01Jan/17

Len Beadell Highways Trip 1st July – 1st August 2015 -Part 1

Participants:

Barry & Linda McElhenny (Trip Leaders)
Ian & Ann Marr
Cleve Warring & Jenny Hajncl
Peter Bailey
Lucie, Ken & Gemma
Leigh Wagstaff & Christine Mayer

Linda McElhenny reports:

27th June 8.28am 8 degrees

Lovely dark cloudy morning – not good for travelling. Oh well, we are heading for warmer weather.

Barry decided to check the Tvan brakes after we had driven for about one hour. All good.  On our way to Walpeup, our first stopover, we had a few stops for further checks on the brakes. Yet when we arrived at 3.00pm, the passenger side was red hot, even the rim.   Barry waited until the tyre and hub had cooled down, then checked and readjusted the brakes.

We were camped in a little local park with a toilet block, shower and laundry facilities for $9.00 per night. We put our money in the locked box on the wall of the amenities block and noticed it appeared to be empty although there were three other campers there when we arrived and more came later.  Just before dark, a lovely lady came over and said that she was the camp supervisor. We told her that we had put our money in the box and that if she looked, that would be all that was there. She said not to worry.

28th June 9.15am 8 degrees

We are off to Hallett today to meet up with Ian, Ann, Cleve and Jenny.

During the day we had a few stops to check the brakes. Barry decided to find a concrete pad to dismantle the brakes fully and start from scratch again. We spotted a large wheat silo on the other side of the railway line and, yes, it had a concrete pad.  To make sure we didn’t leave any grease, etc on the concrete, we put a tarp down. After all, this is a place where grain is stored.

Luckily the sun was out by now, but the wind was still very chilly. We must have been there about 15 minutes, when a HiLux ute came zooming down the road and went over to a small building opposite where we were.  As there were signs everywhere that “Trespassers would be prosecuted”, we thought we might be asked to leave. What do you do when you have your Tvan jacked up and the wheel off?

The ute finally drove off. I bet he was watching us from the corner of the building.

What’s with these brakes

Barry cleaned down everything yet again and re-greased all that was necessary. He even put in a new bearing, even though the other one was new. With the wheel back on and everything cleaned up, we were on our way again.

By the time we reached Hallett, it was dark. We received a warm welcome from Ian, Ann, Cleve and Jenny, who were just building the camp fire.  We set up camp, had dinner and the men then had another look at the brake. All were at a loss as to what was wrong.  Peter had left after us, but managed to make up time and joined us at Hallett a good hour after us.

We sat around a lovely camp fire, which was to be the first of many. As we sat there and it started to get quite cold, we could feel the dew coming down on us. I picked up a top from the back of Barry’s chair when we went to bed and it was quite wet.
After much deliberation, we agreed to head into Port Augusta the next morning to see if we could find anyone who could fix the brake. It meant we would have to leave about 5.30am.

29th June 5.20 am -2 degrees

After a reasonable night’s sleep, we got up about 4.00am to a thick fog. A nice hot shower warmed us up.

It was difficult driving in the dark and the very thick fog and we were on the lookout for anything that moved.  By the time the sun came up, it was still not warm, but much better driving conditions.

At Terowie, we stopped and checked the brakes. All was well. So it should be at –2 degrees.  Barry wanted to drive down Horrocks Pass before there was too much traffic, as we didn’t have the brakes working.  We managed to negotiate all the bends and steep descents quite well and Barry gave a sigh of relief when we reached the bottom without any mishaps.  At around 8.10am, we arrived at Port Augusta, pretty good timing. However, wherever we went to get help, they either didn’t do brakes, or were booked out.

Only one man was sympathetic to our cause and he said he had his week filled up within the first hour of opening that morning. Why didn’t we try him first? Well, you only find out these things from the ones who can’t help you.

After feeling deflated that we couldn’t get anyone to even look at the brakes, we decided to just go on as we were and continue to check the brakes periodically and hope for the best.  After all, we had brakes on one side after cutting the wires to the brake on the offending side,

We got some supplies and met up with the others on the road. Our stay that night was to be the Woomera Tourist Village, a fancy name for the only caravan park in town.  When we arrived at the park, we found Ken, Lucie and Gemma already there. While talking to them, we noticed Leigh and Christine camped just down and over a bit.  Once we were all set up, we had the introductions. There were six people from the Jackaroo Club and six friends. Our stay here was to be for two nights.

30th June Woomera

Ken, Lucie and Gemma decided not to stay in Woomera, but to go and meet their friends from home. They had already been here for two nights.  Leigh and Christine decided to go to Coober Pedy and have a look around.  The remaining group went into the township. We walked in as Peter had his rooftop tent up and the rest of us still had our vans hitched up.  Our first destination was the rocket park. Here we saw a big display of assorted rockets, aircraft, bombs and other military equipment.  The Museum was also of interest. It was full of interesting equipment and history, with plenty of photographs, records, etc.

