Machinery Preservation Club Of W.A. (Inc)

News, Shows & Reports

Some information may be duplicated between this web page and the Upcoming Events web page, due to progress reports relating to upcoming events.


Report by Ralph & Wendy Thomas
After an extremely hot Saturday, Sunday 17th arrived as a much cooler and pleasant day, for the 150 or so Vintage vehicles who attended this Car Day.

There was a ride range of mostly beautifully restored vintage vehicles of all makes and size, with a few others, showing a range of other interesting additions.

The MPC had just a small display to add to the vehicles, markets and food stalls, all of which did a roaring trade during the 6 hours of the show.

Max Leggett, and helper Eric Rose, with his engine; this time with Clydesdale 'Elijha', 'Murphy' the Collie and driver 'Polly', added to the display.

Ross and Colleen Morton displayed their Moffat Virtue engine.

Ralph and Wendy Thomas had a small display of carbide lamps, their Deleika organ and rope machine.

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The Last Hoorah! - Sunday 7th July 2019

Report by Ralph & Wendy Thomas
Well, what a great day we had last Sunday, 7th July, at the MRW! The weather was kind to us albeit a cool start. We had most of the setting up already done, so all we had left to do, was set up the last minute displays and get the BBQ and kitchen areas sorted. Thanks once again for the Ladies for that feminine touch.
Our earliest arrival was the 1952 Dennis Fire Engine, kindly displayed by the WA Vintage Fire Brigade Workshop.

The VMCC riders started arriving just before ten and were displayed both inside and out. The vintage bikes as usual made a great display and are a credit to their owners. The Ulysses club also arrived and set up outside, again a splendid array of chrome and excellent paint jobs. Several Vintage Car Clubs arrived to add to our very busy outside display; these too were a great attraction. Many owners had their bonnets raised enabling enthusiasts to inspect engines.

Inside the BBQ Team was soon busy supplying a queue of customers with hamburgers and sausages. All food was served by donation only, and here I must thank all for their generosity. We had a big number of both Club and Members' engines running, plus other displays of working scale models; hand tools; book stall; blacksmithing and Automata. Our attendance was unprecedented at an Open Day, and very fitting for our last Hoorah in the present location. Many were asking where are we moving too? We did not have an answer, as we have not been made any offers. Many people were sympathetic to our situation and wished us good luck for a successful outcome.

Many thanks must go to all who contributed to yesterday's success. I am sure you all enjoyed the day, the comradery between members was noticeable, which makes these events worthwhile. Disappointedly we only had one Politician, Donna Faragher MLA, pay us a visit despite invitations being sent to many, including City of Swan Councillors, some of whom had accepted. Is this an indication of the support we had hoped for?

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Jaguar Club Day - 26th May 2019

Report by Ralph & Wendy Thomas
What a great day we had at the Club on Sunday, thanks to a good rollup of members which ensured that we played very entertaining hosts to our guests, The Jaguar Club of W.A. They turned up driving a great range of shiny vehicles; some of the convertibles arrived with their hoods down, mind you they all looked a bit cold.

We had a good range of engines running, including the freshly restored Excelsior; grateful thanks here to Graeme Duncombe and Bryan Wilson. The big Hornsby behaved itself and started okay, but later stopped on its own.

We gave the guests a walk around tour explaining the history of the exhibits on display; many were particularly interested in hearing that we were preserving the MRW machinery.

Morning tea was well appreciated by all, thanks to the Ladies who served our guests and members.

Steve Starling spoke on behalf of the Jaguar Club, thanking the MPC for being great hosts and ensured us that they all had an enjoyable morning. Their members showed their appreciation with donations to the MPC. He also wished the MPC good luck in our quest to retain a home at the MRW, and this was supported by many others who sympathised with our dilemma.

I wish to mention here that it was noticeable yesterday that the MPC is in dire need of the women's' touch. I would like to see more involvement from our Ladies as they do make a big difference.

Thanks also to Bryan Wilson, Ross and Colleen Morton, for coming in on Saturday and making the toilets and "Toolbox Kitchen" clean and tidy.

Attached are some photos taken on the day.

President Ralph Thomas.

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NHMA Murray Bridge Rally

Report by Ralph & Wendy Thomas
These are only a few of the exhibits we have photographed so far.

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MPC Christmas Lunch

9th Dec 2018
Report and photos by Wendy Thomas and Doug and Suzanne Baker.

Letters of thanks were sent to WA Spit Roast and Bernard Carney for their input to the success of the MPC Christmas Party on 9th December. I am sure members will agree that it was undoubtably a very successful day. The food was extremely good, with excellent service by Alex who attended.

Bernard Carney entertained us with several of his songs, some about the Workshops, others easy to relate to.

The visit by the man from the North Pole was very well received, along with the gifts for the ladies. Thank you Santa.

Extra entertainment in the form of the two raffles and the Iron Monster races added to the day's enjoyment.

It was also nice to have two of our founder members, Fred and Gillian Gibbon, joining David and Judy Ashfold and Wendy and myself, with the 'second' unveiling of the Honour Board.

We have received several emails and phone calls from members saying how much they enjoyed the day.

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Machinery Preservation Club of WA Inc. - Open Day 28th October 2018 at the Midland Railway Workshops.

28th October 2018
Report and photos by Ralph and Wendy Thomas.

Those Members who supported our "Open Day" on 28th October would agree that it was without doubt, a resounding success. You can all give yourselves a pat on the back for your combined effort to achieve this. The BBQ Crew made an early start and were soon serving hamburgers and sausage sizzles, with tea, coffee and cakes from the kitchen; this continued for most of the day.

