Rudge Rally

30th Aus­tralian Rudge Rally

Old Bike Australasia - - NEWS - Re­port and pho­tos from Rudge En­thu­si­asts Club

3-4 March, 2018 – Or­ange, NSW

The 30th rally was based at the Conobo­lis Car­a­van Park, Or­ange, a beau­ti­ful area over the Blue Moun­tains, west of Syd­ney. Num­bers were down but Harry Scoble (from Vic­to­ria), now 86 years young, was very proud to be rid­ing with us. We had 23 Rudges and 30 peo­ple in­clud­ing two new rid­ers: Ben Mor­gan on his freshly re­stored 1932 full ra­dial Ul­ster and Rick Nabkey on his 1927 350cc ‘Sports’, while Gra­ham Good­win had fi­nally fin­ished restor­ing a 1911 500cc sin­gle speed vet­eran. Fri­day af­ter­noon saw the gath­er­ing of ‘clan Rudge’ with much fun while re­new­ing friend­ships and get­ting to know the new faces. Rid­ers reg­is­tered and re­ceived their ‘Good­ies’ bag and cel­e­bra­tory bot­tle of 30th Rudge Rally wine (a top vin­tage by all ac­counts.) Lo­cals, Bernie and Liz Schell had spent twelve months plan­ning the routes to keep us on the bet­ter roads with vis­its to lo­cal places of in­ter­est. They did a great job or­gan­is­ing cor­ner mar­shals and sup­port ve­hi­cles as well. Liz had also spent the pre­vi­ous month, by the look of it, cook­ing up a storm for our de­li­cious morn­ing and af­ter­noon teas. An early start on Satur­day morn­ing was called for as we had al­most 200km to travel with two in­ter­est­ing stops. We left Cook Park in cen­tral Or­ange at 9am. The roads were very mo­tor­cy­cle friendly with plenty of bends and pleas­ant scenery, but lit­tle traf­fic to con­tend with. Our first stop was Manil­dra. The ‘Amusu’ (amuse you) pic­ture theatre is one of only two re­main­ing orig­i­nal pic­ture houses in Aus­tralia. The old mo­tor me­chanic work­shop next door is now a museum – pri­mar­ily movie cam­eras and movie mem­o­ra­bilia in­clud­ing hun­dreds of orig­i­nal, au­then­tic posters along with other in­ter­est­ing ev­ery­day items too. We had our fab­u­lous morn­ing tea, then were ush­ered into the Amusu Theatre for a show­ing of three silent movies, car chases of course. Al­lan Tom, who set up the pic­ture house in 1923, had pre­vi­ously run a trav­el­ling pic­ture show. His daugh­ter, now in her 90s, was our ush­erette. She does en­joy peo­ple com­ing to visit, so we made a fuss of her. It was then on to Canowin­dra for lunch. Not ev­ery­one needed to eat so wan­dered around town af­ter a wel­come beer at the lo­cal club. It had been a hot trip. Un­for­tu­nately, Gra­hame Heath had a flat front tyre on the re­turn stretch to Or­ange, but a lo­cal mo­tor­cy­cle shop de­liv­ered a re­place­ment tube to the car­a­van park that af­ter­noon and would not ac­cept pay­ment. Good peo­ple! The evening ‘get­to­gether’ and pre­sen­ta­tions was at the mo­tel restau­rant next door to the car­a­van park. A lovely meal and great com­pany. Sun­day be­gan with a Rudge ‘swap-meet’ at the car­a­van park fol­lowed by more of Liz’s spec­tac­u­lar morn­ing tea. We left the park at 10am and rode the round­about way via pop­u­lar mo­tor­cy­cle roads to­wards Bathurst be­fore turn­ing back to Millthorpe. A shorter run of about 100km as some rid­ers wanted to get away early for the jour­ney home that af­ter­noon. We stopped in the his­toric ‘town’ of Millthorpe where there is a very in­ter­est­ing museum full of early im­ple­ments and ma­chin­ery. The main street has plenty of old build­ings, some now trad­ing as cafes and an­tique shops. For those still around at 2.30pm we hopped into sev­eral cars and Bernie led us out to visit a lo­cal car club mem­ber’s home, a beau­ti­ful 1920s farm house. We were treated to his Chevro­let col­lec­tion of sev­eral vet­eran cars and a cou­ple of trucks. The eye-opener was his three ‘big wheel­ers’, ba­si­cally horse car­riages with a mo­tor. They were de­signed to per­suade peo­ple to trans­fer from horse drawn ve­hi­cles to mo­tor cars and the large wheels han­dled the rough tracks well. He has re­stored them all him­self with the help of the ap­pren­tices he teaches at the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege.

As Rus­sell Court, from Vic­to­ria said, “This is the rally that keeps on giv­ing”. Keen to con­trib­ute to that theme, Rus­sel and sev­eral other Vic­to­ri­ans have of­fered to plot the runs for next year’s rally at Cor­ry­ong, Vic­to­ria (just over the NSW bor­der). We look for­ward to an­other great week­end at our 31st An­nual Aus­tralian Rudge Rally.

Gra­ham Good­win with his newly-re­stored 1911 model.

Dan Mor­gan with the Rob Hart Tro­phy for the Best Rudge.

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