On then to the Information Centre where we looked at the interactive display of life at Woomera. It was very informative and well done.  We enjoyed quite a nice lunch at the only hotel in town, before some of us went into the supermarket to see if we could get any party items to take with us out on the track.

all setup at Woomera

A significant birthday was approaching for Cleve and Gemma was planning a surprise party for Lucie for her birthday on 11th July. This created lots of excitement as we sourced goodies.  We had noticed each night, Jupiter was getting closer to the Moon. I asked Gemma if she had noticed and she explained that Jupiter would get closest to the Moon on 30th June and would then start to move away.  I asked her how she knew this and learned they were told about it at school. Obviously someone listened.

Woomera - Rocket Park

Woomera – Rocket Park

Woomera today is still a test range for Defence to trial and test defence systems, including bombs, missiles, rockets, aircraft, UAVs and electronic warfare systems that may be needed to defend Australia.   The ADF is always testing new and current aircraft and other defence systems to ensure they are always working as they are supposed to.   The test range covers 127,000 square kms, an area roughly the size of England. It uses many items of special equipment, such as high speed cameras and optical trackers.  Other countries also use the range from time to time for testing. Each year 50 – 60 trials are conducted at Woomera.

1st July 9.15am 6 degrees

It was 1° inside the Tvan at 7.00am this morning.

Len & Anne Beadell Memorial

After passing Camp Rapier Military Base, with its extremely high chain wire fence, we headed off to see Len and Anne Beadell’s grave/monument. Someone had visited previously and placed a bunch of native flowers on the grave.   Len’s remains were moved here from the site of the original survey peg to mark the centre line of the Woomera range. Anne’s ashes were interned here in April 2011.

We were fortunate enough to meet Len and Anne’s family at Hawker on Dave Dobson’s Googs Track trip. A wonderful night was spent talking around a fire with the family. As we walked around the cemetery, we were amazed at the ages on the headstones. There were a large number of stillbirths and very young children. Even the adults didn’t seem to live to an old age. Down at the bottom of the cemetery were some new graves.

Lake Hart

Lake Hart

We came across the Lake Hart Rest area. The reflections of the hills and trees in the water were beautiful. A number of caravans were camped here even though there were no toilet facilities.  Some of us needed fuel, so we continued on to Glendambo to fuel up and grab some snacks, etc. Lunch was on the side of the road at a very busy truck stop.

The Sturt Highway is a very good road to travel on, with sections of dead looking small trees, small saltbush, native grasses and small bushes lining the road.  The sky had patches of small clouds as the temperature hit 18° at 1.00pm.

We drove into Coober Pedy for more fuel and supplies (including things we had forgotten) and met up with Ken, Lucie, Gemma, Leigh and Christine. We also caught up with Sharon and Chris, friends of Ken and Lucie. We had travelled with them to the Kimberleys in 2013.

When we arrived at the Stuart Ranges Caravan Park, we noticed the line to book in was almost back to the highway. As we had already booked in over the phone, I decided to walk down to the reception area.  Since we were last here, it had become a Big4 park (Aspen). Finally, we set up camp and relaxed.

Soon we heard excited voices. Cleve and Jenny had come across their friends, Norm and Pat, who were doing some of the trip we were doing. They were very well set up for the trip.  After dinner, we all gathered for a pre-trip information session. We were all excited about what/where our trip was going to take us. The camp ground was undergoing refurbishment (which has been going on since we were here in 2013). There was still a lot more to be done. The smell from the sewerage (or whatever) lingered in the air. It was a bit of a turn off for an otherwise nice park. You would think they would have invested money into this problem first.

Our Group

There we must leave Linda’s report for this month. Next month the trip starts in earnest

25Oct/16

Buy an Oxfam Christmas tree 2016

Oxfam are again calling upon 4WD clubs to help with delivery of Christmas Trees.

Last December, with the tremendous support of volunteers like you who donated their time or a vehicle, Oxfam Australia raised over $300,000.00 through the delivery of Christmas trees. On average, each of 190 vehicles raised about $1,200.00.

To make this fundraiser a success, we’re looking for members to volunteer to help us again this year. If you are able to assist with loading and unloading trucks or driving, navigating and have a vehicles which can carry 8 to 25 freshly cut trees (with or without a trailer), we’d love to hear from you.

When: Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th December*
(1-3 hours shifts between 5.30am and 2pm)

Drivers are generally required for 1-3 hours. Each driver is given a list of addresses, allocated within close proximity to each other. There is no selling or cash handling. All trees are prepaid.

Alternately why not this Christmas order your tree from Oxfam!

For only $89, you can support people around the world who are living in poverty AND get yourself a freshly-cut pine Christmas tree — delivered it for free!