The engine crews also had engines fired up, with "Bert" on full steam adding to the action, and the big doors were opened to blow out the fumes and smoke.

Our "Swap Meet" also did good business, getting rid of excess items. This looks to be something we will pursue in the future.

The big bonus of the day has got to be the honour of having the Shearer Steam Wagon on display for the first and only appearance in Western Australia. Doug Baker and his crew have done an excellent job in building this magnificent replica, and it was admired by all who attended. The Shearer is now heading for the Dock Museum in Mannum, South Australia soon, where it will be on permanent display.

From all the MPC members, a big thank you and well done Doug.

Thanks here must also go to all the vintage enthusiasts who displayed their motor cycles and cars. Something we should bear in mind should they request our attendance at one of their functions.

It was pleasing to see a lot of familiar faces, some of whom travelled great distances to attend our day. We thank you all for attending our special day.
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Hills Festival - Karragullen - 13 October 2018.
Report by Colleen Morton.

We were early for a change, mainly because Ross and I had picked up the club trailer on Friday afternoon, and because we weren't sure where we were supposed to be going, so had allowed ourselves plenty of time.
We found our area to set up; the bays were clearly marked, however the verbal instructions were not so clear. The MPC had been allowed 3 bays, which meant there was plenty of room to park our cars and trailers.
When everyone had arrived and all the engines had been unloaded, the members put the fence up.
It looked like it was going to be a better day than had been forecast. Except for one heavy downpour at lunchtime, and a couple of light showers later on, the day was fine.

MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED - Ross and Colleen Morton, who displayed their Moffat Virtue; Les and Diane Jones; Stephen Barlas; Michael Harris; Les Smith with his Cooper engine (a work in progress) and Stewart Macpherson with hi Shearing Trailer display. For only 6 members, it was a decent display.

ON THE OVAL - The types of stalls were varied with only two exceptions. There were 5 vans selling ice-cream (what a shame George and Kerry weren't there) and almost as many Coffee outlets. Some of the other stalls were Farm Machinery, Trailers, Cooking Displays, Fruit Trees and Plants, Clydesdale Horses, a Little House of wheels, and many others. Off the oval there was a large shed, which held even more displays.

At 4pm the engines were turned off and while they were cooling down, the fence was put back on the trailer. By 5pm we were ready to leave, with the exception of Les and Diane. A door had fallen off their trailer and had to be fixed before they could move. As 'many hands make light work' that repair was soon made.
All in all it had been a good day.


20th October 2018
Report and photos by Ralph and Wendy Thomas.

Despite being a small crew of members, we managed to put on a good display for this year's Kelmscott Show.
This is always a well-attended event by the public and one of the better remaining Agricultural Shows in the metropolitan area. There is still a large amount of animal events, both performing and showing, as well as the usual number of stalls and food/drink vendors.
It is also very child-friendly; with many 'hands-on' attractions for the children to get involved in, and the fun they attract is obvious by the smiling faces as they make something out of wood, blow bubbles or play many of the games available.
The members who attended were Ralph and Wendy Thomas, with their collection of model engines and memorabilia, along with their barrel organ; Max Leggett with some of his very interesting stationary engines; Stephen and Liz Barlas with 'Wee Jim'; Ross and Colleen Morton with their Moffat Virtue, and Dudley Jensen with his Lister and Ruston motors.
The weather remained fine although quite cool and overcast.
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8th July 2018
See a report of the day in the latest Old Ploughs and Pistons - June 2018.
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The Muresk Show was fantastic, 15 members took part, as well as a member we haven't seen before (Bevan Martin).
They brought some 20 engines and 1 tractor (see photos). The lack of viewing public was disappointing, still we had a great day.

Taking a bungalow turned out to be a God send, as it was chilly; but sitting around drinking and eating in the warmth of the aircon, we didn't notice.
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AGM 2018 - Machinery Preservation Club of WA Inc.

Click to View AGM Report 2018 - Machinery Preservation Club of WA Inc.
Click to View Presidents Report 2018 - Machinery Preservation Club of WA Inc.

Founder Members L to R - David & Judy Ashfold, Ralph & Wendy Thomas, Victor James

Founder Member's Honour Board

Supper Spread


The weather was quite warm for the weekend, but the sea breeze arrived early on both days to cool us down. Several members camped overnight, including Eric and Kathy Rose, Ralph and Wendy, Keith Chappell and Victor James.

It was a two nights and one day show and lack of suitable lighting did not do us any favours on Friday night, even with the strip lighting supplied by Max Leggett. However on Saturday morning, the SES arrived to tell us they could help us out for Saturday night, and very kindly supplied us with an inflatable sodium vapour floodlight tower, which really lit the area up and assisted in attracting more of the crowd to our area.

It was great to see the club Hornsby at the show, and that, along with several other interesting motors and displays, including the table of MRW artefacts taken by Eric Rose, caused a lot of interest. Max Leggett put on a very colourful variety of engines, including the Lauson, The Chore Boy, and his big Fairbanks Morse.

Victor James was there with his drag saw, which we all know creates a lot of interest with the public. Keith Chappell had his Rosebery engine and assisted in the running of the Hornsby and Max's engines, as did Eric, George Chappell, and other members in attendance.

Ralph and Wendy had their usual display of traction engine and musical organs, along with Ralph's newly acquired Rider Ericsson water pumping Hot Air Engine.

Thanks must go to these members for making a great MPC display, and also to members Graeme Duncombe and Doug Baker, who called in to assist at different times during the weekend. Extra thanks to Max and Graeme, who will be storing the club trailer and the Hornsby, until such time as we are able to call Block 3, MRW, our home once again. Member Eric Coates, who was acting as a Horticultural Steward for the show, brought along a small lighting tower on Saturday in case we needed it and also presented Wendy with a floral tribute on Sunday morning, as a thanks for attending the show.
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The Hugh Manning Museum celebrated its 25th Anniversary on 19th November 2017, with an Open Day to the public.

