[color=#500050]We weren't rushed off our feet with visitors, with only 58 attending, but those 58 were most impressed and more informed by what they saw judging by the comments they made.[/color]
[color=#500050]Our regular helpers were once again on the job - Gary at the front gate welcoming the visitors and ever ready to swap stories of the good old days on the railways with fellow former employees and Barry keeping an eye on the roundhouse and all that it contained as well as showing some DVDs of past exploits of the railways and having a small display of vintage Triang and Hornby Dublo model trains.[/color]
[color=#500050]Also in the roundhouse, John carried on with the carriage restoration, spending some time working out the jigsaw puzzle of which seat went in which compartment. As always, visitors were in awe of the "fancy" woodwork that these old carriages had when built and of John's skill in returning it to as new condition. Out the back, Don was in the Mens Shed showing the visitors some of the fine woodwork items that the members have made or restored and spreading the word about the good work that Mens Shed do for other men who may be "lost" for something to do or for male companionship.[/color]
[color=#500050]Don, Gary, Allan and Jacob found plenty to do with old machinery - Gary spent most of his day in the roundhouse finishing the magpie hay baler while in the workshop Don and Alan worked on finishing the fuel system on the Lanz Bulldog tractor, only to find that there was an oil leak that will necessitate the removal of the large flywheel(?) that Don had recently spent several weeks, and many muttered curses, getting back on. Oh the joys of restoration![/color]
[color=#500050]Speaking of Don, one of the items that he brought to display was a very old twin tub manual washing machine. The story goes that Don was at the local rubbish tip one day when a man brought this in for disposal, which in days past meant dumping and eventual burying. His reaction was, "No, you can't just dump that here - I'll have that!" I think the reaction of his good lady when he arrived home with it was almost word for word, minus the last 3! Don must be a smooth talker though as he has kept it and brought it back to somewhere near as new condition and it certainly attracted a lot of interest.[/color]
[color=#500050]Kelly and Steven were eager to entertain the younger visitors with their many kids activities but only 8 turned up, which was a much lower ratio of adults: kids than usual so they also weren't rushed off their feet. Perhaps the attraction of a few traditional kids games on our Traditional Trades day may see more action for them on April 26th.[/color]
[color=#500050]In the forge, the blacksmiths happily hammered away on various projects and used some of their new "toys" that a $4 000 grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Reconstruction had provided. The extra space that the reorganisation of the forge had provided was also well received by the members of the group.[/color]
[color=#500050]The Picnic Van was well patronised as usual and again many complimentary comments were made about the quality of the service and the quality and price of the food and drinks. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to remove one side of the van just so Anne and Allison can get their heads inside it![/color]
[color=#500050]And, as is her want, Philippa was everywhere that an extra pair of hands or an informed reply or chat was required while John (not carriage restoring John - how come we seem to double up on names at the SWRHC, it even confuses me!) spent time in the roundhouse and around the site checking out the engineering side of things.[/color]
[color=#500050]Continuing on with names, it seems that I missed one for our rhyming helpers list last month so if there are any Clarries (Clarence) out there feeling left out, rest assured that you will be made very welcome at the SWRHC![/color]
[color=#500050]Our good friend Didi was on site with her herbs and plants so if you are a green fingers and/or enjoy growing your own food you may want to pay her a visit at our next Open Day (April 26th).[/color]
Within the next couple of weeks, we will be welcoming the Boyanup Lions Club to the SWRHC site - they will be using the old metal garage as a storage site for their bits and pieces after upgrading it with a new floor and roller door.
Word - well, the invoice actually - has just come through that the concrete floor has been laid in the open fronted machinery shed. Now comes the fun of planning and setting up the display inside it. The shed will be named after Don and Allan in recognition of their involvement in machinery restoration at the site for many years.
At this stage and all being well and ready in the workshop at Manjimup, "Leschenault Lady's" boiler should be heading south for repairs around the middle of April. The hold up has been a big job that has run over schedule in the workshop.
Also to go, but in a different direction, are Dave Hockey's 2 ADG railcars and his Y class loco - these will be heading east to operate on the Boulder Loopline Railway.
In the past month, we have been very fortunate to have a number of people help us out with a number of tasks. On behalf of the SWRHC, I sincerely thank:
[ul][li]Bev, "Whitey" and the Certificate 3 Horticultural students from Jobs South West who are tackling the "jungle" between the toilet block and the Picnic Van and also demonstrating the noble art of weed extraction[/li][li]"Picko" from "Picko's Bobcat Hire" for levelling the floor of the machinery shed - an excellent operator if you need some earthworks done[/li][li]Alan who has been wiring the railway crossing lights[/li][li]Gordon for delivering an upgraded power supply to the Picnic Van which allows Anne and Allison to have all of their "gadgets" working at the same time[/li][li]"Young Dave" from the Mens Shed for cleaning out the gutters of the machinery shed[/li][li]The Mens Shed members who are always obliging when I find things that need doing and are too big for 1 person to tackle[/li][/ul]
Our next Open Day is scheduled for Sunday, April 26th, with the theme of "Traditional Trades". I invite you all to come and see how some of these seldom used skills are kept alive by devotees of such things as spinning, embroidery, book binding, wood turning, splicing, papercraft, blacksmithing and more. The SWRHC is in Turner Street, Boyanup and is open from 10am until 2pm.