Meningie Open Day Run
25 May 2014
A great contingent of vehicles and Club members gathered at the Clubrooms on a morning which was developing into a fine day. Our Club President, John Courtney, welcomed everyone, with a special welcome to any new members and/or visitors and also thanked Alan and Marlene Hagger in advance for their part in arranging the Run, before he handed over to Alan, who outlined the route we would follow to Meningie.
We filed out through the Johnstone Park Oval newly refurbished gates, turning into Adelaide Road and then into Maurice Road, making our way to the freeway. Ted and Ruth Julian joined the entourage at Tailem Bend and we all ended up at the Meningie Cheese Factory Museum grounds for the Open Day festivities. The Meningie organisers had set aside some parking spaces for our 30 vehicles, which was very much appreciated.
It wasn’t too long before the majority of our group were taking advantage of the freshly baked wood-oven scones and toppings, offered for morning tea. Reports were that they were “mouth-watering”. Some of our more adventurous souls decided to indulge in a train ride while they were feasting.
There was plenty to look at (and listen to) with excellent displays of stationary engines from the Lower Murray engine Club (and others) puffing, blowing, snorting and burping away great regularity, and Ivan Frahn had his collectables and comic displays on show. The Cheese Factory Museum has a sizable and complex variety of items from history for interested people to view as well. Three of our members are ex employees of the Meat Industry and were greatly taken with the discovery that the old Gepps Cross MEAB (Metropolitan Export Abattoirs Board) sheep-yard gates were in residence at the Museum. Bob Hunter, Peter Jennings and Tom West are only too familiar with those very gates, all having worked at MEAB in the past.
The many volunteers, banded together to organise the day’s proceedings, were working flat out in their various capacities and are to be commended for an outstanding effort on behalf of their community.
Lunchtime saw swathes of participants lining up for delicious, fresh coorong mullet, coleslaw, sausages and onions, served with a smile. Once again, as with the scones, the reports were “lip-smacking good”. Some of our band elected to take lunch in the little restaurant, adjacent to the Museum. They enjoyed their fare whilst sitting outside on a deck overlooking Lake Alexandrina – a most picturesque setting – bathed in the sunshine of a beautiful day.
After lunch, there was quite a degree of interest in the Big Blackstone engine which was fired up and which joined in with the inharmonious bubbles and squeaks from the rest of the stationary engines.
The afternoon was lazed away by small groups of members congregating to chat amicably whilst digesting lunches and soaking up the warm sunshine. From approximately 2.30 pm onwards, people began drifting home after a very successful and pleasant day’s outing.
Our vehicles behaved impeccably, the only exception being Tom West’s Chevvy which on it’s first Run since it’s engine rebuild, never missed a beat on the way to Meningie, but had boiling radiator problems on the way home. The radiator is going to be looked at in the near future.
(Report written by Lyn West in collaboration with Alan and Marlene Hagger)