Free Sausage Sizzles and a Swap Meet were on during the day and visitors were entertained by a variety of machinery and exhibits, in excess to the tractors on display in the museum.

Hugh Manning was one of the founder members of the Machinery Preservation Club of WA Inc. and an integral part of the club for many years before his death.
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This Community Event was held on Thursday 16th November at Midland Centrepoint Shopping Centre.

Although it was rather a quiet day for the public viewing our display; it gave our own members a good chance to catch up and have a chin wag! The shopping centre itself was quite busy, but we were in a tucked away empty shop and the public numbers did not get up as far as us. Hopefully next year we can request a different area.

Thanks to Doug Baker, Max Leggett, Jack Watson, Eric Rose, Michael Harris and Ralph and Wendy Thomas for providing a variety of interesting displays and helping us all to enjoy the day anyway.
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CANNING SHOW - 3/4th November 2017.

It was the first time for some members, to see "Bert", the MPC Traction Engine, displayed in public, with David Ashfold at the helm, ably assisted by Robert Brayshaw.

This was a huge attraction at the show, along with Ralph and Wendy Thomas's miniature traction engine and musical organs, which actually had some members of the public dancing.

The Stiltwalkers and the Dinosaur show were also great fun, as well as the usual Friday night fireworks; and attracted the crowds, both young and older.
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BRITFEST - 29th October 2017 - Claremont Showgrounds.

It was a very hot day for this event, but exceptional crowds helped to ease the pain.

Members Steve Barlas, Ross and Colleen Morton, James Riddle, Nathan and Leanne with children, Graham Duncombe with his Land Rover, Doug Baker with his Austin 7, and Ralph and Wendy Thomas were in attendance on the day.
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The VMCC used the MPC premises at the Midland Workshops to begin and end their annual Time Trial Run to Northam and York.

MPC members provided a BBQ breakfast and lunch-time sausage sizzle, and displayed some of their own exhibits.

It was a most successful day for all concerned.
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MOORA SHOW - 16 September 2017.

MPC members, including Nathan and Leanne, with children, Jim Riddle, Ross and Colleen Morton, George and Kerry Sjepcevich, Steve and Liz Barlas, Bill and Jane Gabriel, and brothers Stewart and David McPherson from Corrigin, enjoyed perfect weather for this annual show.

Spectators showed a great deal of interest in our display, although it was reported that numbers were down from last year.

Ralph and Wendy Thomas used this as a starting point for a 10 day tour of the Wildflowers in the area.
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Ken Wilson, P.O. Box 201 Wodonga, Victoria 3689

Do you collect cream separators and all other associated dairy industry items, equipment and memorabilia?

If so, would you be interested in becoming a member of the
'Cream Separator Collectors Association of Australia'

This Association was formed at the beginning of July 2017. For further information, please write to:
Ken Wilson
PO Box 201

Please include a stamped, addressed DL envelope for return postage.

Thank you,
Ken Wilson


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Click for Hamilton National Rally 2017 Junior Awards

Click for larger image The Wishart Trophy was awarded to the Wythe Brothers (1st and 3rd from left) for their exceptional Display of Austral Engines. Also pictured are a family member (2nd from left), Wedderburn President (Trevor Bailey), NHMA President Alan Shephard and NHMA WA Representative, Ralph Thomas.

Hamilton Pastoral Museum awarded Brian Haddon from Wedderburn the 2017 N.H.M.A. Encouragement Award

Hamilton Pastoral Museum awarded the "Club Choice" award to the Wedderburn exhibitors.

Hamilton Pastoral Museum awarded the "Mayors Choice" award to the Wythe Family.

Click for larger image N.H.M.A. officials awarded Junior Trophies/Achievement awards to

Liam Jeffries (Hamilton) for his Blacksmithing Skills.
Milton Fulford (Yackandah/Corryong) -1966 Ford F750 Sundial 2HP
Ben Mackie - (Hamilton) International Tractor
Matthew Baudinette - (Hamilton) 1938 Faneco/Wholer Ronald Tippet Saw Bench

Also attached at the top of this report is a short history of each of these Juniors.

Click for larger image Ralph Thomas, the WA Rep, gave a short speech recognising the 30th Anniversary of the NHMA; acknowledging those attendees at the Inaugural meeting of the NHMA at Lake Goldsmith in 1987.

L to R: Wendy Thomas (WA), Trevor Bailey (NSW), Unknown, Ralph Thomas (WA).
Also present, but not in photograph was Greg McNiece from Rally Badges.


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The weather did not look encouraging as we left home about 6 am; it was just coming light and raining, with the hills shrouded in grey clouds. However by the time we arrived at Guildford the rain turned to drizzle then stopped and blue skies followed, with the rest of the day fine and sunny.

Stirling Square was soon a hive of activity with all sorts of entertainment being set up in preparation for the Heritage Festival.

The MPC put on an impressive range of vintage machinery; although a bigger area would have been beneficial, as some of our exhibits had to be displayed behind others. We had twelve members and some partners in attendance and most agreed that this was the biggest fair to be held there. The fence line had a continuance of interested and happy spectators all day. This is always encouraging for those who attend and have their exhibits appreciated.

