Wedderburn Vintage Machinery Rally 9 – 10 September

Published on 25 August 2017

With an expected crowd of around 1000 people over two days and up to 300 exhibitors, the Wedderburn Vintage Machinery Rally has certainly made its mark among machinery enthusiasts and the general public alike.

The rally, which will be held from 9 to 10 September in Engine Park, is hosted by the Wedderburn Historical Engine and Machinery Society. The event forms part of this year’s Naturally Loddon Spring Festival.

“The rally has been going now for 26 years. It is one of the oldest machinery club rallies in Australia, certainly one of the more successful ones,” Wedderburn Historical Engine and Machinery Society spokesperson Geoff Maxwell said.

“The rally has been getting bigger and bigger every year. We started with old engines and now also have over 100 cars registered through the club.

“Over the last few years we’ve also had people bring cars in – we have quite a lot of vintage cars as well as the old engines. I think there’d be up to 20 or 30 vintage cars as well as up to 250 vintage engines.”

Mr Maxwell said the club was originally part of the district’s historical society.

“It got too big so we decided to start our very own club,” he said.

“The Shire let us use Market Square. We got the old station building which was the first building on site. We then got more and more sheds from there, including the old school building that is now our meeting room.

“We’ve been very lucky in the support the local Shire have given us. They look after us and also the local Men’s Shed.”

Today the club had more than 200 members, including up to 50 from the local region, as well as a number of members across Victoria and interstate. This includes a member from Perth who travels every year to Wedderburn to attend the machinery rally.

Mr Maxwell said one of the earliest engines at the rally dates back to around 1907 to 1908, with vintage cars also dating from the 1920s.

He added that he hoped this year’s rally would include an original Ruston Hornsby engine, previously used at a powerhouse in Wedderburn.

“A couple of our members restored it and brought it from the western district,” he explained.

“Hopefully this year or next year it will be on display. It demonstrates the local work on restoring engines.”
 
Club Assistant Secretary Peter Norman said in addition to vintage machinery and cars, the weekend would include a number of other activities and displays.

“There will be chaff cutting, sheep shearing and craft displays, a tractor trek and maybe a couple of steam engines,” Mr Norman said.

“We’ll have the Bendigo Society of Model Engineers, Bendigo Woodturners, miniature train rides for the kids, free camping for exhibitors, and it’s fully catered locally.”

Gates for the event open at 9am each day. Adult entry costs $5 (children free) – all proceeds from the rally go back into the Wedderburn site and the machinery.

For more information regarding the Wedderburn Vintage Machinery Rally, phone 5494 3152 or 5494 3206 or visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Lists/Events/Annual-Wedderburn-Vintage-Machinery-Rally.

Running from early September until the 28 October, the Naturally Loddon Spring Festival features 15 family-friendly events spread across the Shire. To obtain a festival brochure, phone the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 3489 or visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au.