 

18May/16
Redcastle State School Circa 1900

A little about Redcastle

The township of Red Castle was predominantly a gold rush town in the 1850’s, and many Croatians who resided in this town worked in mine claims, hotels, and shops. One particular gold discovery which was controversial, was discovered by Andrea Franatovich in1859. This particular gold discovery has subsequently been recorded as the first payable gold in the region. This discovery was made at the Balmoral diggings in Red Castle. However, Franatovich was not the only Croatian who had claims in Red Castle. Another Croatian Mate Lussich, had a mining company called Lussic and Co, which was listed on mining company register. He originally came from the island of Brac. Subsequently Lussich went on to name one of his claims as “New Dalmatian Reef Mine”. Another prominent resident of Red Castle formerly from Croatia, was Antonio Geronovich who owned a hotel called “All Nations Hotel”. He remained in Red Castle until his death, and was buried in the Redcastle cemetery, After his wife’s death she also was buried at the same cemetery. Geronovich’s children were all girls who were educated at the Redcastle primary school. One of his daughters married and continued to reside in Red Castle, and sent some of her children to the same primary school.

Redcastle State School Circa 1900

1859. John Clarke, who owned a hotel at Seymour, appears to have been the first to prospect in the vicinity of Redcastle. He had been quartz mining at Compton’s Creek Station, between Redcastle and Seymour, in
1857 … [He was first seen] at Redcastle in about March 1859, with a Burdan crushing machine.
The Commission decided that John Clarke’s find at Redcastle did not constitute a payable goldfield, as it had been soon abandoned. Andrew Franktovich told the Commission that he had found the first payable gold at Redcastle and supported his claim by producing a letter signed by Mr R.H. Horne and dated 31 January
1860 which granted to him and his three mates an increased claim of 200 yards on Jones’ Reef. The Commission decided in his favour and gave him the reward.

May 1859. It seems … that John Clarke … did in fact find the first gold at Redcastle, at Staffordshire Flat, three miles east of the later town, early in 1859. Many others came, but the whole field was unpayable until [Andrea] Franktovich discovered the first rich gold [in December].

1859-1898. The reefs in this district were opened in the year 1859, and were in full work till 1864 when the majority were abandoned … As a rule when a fault or break was met with in the reefs it was abandoned, also when water was met with in the shafts, the only style of machinery in use being the ordinary windlass, which could not cope with it. Two batteries were erected, one of 8 heads, half-a-mile north of the township, at the Redcastle Creek by Mr Collins, in 1859.

c.1860. Lands Dept Map. Village of Redcastle, surveyed by P Chauncy: J. Clarkes steam crushing machine (Section X11)

c. 1860-1893. In the early days there were three crushing plants in Redcastle, namely Clarke’s, Collin’s, and Russell, Neilson and party’s, Harrisons and Co.’s being afterwards on the site of the plant of the last named. At Staffordshire Flat there was only one crushing plant, Mr S. H. Mitchell’s, which is still there (1893), and was recently rented by Bradley & Co., and where they crushed stone from the Why Not mine.

June 1867. Table of quartz crushed for the quarter includes: Clarke’s machine, Redcastle.

September 1893. A lease of tailings for crushing of the early days has been taken up by Messrs H. R. Palling and S. H. Mitchell on the site of Harrison’s and Co’s. old battery at Redcastle, where there are many thousands of tons of tailings, a quantity of which sent to Bendigo recently for treatment yielded over 1/2 an ounce to the ton.

March 1901. Redcastle Company. Erecting machinery for extraction of gold from tailings.

July 1901. Redcastle. Ore extraction works complete. These are erected on Clarke’s old battery.

April 1902. Cyanide works at Redcastle being erected by Mr G. Hyndman are rapidly approaching completion.

April 1902. What was formerly known as Redcastle Gold Recovery Co., which is entirely in the hands of Mr
Hyndman, has the erection of a windmill on the Niagara claim completed. Vats are being erected.

September 1902. Cyanide works at Redcastle now completed.

August 1903. Work resumed at Redcastle cyaniding works.

18May/16
Redcastle Cemetery Cleanup

Annual Redcastle Cemetery Clean-up 2015

As one of the Club’s community service activities we maintain the cemetery of the once thriving mining settlement of Redcastle in the Heathcote district.

Graeme Mitchell reports: The trip plan was to camp overnight at a camp ground near the cemetery and then meet up with the day trippers at the Heathcote Bakery on Sunday morning. But things don’t always go to plan!

My back was playing up, so we decided to only go up for the day on Sunday. I rang around all the members on the trip form and let them know of the change of plans. The Marr’s and Jenny and Cleve had already decided to travel up and spend a few days looking around the area. All was well. Saturday morning I received a call from Les Warburton. “Where the bloody hell are you?” he asked. Les had decided on Friday night to go up on the Saturday morning and was waiting at the bakery.