The Tractor Club of WA and The Hand Tool Society were our neighbours on either side, and they too spoke of it being a great event. There was a large stage set up with all sorts of entertainment and several bands playing varied music including Rock and Roll, and the dance floor was over-flowing with energetic patrons strutting their stuff. There was also a noticeable number of punters dressed in retro gear, adding flavour and atmosphere to the day. Added to this, was a great choice of food vendors, and no shortage of market stalls with some very innovative items on display and sale, highlighting the fact that there is no shortage of talented people around.

We must not forget the inclusion of several other organisations who contributed to the historic theme of the day.

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9th and 10th April 2016.

Hunter Valley Steamfest 2016 Official Website.
Maitland Mercury 2016 photos.

BINDOON MUSEUM VISIT - 15th July, 2015.

By Ralph and Wendy Thomas

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I think we all had a pleasant drive up to Bindoon, the weather was fine and sunny albeit a cool breeze kept one looking for a sunny spot. A quick wander around the Museum by the early birds until the others arrived preceded the morning tea. This I am sure exceeded all our expectations, with tables laden with all sorts of homemade sandwiches and cakes, which was put on by the Ladies, who continued to make sure we all had sufficient to eat.

Clive Griffiths and Museum Vice-President Dave Lucas welcomed us to their Museum Complex, saying we were the biggest crowd (over 50) they have had there. Clive acknowledged the different clubs represented and commented that it was a great turn out with such a mix, and they welcomed this type of gathering. Clubs represented were Machinery Preservation Club; RAS Heritage Section; Hand Tool Preservation Society; Austin 7 Club; Tracmach; Hugh Manning Tractor Museum and the Bindoon Museum Complex. For the next couple of hours we spread ourselves around the complex, taking in the main museum which housed a varied range of historical exhibits, all presented in an extremely clean and well restored condition. Outside one could see other larger exhibits that were presented in their working clothes, no doubt waiting to be restored.

The newest edition to the complex is the Men's Shed, which is very well equipped with all types of machinery required to do both carpentry and metalwork. According to what I was told this addition is being very well supported by a good membership. The Ladies have certainly not been forgotten and a well-stocked Arts and Crafts Shop complemented the Complex, I noticed quite a few purchases being carried out in colourful bags and put into cars. The local Press called in to take some photos and to record the day by promoting the Complex in their Paper.

We once again gathered back in the lunch room to enjoy a sausage sizzle. The 'Bindoon Bangers' were made by the local butcher and many complimented them and were directed to his shop. I took the opportunity during a lull in the chatter to propose a vote of thanks for the friendly hospitality and excellent catering extended to us by the very enthusiastic group of volunteers that keep the museum running, the whole place is a credit to their efforts.

But, there was more to come, as after lunch Dave Lucas got us to form a convoy and follow him to his property close by, where we were able to see his own collection. This was extremely well presented and reflected Dave's high quality of restoration. Last but by no means least, a few of us accepted an offer from Clive Griffiths to have a quick visit to his place, as he also lived close by. Albeit a little smaller than Dave's, Clive showed us some quite interesting items he has accumulated over the years.

I am convinced all who attended the day enjoyed themselves, with some already asking where will the next be, and when?

Thank you to all who supported the day and we welcome any suggestions for future interesting visits.

We have attached some photos taken at the Museum, and the visits afterwards.


Ralph and Wendy Thomas

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See this report and others on the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority website: LATEST ELIZABETH QUAY NEWS


By Ralph and Wendy Thomas

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The NHMA Committee members were extremely pleased when they were all presented with a "Certificate of Appreciation and Attendance" at the recent Hamilton Pastoral Museum Rally, who are the hosts for the 2017 National Rally.

The NHMA Committee does not get a lot of praise for their work, which made this a bit special for us.

  • Certificate of Appreciation Click to Download

  • As for the Rally itself, we were all very impressed with the general presentation and variety presented for display. The Ladies working in the food hall also warrant a mention. The range of food available was excellent and mostly home cooked. Even a power failure during the Rally dinner was handled expertly with candles quickly distributed to the tables, then business as usual. The NHMA Committee have full confidence that the 2017 National Rally is in good hands, and will be as successful as others we have attended. We wish you good luck.

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    by Ralph and Wendy Thomas.

    Each year the City of Swan asks its Volunteer Groups within the City to submit a summary of the worth of each club's volunteer's activities to the community.

    Last year (2014) the MPC achieved some 3,821 volunteer hours toward the community. The worth of this amounted to some $176,332.13 of value to the City. For this achievement the MPC received a handsome Plaque of Thanks.

    This achievement placed the MPC as 2nd out of 46 volunteer organisation whereby some $1,846,845 was the Activity Value.

    The Award was proudly presented to Vice President David Ashfold on behalf of the Club at the ceremony on the 3rd May 2015 at the Midland Town Hall.

    The plaque is in the Trophy Cabinet.

    by Ralph and Wendy Thomas.



    by Ralph and Wendy Thomas.

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    Beware of scam attempts that communicate by text message and email only.
    Deal with potential buyers on YOUR terms!

    Report by WA State Rep Ralph Thomas
    Photographs by John Victor and the Oily Rag

    Most of the NHMA Executive and Committee members travelled to Launceston, Tasmania, for its general meeting on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of November.

    Cold wet and windy weather was the greeting for my first ever trip to the Apple Isle, and as we had been having record hot weather in Perth I found this a little different.

    Fellow Committee member Graham Hein from SA, was on the same flight as myself and joined me on the shuttle bus to be dropped at the Olde Tudor Motor Inn. Upon arrival we were informed by reception staff that Launceston had been hit by a deluge of rain that morning and the forecourt and Bottle shop had been under water. Several of the Motel units had also suffered from flooding, although my unit was not too bad, with only the bathroom flooded and some carpet showing signs of water ingress. The only happy person around was the local carpet cleaner as he was on a call out fee with lots of promised work for the evening.

