National 1&2 Cylinder Rally - 8th-13th May 2022
Article by David McCredie. Video and photos by Andrea Holden & Tom Killingback.
All of the work by Robert Fordham and his team from the NSW club, paid off with a great rally for the 76 cars present. The location was perfect with no hills and mostly all back roads. The most number of entrants came from Queensland followed by Victoria with the host club third. Where are the 1-2 cylinders in NSW? There were entrants from all states. Several entries withdrew due to COVID.
Sunday was registration day followed in the evening by a civic reception in town. Day one was extremely cold but fine and we drove on flat quiet roads to Leeton. On the way we stopped at a forest for some Koala spotting. At Leeton we explored the town and museum. The return trip was via a different quiet road.
An unfortunate incident, that could have been a lot worse, occurred at the start of day one when Terry Rowe from Adelaide was leaving the caravan park. A car ran through a give way sign hitting the back wheel on his Bullock motor bike damaging the frame. Terry was unhurt but the bike needed repairs that would have to wait until he got home. So Terry rode with me in the Maxwell for the rest of the rally , it was good to have company and a navigator, thanks Terry.
The weather on day two was much warmer, we travelled to Morundah, a tiny town with a population of 16 and an opera house. Yes that’s right an opera house, the 350 seat Paradise Palladium Theatre, community built and owned and not just an opera house in name. This theatre holds regular performances of opera, ballet, symphony orchestras, theatre with well known performers from many parts of Australia.
The purpose built theatre was initially a large unlined steel framed building with very poor acoustics. The money ran out before it could be lined. Someone suggested lining it with donated old wooden doors. The result is acoustically excellent and surprisingly visually interesting. The local man leading all of this is also a chef and his rack of lamb lunch was superb. All of this in a town of 16 people, extraordinary.
We had some performers of our own in the theatre to entertain us over lunch, Kevin Brookes recited poetry by Banjo Patterson and Doug Fullford recited a number of Australian poems including some of his own written for the occasion.
On day three we drove a short distance out to the Narrandera Fisheries Centre. This world class facility, run by the Department of Primary Industries is a research centre and provides millions of native fingerlings to be released into the waterways each year. We then drove through a private orchard to a barbecue lunch on the banks of the river. It was a delightful spot on private land where we were able to relax and mingle.
On day four the heavens opened and only four veterans were driven the 105 km round trip to Ganmain to see the Sheaf Hay Centre. The drivers and passengers were presented with very well deserved bravery awards. The rest of us wimped out and travelled in moderns.
On day five, the last day, the weather cleared for our drive out to Yanco Agricultural College. The students came out of classes to see the cars and a few owners drove some of them around the grounds in their veterans. The magnificent administration building had originally been built as a private home. That night we enjoyed dinner and presentations at the Narrandera Ex-Serviceman’s club. Unfortunately, our rally director Robert Fordham was unwell and could not attend , Laurie Garrod took his place on stage. The NSW president , Phil O’Loan drove down from Sydney for the presentations.
It was an excellent well-run rally, thanks to all who made it happen.