tar­cutta HOPS INTO GEAR

The first stage of Tar­cutta’s truck mu­seum has opened and or­gan­is­ers are seek­ing funds to con­tinue the project.

Deals on Wheels - - Trucks On Show - Ta­mara Whited at­tended

Truck lovers from as far as Queens­land and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory at­tended the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Tar­cutta Trans­port and Farm­ing Mu­seum on Satur­day morn­ing, Oc­to­ber 29.

The cer­e­mony took place be­side the at­trac­tion’s first build­ing, a five-bay shed, which was funded by Bunny and Diana Brown of nearby Ade­long, New South Wales. Bunny’s brief speech was re­ceived with en­thu­si­as­tic ap­plause.

Ear­lier in the year he en­listed the help of Doug and Pam McMil­lan of Al­bury, De­nis Robert­son of Syd­ney and Ge­orge Goold of Bri­bie Is­land to form the Tar­cutta Trans­port and Farm­ing Mu­seum, which was in­cor­po­rated in June.

The hon­our of open­ing the first stage of the mu­seum was ac­cepted by Liz Martin, the driv­ing force be­hind the suc­cess­ful Na­tional Road Trans­port Hall of Fame in Alice Springs.

Liz con­grat­u­lated Bunny and Diana on what they had achieved. She spoke of the dif­fi­culty she had ex­pe­ri­enced in the early days of the Alice Springs mu­seum.

“Tar­cutta is such an iconic place in road trans­port his­tory. It’s one of our most fa­mous changeovers, and it’s re­ally ap­pro­pri­ate that we have this mu­seum here at Tar­cutta to com­ple­ment the [Aus­tralian Truck Driv­ers’] Me­mo­rial down the road,” she says.

About 100 peo­ple at­tended the open­ing and en­joyed the col­lec­tion of re­stored trucks on dis­play. Some of these have been do­nated to the mu­seum and oth­ers were on loan.

HIS­TORIC TRUCKS

For­mer in­ter­state truck driver Ge­orge Goold,

82, from Bri­bie Is­land, Queens­land, took three Di­a­mond Ts to the open­ing. He has do­nated one of them to the mu­seum – a re­stored 1954 Di­a­mond T 531 in Cousins’ Trans­port colours. Ge­orge has also do­nated a rare 1963 Freighter ad­justable bo­gie trailer.

This Cousins Di­a­mond T was one of four trucks housed in the new build­ing dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony. Also in the shed were a 1418 Benz and In­ter­na­tional R190 on loan from the Pick­les fam­ily of Al­bury; and a B Model Mack on loan from Rive­rina Crane Ser­vice.

Bunny’s trusty 1987 West­ern Star ‘Lone Ranger’ was parked near the shed. He says the truck will now stay at the mu­seum. It has more than 5.5mil­lion kilo­me­tres on the clock and Bunny has driven it since it was new.

Sev­eral truck lovers at­tend­ing the of­fi­cial open­ing ar­rived with their re­stored trucks which were also ad­mired dur­ing the open­ing. The old­est of these — a 1929 Dodge — is owned by Jeff John­ston who was fly­ing the His­toric Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Club flag.

Greg Hillier from Cor­ry­ong took his re­stored In­ter­na­tional R190 and Swampy Mill­steed of Co­bram dis­played a 1958 Di­a­mond T 630.

Un­re­stored trucks could be seen a short stroll from the shed, in­clud­ing four In­ter­na­tional ACCOs, a 1948 Ford, 1934 Chev and Thames Trader.

In ad­di­tion to the un­re­stored trac­tors which have been do­nated to the mu­seum by lo­cal farm­ers, two beau­ti­fully re­stored Cham­ber­lain trac­tors were on dis­play dur­ing the open­ing. These are owned by Matthew Reeve of Tooradin, Victoria.

A col­lec­tion of pho­tographs in­side the new shed in­cluded im­ages from 1956 when trucks were forced to wait for days in Tar­cutta while the Hume High­way was re­paired.

The first bus­load of vis­i­tors ar­rived at the mu­seum soon af­ter the open­ing cer­e­mony.

The Gee­long Trans­port Driv­ers’ So­cial Club was in Tar­cutta for the an­nual Aus­tralian Truck Driv­ers’ Me­mo­rial ser­vice and in­spected the mu­seum while they were in town.