    Graham and I made our way to the bar after settling in, for a pre-dinner drink and to sample the local brew of Boag draft which was given the thumbs up from both of us. We met up with Kevin Lord who joined us for dinner, and found the meals reasonably priced and very enjoyable. The Motel's problems continued, as during breakfast there was a power failure, caused no doubt by the wet weather. We finished breakfast by candlelight, which was not at all romantic for three NHMA Representatives.

    Those who had not arrived on Friday, turned up Saturday morning and we all assembled in the conference room and got down to business. I was made aware that several others were also experiencing their first trip to Tasmania. For our Treasurer Julie Schoonderbeek, it was a bit special, as it was not only her birthday but also the first time she had flown; husband Rob will now very likely accumulate frequent flyer points.

    President Alan Shepherd welcomed us all, with a special welcome to the 2015 National Rally Committee. Secretary Ken Bock read the minutes of the previous meeting, which was followed by the Treasurer's report, read by Julie Schoonderbeek. After completing the business relating to the minutes we moved on to the important part and the main reason for holding the meeting in Tasmania, giving the floor to the Rally representatives. At this point of time we again had another power failure, we trust this was not an omen!!

    Lots of discussion ensued from around the table, covering the many topics relating to the successful running of a National Rally. It certainly would seem that they have a good handle on all the important issues, plus they have the advantage of having members who have had experience with past rallies. With the enthusiasm I observed from their committee, their intention to ensure all who attend will be well satisfied with the Rally arrangements. The NHMA Committee applauded their plans and assured them that they would get all the support possible and any help that may be required should it be requested.

    Business then turned to the lively topic of Health and Safety, which followed on from the OH&S Workshop conducted by Lance Mason, OHS Consultant, and held in Bendigo in July. It is the intention of the NHMA Committee to keep abreast of OH&S issues to ensure you, the members, can pursue your hobby in the safest possible way. To do this we have to constantly be aware of changes that affect the way we do things and satisfy our insurers that all risks are assessed and minimised. You will be kept informed of developments that the Committee thinks will help your Club be safer for all concerned.

    The meeting closed about 6 pm and we all met for pre-dinner drinks in the bar, where a more relaxed atmosphere allowed us to discuss some lighter topics. This continued in the dining room over a lovely meal of one's choice, from a well varied menu. Most of us retired early as we were instructed to be up for breakfast by 8 am, as our job was not yet finished. One of Tasmania's NHMA Reps, Graeme Bellette, had kindly acquired a small coach to transport us the 20 kilometres out to Quercus Park, where the Rally is to be held. This was the same venue used when the last National Rally was held there in March 2001, which to the best of my knowledge, was a very successful venue and I see no reason this would be any different. As this Park is used on a regular basis for this type of event all avenues have been well catered for. Some productive discussion took place on the event, but again all things seem to be in hand. After some group photos were taken, we said our goodbyes and went our different ways.

    Some of the contingent had to get the 1 pm plane, so Graeme headed for the Airport, although we had time to visit a local market on the way, where one or two picked up bargains in the antique section. Three of us, Alan Shepherd, Graham Hein and myself were not flying out until 5pm, so we had some time to kill. Graeme, who lives in Hobart, very kindly offered to give us a tour of Launceston and its surrounds. As he is in the business of driving tour buses we knew we were in good hands, and having a sound knowledge of the history of the place, we could not have had a better guide; we even went to places his wife Margaret had not seen, and we were delivered back to the airport in good time to get our flight back to Melbourne.

    All in all, I think those who attended would agree it was a very successful weekend. Bringing Committee members from across Australia is not a task to be taken lightly, and I must commend the efforts of President Alan Shepherd, Secretary Ken Bock, Vice President Rob Schoonderbeek, and Treasurer Julie Schoonderbeek, for their part in organising and having paperwork in order, which was a great help in getting on with the business.

    To the two Tasmanian Reps Graeme Bellette and Brian Scott, whose efforts must not go unnoticed, we thank you. Grateful thanks also to the members of the 2015 Rally Committee for their hospitality and cooperation; we look forward to sharing a successful 2015 Rally with you.

    For those of you reading this article, as members of many clubs across Australia, may you have a better understanding of the NHMA Committee that you elected, and know they are very dedicated to the betterment of your hobby. You may be aware that we the Committee Members, get some financial assistance to attend these Committee meetings, but I can assure you that we do not escape personal expense either. Many of our Committee spend countless hours working only for the reward of knowing they have contributed to the success of our organisation.

    In closing, for those of you who intend heading across the Tasman in 2015, it would be of great benefit to the organisers to receive your bookings early, and this will also avoid the disappointment of not getting what you want. I can recommend the Olde Tudor Motor Inn, to those of you who require Motel bookings, and it is an easy drive to the Rally ground.

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    MILANG RALLY – February 2015.

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    WEST AUSTRALIAN AUCTION REPORT – 15th November 2014.

    Report by Ralph Thomas State Rep W.A.

    An auction was held recently in Capel, Western Australia, on behalf of the Harbeck Family, by Auctioneers Rumens & Co, Busselton. As is usual at this sort of occasion, the social hype was present, with a number of enthusiasts meeting up and renewing acquaintances.

    The auction was the collection of the late John Harbeck Jnr., and consisted of a selection of well-presented and restored engines and other memorabilia.

    Prices achieved were extremely reasonable and as expected, although the Sun Dial Type B brought a lot higher price than I expected, whilst the Campbell Oil Engine (the highlight of the sale) did not achieve the higher price expected by many in attendance.

    The new owner from Bunbury looked extremely pleased with his purchase at the fall of the hammer.