I explained what had happened and directed him to the camp ground where he met up with the other campers. Sunday morning dawned as a lovely spring day. Sun shining, no wind and not a cloud in the sky. Gayle and I set of from home hoping the weather would be the same at Heathcote. Everyone had beaten us to the bakery, so I was give n the honour of writing the trip report.

After a coffee and a chat, it was out to the cemetery. We had a quick look around and decided on the work to be done. This involved a bit of whipper snipping, weeding, pruning and cleaning up the fallen foliage.
A fire was lit to get rid of the debris, although we were very mindful of the dry conditions and the need to ensure before we left that the fire was totally extinguished. Only the weeds and small branches were burnt.

With the rest of the crew off to work, Greg, Cleve and I were left to practice our winching skills. Last year, a dead tree was cut down and it was time to remove the stump. Out with the recovery gear and hand winch and we were ready to go. The winch was attached to a nearby tree using a tree protector and a tow strap was used to connect the winch to the stump.

Greg volunteered to use his muscle on the hand winch and the stump was soon out and the hole filled in.

It was then time for me to prepare lunch. The BBQ fire was lit and the snags were soon sizzling away. By the time lunch was ready, the workers had most of the jobs finished, so we sat down and enjoyed a long, relaxing lunch.

Eventually, it was time to pack up, make sure the fire was safe and have a last look around to ensure all was well. We headed off back to town.
On the way, we stopped at the camp ground to show everyone the site and have a short toilet stop. Before long, we were all on our way home.

Well, almost.

Les decided to throw his swag out and stay another night.

Thanks to all who helped out. The area looks in good shape and will be easier to maintain in the future.

Whose buried at the Redcastle cemetery?

15Feb/16
BCF Taylors Lakes

February 2016 meeting of the Jackaroo 4WD Club

The February 2016 meeting of the Jackaroo 4WD Club of Victoria will be on this coming Wednesday, February 17th.

The meeting is a special and WILL NOT be held at our Fairfield clubrooms but rather at the BCF Store in Watergardens, which is located here.

Our meeting will start at 7.30 pm, as usual, but feel free to arrive early to browse the store and partake of the sausages that will be kindly provided for us by BCF. Club discounts will also be available on a range of goods.

It should be a great night with a guest speaker from Dometic, the makers of the Waeco range of fridges, scheduled to give us the low down on the latest developments in mobile refrigeration.

03Jan/16

Licence Towing Limits

At the last meeting, a discussion ensued on towing a trailer/caravan on a normal car licence in Victoria.
Greg Moore has supplied the following extract from the VicRoads website:
You can drive a vehicle that does not exceed 4.5 tones Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) and can seat up to 12 adults including the driver.
This does not include motor cycles and motor trikes. You may tow a single trailer (other than a semi-trailer) up to 9 tonne GVM or to the manufacturer’s specifications (whichever is less).

The full page can be found here:
https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/licence-and-permit-types/licence-categories

31Dec/15
Time is running out

Easter Tri-State 2016 – Clunes – Time is getting short

How long till the Tri-state starts?

Thursday 24th of March 2016 12:00:00 AM

Registration and merchandise order forms will be sent  to your inbox during early January. That will give you  about a month to figure out what you want and to send  all the details back. Registrations and orders close on  Friday 19 February 2016.

Here are our Newsletters about the 2016 Tri-state event they are published in PDF.

2016 Tristate Gathering
February Tristate Newsletter dated February 10, 2016
2015 Tristate Gathering
December Tristate Newsletter dated December 21, 2015
October Tristate Newsletter dated October 2, 2015
August Tristate Newsletter dated August 2, 2015

31Dec/15

We Have Moved!!!!

After 25 great years at Balwyn, the Jackaroo 4wd Club is now on the move.

Yes, starting with our first meeting in 2016, (January 20) the Club will hold all regular monthly meetings not at North Balwyn RSL, but at our new home at the Fairfield Bowling Club situated at 125 Gillies St, Fairfield. Melway Ref: map 30, K9 Map

The move to Fairfield will bring our meeting place into a more central location that is easily accessed from the Eastern Freeway.

As well as greater accessibility our move to Fairfield Bowling Club will offer members improved amenities and options for a greater range of activities.  An added bonus for those who like to grab a bite to eat before the meeting, is the almost endless variety of dishes available at the many eateries in Fairfield Village, just a block away from the bowling club.

An email will be sent to members prior to the January meeting with detailed directions and further information about our new home.

In the meantime, if you would like to help with the movement of our material from Balwyn to Fairfield please contact Dave Dobson.

The down side is that unlike North Balwyn RSL the Fairfield Bowling Club does not provide artillery – so we will have to take care of our own defence.