine parts for the John Oxley. This 1920’s example of a costal trader is currently under restoration on the floating dock. Everyone was impressed by the sheer size of everything and the vision that is required to undertake such a major project.

The rain eased and Terry showed us around the working boats. These included Boomerang, a 90 foot 1903 classic timber gentleman’s yacht, the 1902 Lane Cove ferry Protex, the 1902 steam tug Waratah and the Lady Hopetoun. Everyone appeared to thoroughly enjoy the morning. 12.30 and time to drag the crew from the nautical to the “Z” environment and a 100 sets of red lights to Cronulla Leagues Club where we had booked in for lunch.

By the time we had finished the rain had well and truly set in and had put a damper on the intention to go for a run through the Royal National park. The decision to call it a day and head for home was unanimous.