    On a more serious note, due to the unfortunate circumstances which brought about this auction, it must have been an extremely emotional time for the family, seeing John Junior’s collection being broken up. However, I am sure they can rest assured that all the engines have gone to good homes, many of them local, and the work already done to them will no doubt be appreciated by the new owners. Hopefully they will be displayed at West Australian Vintage Machinery Rallies again in the future.

  • 1905 Campbell Gas Engine. Click to Download

  • Prices Achieved. Click to Download


    Good afternoon Ralph,

    Thanks for your attendance at the auction of John Harbec which was well supported for a Small Private Collection, and as you have suggested, apart from the Big Campbell, the rest of the motors made what I thought was a very fair price for both buyer and seller. Buyers attended from the greater part of the Wheatbelt as far north as Morowa, as east as Westonia and south to Albany; around 120 people attended which was about what we had anticipated. There was no support from the East; the travel distance was probably the factor there. However I thought someone from the East may have been interested in the Campbell engine. I must say it really is a labour of love restoring these old Engines; the Campbell was in such a mess and what a great job the 2 Harbecks men have done with it. All motors were sold and by Monday morning 11am the whole auction have been cleaned up, paid for and the engines on their way to the new Owners. Once again thanks for the support and I hope to see you at an auction again one day.

    Kind Regards David Rumens


    Report and Photographs By Ralph and Wendy Thomas.

    The visit for MPC members and friends, organised by Les and Diane Jones, was well attended. It was a lovely day and all assembled at 10am at the main entrance, to be met by the tour guides. Separated into two groups, we were treated to an excellent tour of all types of aviation history.

    The tour guide in our group had a great sense of humour and explained very well, the many things we were not aware of, relating to the massive range of exhibits. Time did not permit us to absorb all the information available, but we were at liberty to return afterwards if we so wished. Several exhibits were 'hands on' with push buttons for working models; mainly for the kids we were told, but why should they have all the fun! We spent at least two hours going through both areas, after which we were taken next door to the Club Restaurant and bar.

    Here we enjoyed a very nice meal chosen from a varied menu. A bit of a wait gave those present, time for a relaxing drink, catch up chat and socialising with others. This alone made the day beneficial in maintaining friendships. New Club member Graeme Duncombe joined us and was made welcome. It was nice to see David Pether up and about again after his recent knee replacement. Dave and Judy Ashfold donated a piece of rare material from a WW2 barrage balloon which was well received by the Museum.

    Thanks must go to Les and Diane for organising the function and arranging free admission; however it was decided during lunch to pass the hat around to express our appreciation. As a point of interest, we were told they have over 300 volunteer members on their books, quite impressive to say the least.

    With the increasing interest from members we intend to continue these casual weekday excursions, if you have any ideas for us to pursue, please let us know.

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    Report by Ralph Thomas

    Record Price for the sale of a Tractor in W.A, possibly Australia by Ralph Thomas,
    WA NHMA Representative.

    At the late Norm Bates Auction in Welbungin, Western Australia, on 17th October, a Benz Sendling Tractor sold for $102,000.00.
    Bidding started at $60,000 and soon reached the record price at the fall of the hammer.

    Mr. Norm Bates was a well-known identity and collector in Western Australia and lived on his property at Welbungin, approximately 300km NE of Perth.
    A more detailed report will follow shortly.

    A rare Chamberlain 40K Prototype, only two of which were produced, was sold for $40,000.
    This has now gone to the locality of Williams, approximately 300km S of Perth.

    NORM BATES AUCTION - Welbungin.

    Report and Photographs By Ralph Thomas.

    On one of our Easter trips a good number of years ago, a group of members from the MPC were invited through Frank Waters, to visit the property of Norm Bates. Norm was a well-known identity throughout the vintage machinery movement and had a great collection for us to view.

    Sadly, Norm recently passed away after suffering bad health for some time. Anyone passing through many of the Northern wheat-belt towns will see many legacies, which will ensure the name of Norm Bates will live on for a very long time.

    Wendy and I attended the auction held on the property on the 17th October. We booked into the Bencubbin Caravan Park, which is conveniently a short distance from the Welbungin Bates Property. Arriving on site early to get a good parking spot we found a line of assorted vehicles, comprised of trucks, cars and utes; some with trailers attached ready to take home the bargains they hoped to purchase. I am sure the area has never had such an invasion of outsiders as that day.

    Over a thousand bidders registered and they would have been only a third of the crowd, in my estimation. Naturally there were lots of people known to each other and a lot of time spent shaking hands with old friends and acquaintances, and wondering if they would be bidding against you when trying to acquire your bargain.

    All the items were well laid out in the usual rows, with two covered sheds containing the smaller collectable items. There was adequate time for all to peruse the lots, providing you kept on the move and not stop to chat with friends.

    The auction, by Landmark, which comprised of a good team of Auctioneers, got off to a flying start; with a mine kibble fetching close on $200. I made the second bid of $60 but was quickly left behind. This set the trend and most things made high prices, a lot of which were not of high quality. To become noticed as a bidder you had to push in close to the Auctioneer, not easy with the huge crowd milling around, and all wanting to see the action. There was a PA system provided and this helped identify what lot was under the hammer, if you were on the fringes of the crowd. The local services club took care of parking, security and catering; and this would have been a big boost for the finances of the community. I am sure they are grateful to the Bates Family for this opportunity; although it was a win-win situation for both parties.

