By Ian Browning
Netherby Homestead has been cleared of all its contents, which are being stored in two containers placed behind the building. The work of replacing the ceilings is expected to take place during June. One of the challenges we understand was to find a tradesman familiar with the old fashioned fibrous plaster – no Gyprock back then!
Due to the closure of the homestead, we have had to put off a couple of tour requests. We frequently host organisations like Probus, school groups etc, for conducted tours booked through Council.
A bit more work has been done on the 1918 International truck project, mainly continuing the dismantling of the Orange chassis – this is the name we have given to the donor chassis because that is where it came from. The chassis of the donated truck was heavily modified during its life, so we have no choice but to use the Orange chassis as the basis of the restoration. We expect to use the mechanical parts of the donated truck, however. One significant item missing altogether was the water pump off the engine. We recently succeeded in locating one (not too common I can assure you!) after scouring the world, and it is now safely in our possession. Remember this is a 100 year old machine, and not that many survive, certainly none within reasonable distance of Sydney.
A recent event was the hosting in Fagan Park of the National Motoring Heritage Day on 20 May, when various car clubs chose the park as its destination. About 50 historic vehicles assembled, one feature being the Sunbeam Club, which displayed various models of this well respected marque. Another repeat visitor was a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, a magnificent car as can be seen in the photo! This day was celebrated at many destinations throughout Australia, the purpose being to demonstrate the extensive interest that exists in motoring heritage.
The Friends of Fagan Park are on deck every Tuesday, which is our volunteering day. It is pleasing that many people seem to be reading these little reports, going by recent offers of donations and comments about our activities. We are happy to down tools to talk to visitors about the collection or the history of the place. We are always on the lookout for new members, offering everything from gardening to blacksmithing.
Ian Browning, Honorary Curator, 0419 435 475.