PROGRESS

The Tar­cutta truck mu­seum project has pro­gressed slowly since it was first mooted in 2008 as a means of at­tract­ing tourists lost af­ter the 2011 Hume High­way by­pass.

By 2014 the orig­i­nal com­mit­tee was con­cerned the project had lost mo­men­tum and would fail to se­cure lo­cal vol­un­teers and fund­ing. It aban­doned the project and has in­stead pro­ceeded with the Aus­tralian Road Trans­port Her­itage Cen­tre mu­seum at Gunda­gai.

But Bunny be­lieved a truck mu­seum should be built at Tar­cutta and con­tin­ued lease ne­go­ti­a­tions with Wagga Wagga City Coun­cil. Only a small num­ber of Tar­cutta res­i­dents at­tended the open­ing, but Bunny says re­cent progress at the site has re­vived lo­cal in­ter­est in the project.

More trucks have been do­nated to the mu­seum and Bunny says talks with po­ten­tial spon­sors are pro­gress­ing. He is op­ti­mistic two or three more build­ings will be erected over the sum­mer.

No Wagga Wagga City Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives were present at the open­ing but Coun­cil­lor

Kerry Pascoe as­sures Owner//Driver that coun­cil con­tin­ues to sup­port the project.

Bunny is keen to hear from car­a­van­ers who would like to stay at the mu­seum site and

Tar­cutta is such an iconic place in road trans­port his­tory.

vol­un­tar­ily as­sist with the mu­seum – a sys­tem which has proven suc­cess­ful at the Alice Springs Hall of Fame.

High­way wan­der­ers, Keith and Yvonne Nunn of Queens­land, stayed at the site in their mo­torhome for a week dur­ing Oc­to­ber, and helped con­struct a sec­tion of the front fence.

While the mu­seum does not yet have of­fi­cial open­ing hours, Bunny in­vites trav­ellers to call in to Tar­cutta to see if the mu­seum gates are open. He plans to spend much of his time there work­ing on the mu­seum and will hap­pily wel­come vis­i­tors.

For up-to-date in­for­ma­tion, visit the Tar­cutta Trans­port and Farm­ing Mu­seum Face­book group.

Any­one wish­ing to as­sist the com­mit­tee or to do­nate ex­hibits can phone Bunny on 0438 072 494 or Doug on 0407 835 115.

Fi­nan­cial do­na­tions can be de­posited into the mu­seum’s bank ac­count: name – Tar­cutta Mu­seum; BSB – 082 406; Ac­count num­ber – 63661 3179.

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1. Open­ing the mu­seum, Liz Martin says the new Tar­cutta at­trac­tion has the

sup­port of the Aus­tralian Road Trans­port Hall of Fame in Alice Springs 2. Bunny Brown per­sisted with plans to build a truck mu­seum at Tar­cutta

af­ter a lo­cal com­mit­tee aban­doned the idea

3. Doug McMil­lan (pic­tured) is among the in­dus­try lead­ers en­listed by

Bunny to ad­vance the project

4. Bunny Brown, Ge­orge Goold, Diana Brown, De­nis Robert­son, Liz Martin,

Pam McMil­lan and Doug McMil­lan in front of the mu­seum’s first build­ing 5. Jeff John­ston carted his 1929 Dodge from Mel­bourne be­hind his Volvo 6. Swampy Mill­steed (right) took his 1958 Di­a­mond T 630 to the open­ing.

The truck was pre­vi­ously owned by De­nis Robert­son (left)

7. Greg Hillier drove his fam­ily’s In­ter­na­tional R190 from Cor­ry­ong, Victoria 8. Ge­orge Goold’s 1954 Di­a­mond T 531 has been do­nated to the Tar­cutta

mu­seum. The truck is painted in Cousins’ Trans­port colours

9. Bunny and Diana Brown with their West­ern Star

10. A re­stored 1954 Di­a­mond T 531 in Cousins’ Trans­port colours

11. Bette Phillips, Doug Wee­don, San­dra Ma­son and Liz Martin ex­plore the

new at­trac­tion

11. An In­ter­na­tional R190 on loan

from the Pick­les fam­ily of Al­bury 12. A B Model Mack on loan from Rive­rina Crane Ser­vice was on dis­play in­side the new shed

13. Jeff John­ston be­hind the wheel

of his 1929 Dodge

14. A 1418 Benz on loan from the

Pick­les fam­ily

15. Ge­orge Goold watches two of his Di­a­mond Ts leave the mu­seum grounds

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