    At three o'clock it was time for the highlight of the day, with the collection of tractors being auctioned. Three pm was to correspond with internet and phone bidders, some from the Eastern states and Overseas. All of the tractors made good prices, with the exception of the Emerson Brangindham, which was passed in at $15.000. Highest price of the day was, as expected, $102,000 paid for the Benz Sendling. This made what I would think a WA and maybe an Australian record. The second highest price of the day was for the Chamberlain 40K Protoype, which went to Kevin Martin from Williams for $40.000. Kevin and his wife were camped next to us in the caravan park and he told me he came to the auction with the express intention of taking this tractor home, so he was naturally very pleased with his acquisition. This he said would be a great addition to his collection of tractors, particularly the Chamberlains.

    Not much went at bargain prices however; I think I got one of the few, when I purchased five acre meters for $10.00, the other went to member Dan Houston who bought the Land Rover for $20.00. It cost him another $20.00 to have it lifted onto his trailer. This fee again went to the local community. There was no buyer's premium added to the sale price, which is a rare thing these days and was applauded by buyers.

    We left about five pm and there were still quite a number of lots to go in the collectables shed. I think it was close on six pm before the final hammer fell.

    This meant one man's huge effort and dedication to the historic past has now been split up and hopefully will grace other collections. I think all the purchasers should remember that they can thank Norm Bates for rescuing and caring for their purchases until this time, and now it is their turn to look after them and protect our very important historical past.

    Following is a selection of prices for other gear sold on the day.

    Lanz Bulldog Model P $15.000; HSCS Steel Horse $22.000; KL Bulldog $18.500; Hart-Parr with Gas Producer $20.500; Mc Donald Imperial $11.500; Rider Ericson Hot Air Engine $8.000; 2 Ton Holt $6.500; Fordson Bell City Crawler $16.500; Munktells $12.000; Caterpillar 15 Crawler $16.700; Sunshine Engine $900; McDonald Lighting Plant $400; Blackstone 22hp Engine $2700; Hay Rake $525; Chaff Cutter $500; Pony Works $2000; Sunshine Grister $500; Dam Scoop $750; 2nd Caravan Licenced in WA. $1900; Stuart Sheep Shearing Machine $1100; Shaft Co Sheep Shearing Machine $2000; Scythe $175; Horse Hobbles $350; Singer 6 Drawer Sewing Machine $450; Kununoppin Operating Table $160; Jones Electric Sewing Machine $2000; Wooden Trike - hand made for the family in 1935 $450; Federal Republic Truck $15000

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    Vintage Collectables

    I have been made aware of a Dennis Circular Saw which is available to anyone interested. It will require a fair amount of work and some parts.
    I also have information on a Galvanised Rolling Machine and a lathe. The Lathe, I understand, is in a dismantled state. The owner wants them to go to a club or collection where they will be restored and put on display.
    For further information contact Ralph on 9458 5435


    Report and Photographs By Ralph and Wendy Thomas.

    The display by the MPC at this year's Canning Show was an excellent one, with a wide range of different exhibits; from Stewart Macpherson's Shearing Display, to Victor James' always popular working Drag Saw. We added a touch of Fairground Music to our Steam Display this year, and this encouraged a bit of community singing amongst members as they walked past.

    Other displays included Hand Tools by Bob Wallis, Shearing Plant by Les and Diane, engines by George C, George and Kerry, Les and Rene, Ross and Colleen, John and Tina and Steve, plus Jack with his Hot Air engine.
    David Pether and Keith Chappell attended on the Friday night, but could not make the Saturday. Attendance on Saturday was excellent, with a total of over 20 members and 60 meters of exhibits. This in turn bought many compliments from the Canning Agricultural Society Committee members, who were extremely pleased with the great display, which enhanced their 2013 show. Their Committee have plans for big changes to the site, which include relocating the Greyhound Track, and these may affect future Canning Shows in the short term.

    As per usual, Wendy and I did the 2 night security, and had no trouble except for the fence blowing over during Saturday night.

    BBQs were used by members on both nights, and we finished up on Sunday morning with a communal BBQ breakfast. Thanks go to John and Tina, Stewart, Les and Diane and Ross and Colleen, for providing most of the provisions.

    A vote of thanks must also go to Victor James, who had to make two trips to Midland to collect and return the trailer.

    According to comments made by those present, it was one of the best shows for some time, with the added advantage of a great social atmosphere, which must be seen as great value to the MPC.

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    Waroona Vintage Rally/Show

    Report and Photographs by Neil and Sandra Twaddle

    The Rally was a huge success with over 4000 visitors on the day coming from as far as NSW. We have received many phone calls post Rally, with each reflection of the day being very positive.

    The formalities of the day begun with the Indigenous blessing of the Land and greeting for everyone attending, the "thank you sponsors speech", some country and western singing and the playing of the Brass Band.

    We had many vintage machines on display at this year's Rally comprising of an awesome array of vintage stationery-diesel-steam and petrol engines, an immaculate display of vintage chainsaws, a great selection of vintage motorcycles, a large variety of vintage cars and a fantastic display of vintage tractors with owners doing a victory lap of the oval that was enjoyed by all watching and a very interesting wood machinist who kept many interested during the day.

    The sheds housed great displays of vintage sewing machines, wool weavers, wood turning, toys, steam engines, rabbit traps and many antique tools.

    The Memorial Hall -supper room held a large display of antiques.

    The ladies in the large front hall were kept busy displaying their sewing and explaining their crafty talents to the many interested visitors.

    On organising this event, Importance was put into ensuring that a good selection of food and beverages would be available for our visitors to choose from on the day.

    A lot of time and effort went into contacting stall holders that could show case products that may interest both men and woman. On speaking too many of the stall holders, their sales were up and they were ready to book their spot for next year's Rally.

    Our Rally also catered for Children in the way of having available free rides on the Lions club train; free face painting and free bouncy castle jumping.


    The Rally would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and the support of our helpers who contributed to making this Rally what it was.

