JULY EXCURSION – CAMDEN HISTORICAL TOUR

On arrival at the Preston’s McDonalds around 9.45am there were only three eager faces showing in the frosty conditions – Bazza, Robyn and Ray. Because of the cold conditions, it was decided to go inside and have a cup of coffee while waiting for the other Z Car Club members.

Half way through the cup of coffee, something magical happened.  Z Car members and guests started pouring into McDonalds from all directions. As this was thought to be a somewhat “low profile” tour the response was rather jaw dropping. In the space of twenty minutes, twenty three members (and guests) and sixteen vehicles had descended on Maccas.

All Z car categories were represented – from 240Zs through to 370Zs. There was even a very rare Austin Healey 3000 amongst the mix. As the McDonalds tables were cemented to the floor and could only accommodate up to six people, members had to form their own groupings.

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There was no rush, as the second point of call was the Camden Historical Museum which didn’t open until 11.00am.  Members ordered light breakfasts or coffee, and, as some of the members hadn’t attended some of the excursions for a while – there was some catching up to do.

Around 10.40 am it was decided to head for the Camden Museum. The most direct route was via the Camden Valley Way. This involved leaving McDonalds through the service station next door; turning left and doing 180 degrees turn at the first roundabout.

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The lights at the Camden Valley Way intersection took a while to change and because of the narrow road, traffic trying to turn left was banked up behind those wanting to turn right. However, finally enroute on the Camden Valley Way, Ray had to “surge a tad” to get ahead of the group as he was supposed to be leading the convoy. Glancing in his rear view mirror, all Ray could see was Vanessa and Darko and no convoy. Apparently some red lights had caused a dislocation of the convoy. With nowhere to pull over, it was necessary to keep travelling at a reduced speed while waiting for the convoy to catch up.

Finally, as the outskirts of Camden were reached there was room to pull over to allow the convoy to catch up. Robyn rang Craig to check his location and everyone was heading in the right direction along the Camden Valley Way. After a few minutes, the rest of the members caught up and the convoy drove into Camden. Parking was available behind the Camden Library or in the streets outside. Fortunately, parking was plentiful at this time of the morning.

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The Z Car group entered the Camden Historical Museum (no admission charge) and was impressed at the quality of the exhibits. The museum had been progressively updated, and those that hadn’t visited for some time were pleasantly surprised at the changes. Exhibits included memorabilia from the Great War, antiquated devices such as a pedal driven dentist drill, very old telephones and wind up gramophones. There were also old currency notes, carpentry tools and a host of interesting memorabilia. To study everything in detail can take up to two hours.

As such, the members were running a little late for lunch at the Camden Hotel. Thank goodness a table had been booked – the Camden Hotel was packed out, with large numbers of people looking for empty tables. The Z Car group occupied two large tables and everyone was accommodated comfortably. Meals were reasonably priced (lunchtime main course specials were $10 – $15) and of good quality. Wines tended to be a little expensive depending on what was selected.

It had proven to be a very interesting and enjoyable day. The excursion had an excellent attendance and the friendship and involvement of those who attended made the day a complete success.

– Ray