While the many who came to hear Jeff learned many things one can only hope that Jeff learned one thing - not to talk and listen to others for too long as one finds it's time for a second talk when one wants a nice cuppa and a sandwich! For those worrying about Jeff's well being, rest assured we "fed and watered" him after his second, thankfully shorter, talk.
As always, our trusty band of volunteers was on hand to ensure that the day ran smoothly. Graham manned the front desk and was kept busy selling multiple copies of Jeff's co-authored book "Rails Through the Bush" as well as other smaller books about the timber industry while "next door" Garry, Harry, Trevor and Picko had the model railway running a packed timetable - but guys, where were the timber trains?
Down the road a little the cakes disappeared quickly as the blacksmiths had morning tea then retired to the warmth of their fires and worked up an appetite for lunch by turning pieces of metal into all sorts of intricate shapes - and many visitors took advantage of the warmth emanating from their forges to see them in action.
Further down the track Ray spent his day working on the bonnet of the grey Fergie, removing long entrenched lumps and bumps in preparation for a new coat of paint. Elwyn was nearby working on the dairy display, having recently accessed more "bits and pieces" to complete the set up. His work received several nods of approval from some visiting current dairy farmers. Meanwhile Don was in and out of the shed like a cuckoo in a clock, dodging the frequent showers as he set about replacing termite damaged legs on a recently donated large - and heavy - chaff cutter.
Inside the roundhouse John and Garry were safe from the rain and spent their day bringing more compartments of the ACM carriage back to "as new" condition, allowing the public to appreciate what first class meant 100 years ago. Behind them, Bruce, Albie and Harry represented the Men's Shed and many visitors took the opportunity to see them "in action" and to marvel at the quality of work they produce, whether it be bringing old furniture back to "as new" or building things from scratch.
It's not only our blacksmiths who think about their stomachs - many of our visitors come to the SWRHC regularly just to have lunch, have a chat and see what has been done around the site since their previous visit. Fortunately our catering crew are up to the task and this month Heather and Anne were on the top of their game in the Picnic Van while Steven and Kelly were churning out the sausage sizzles at a good rate.
In between Open Days work continues around the site. The Men's Shed have been particularly busy. They have built and delivered several bench seats - welded frames and timber seat - for the Gelorup community, are making a number of cockatoo "homes" for CALM and have commenced construction on the verandah roof for the Picnic Van.
As mentioned earlier, Ray has been working on the Fergie while Terry enjoys his holiday in warmer climes, Don has been working on the recently donated chaff cutter and Eric has finally got his old machine to start on a regular basis.
The model railway continues to "grow". More electrical work has been done to ensure smooth running, the scenery continues to be developed and more locomotives and wagons have been added to the roster.
As well as ensuring the Picnic Van runs smoothly, Anne carries out a number of other tasks, one of them being the seeking of grants to add to our facilities - and once again she has been successful, this time allowing us to purchase our own set of display panels, saving us from having to borrow Rail Heritage WA's panels.
Just before the Open Day we had one more break in - fortunately no more damage but lots of drinks consumed, cigarettes butted out on one of the tables in the Picnic van and dirty dishes and rubbish left for me to clean up. But it wasn't all bad news as Mr and Mrs "Picko" donated a "new" fridge/freezer to the Picnic Van and boy, does it keep things cold! Thanks a million for your generosity.
Our next Open Day is scheduled for June 24 and will feature "Wheezing Workhorses", the all snorting, wheezing, burping and occasionally "exploding" machinery belonging to members of the SW Old Machinery Club. Let's hope it's a fine day so that their various noises can be less intrusive than if we have to have them inside.
For more details on this day, or anything to do with the SWRHC check out, and like, our Facebook page at [color=#1155cc]https://www.facebook.com/SouthWestRailandHeritageCentre/, email us at [color=#1155cc]firstname.lastname@example.org[/color] or contact Norm on 0459 712 552.