    We are so glad you enjoyed the day and look forward to your continued support at the next Vintage Machinery Rally.

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    Holiday Highlights after the NHMA Rally

    Report and Photographs by Ralph and Wendy Thomas

    The first photo below is Ralph and Wendy Thomas during an underground tour of an Opal Mine at Lightning Ridge, which is famous for its Black Opal.

    The second shows Ralph and Wendy, Bob and Brenda, after their first ever helicopter flight, over Ayers Rock, where they stayed for a few days exploring 'the Rock' and the Olgas.

    Annual Steamer's Day, and Dedication of 'Bert', The Clayton & Shuttleworth Traction Engine.

    Report by Ralph Thomas

    The long awaited day was finally here; it was now time for 'Bert' to be introduced to the public, and what a day it was! After several years of hard work; peppered with many frustrations, caused by minor set backs and long waiting times for jobs being done at 'mates rates' to reduce costs, the dedicated 'Steam Team', lead by Club President Peter Dymond, did not falter; instead finding ways to overcome problems, and continuously making headway in their quest to complete the task.

    Lots of planning had also gone into the Steamer's Day to ensure that 'Bert' was presented to all in the best possible way, and a Steamer's Breakfast was seen as a fitting start to the day. With the 'Barbeque Brigade' busy cooking from early morning, the visitors were soon filing in to partake of a hearty meal of bacon, sausages, eggs, hash-browns, baked beans and toast, followed by tea or coffee. After the meal our visitors were treated to a vast array of working vintage machinery, historic static displays, and 'Sunday Trading' sales tables, which offered a great range of second hand vintage equipment. This was all spread throughout the club's newly extended area at the Workshops.

    At the far end of the display, 'Bert', looking very much the guest of honor in his splendid new livery, and gleaming illuminated brass work, had been puffing away contentedly since early morning, even pushing extra steam into 'Cousin Jenny', the Ruston and Hornsby steam engine.

    Many dignitaries and special guests had been invited to witness this long awaited occasion and to be made aware of how the very generous grant from Lotterywest, plus help from several corporate bodies, had been extremely well used. The official dedication went off very smoothly, with speeches kept to a minimum and to the point.

    As MC for the day I introduced President Peter Dymond, who spoke about the restoration of 'Bert' and what it meant to the MPC; being in the position to respect our early settlers, to restore and save examples of the rich West Australian Heritage they created.

    Life member Bert Tyler, after whom the Traction Engine has been named, then told the story of how the MPC acquired the Clayton and Shuttleworth and its early days of restoration.

    I next introduced Bob Wallis, who spoke about the future of the MPC and what we can contribute to the Midland area, stressing we would need support to achieve this goal.

    Finally Peter finished off the proceedings with the dedication and officially named the Traction Engine, 'Bert' (did I detect a lump in Peter's throat?) This was received by all present with three rousing cheers and a very long blast of 'Bert's' steam whistle.

    Morning tea was then served to the Special Guests in our new Tea Room, which included several MPC members who had assisted in the restoration project.

    Whilst 'Bert' and the 'Steam Team' were the stars of the day; we cannot discount the efforts of other members, in making the day the success it was. To all of those we extend a big vote of thanks for their massive input.

    A special vote of thanks must go to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, formerly Midland Redevelopment Authority, for their on-going assistance and support for our Steamer's Day.

    We were also well supported by the local press, The Midland Reporter and The Hills Gazette; with articles and photos promoting the day, which we are sure helped in bringing in the locals for an early Sunday morning breakfast, with entertainment included.

    We had visitors from several other clubs, including The Old Machinery Club of WA; The Hugh Manning Museum; The Tractor Club of WA, and The Tractor and Vintage Machinery Club.

    Other clubs who participated in the day, include The Northern Suburbs Model Railway Club; The Toodyay Model Railway Club; The Historic Bicycle Club of WA; The Hand Tool Club of WA; plus several Vintage Vehicle clubs. It was great to get their support, a point worth remembering when they invite us to any of their events. I apologize here if I have missed anyone.

    The Club was well rewarded financially for the day and this will be well for further restoration projects and general club upkeep.

    For those of you wishing to see 'Bert' put through his paces, his next appearance will be at The Royal Show. This, to the best of my knowledge, will be the first time in the history of the Royal Show, that a Traction Engine has ever been driven around the arena.

    More Photos.

    Photographs by Wendy Thomas


    Report by Ralph and Wendy Thomas

    The Annual visit of the VMCC to the Midland Railway Workshops home of the MPC, was one again a great success.
    The MPC supplied the venue and tea and coffee, while the VMCC supplied the biscuits and BBQ lunch for all.

    The number of vintage motor bikes had increased since the last visit, and other members and visitors were very interested in looking at all the different exhibits.

    The MPC members ran a selection of their vintage engines and associated memorabilia for all to enjoy.
    The star of the MPC exhibits on the day would have to be the first public airing of Les and Diane Jones Ice-cream making machine - and it tasted good too!

    As usual, a fun day which was greatly enjoyed by all who attended.

    More photos on the Photo Gallery page.

    Older Reports

    As you can see from the previous reports; one of the benefits of being an MPC member is that it enables you to participate in displaying and enjoying your hobby at any of the Club's organized events. All MPC activities are covered by a $20m Public Liability Insurance, as an affiliated club to the National Historical Machinery Association Inc. You can be assured of having a lot of fun at the rallies and you meet the public, who always enjoy our engines and quite often you can be lucky enough to collect the piece of equipment you have been looking for. Even if you don't have an exhibit, you are quite welcome to come along and join us at the next function.

    Further event reports will be advised as they come to hand.