Section Car Meet and Country Music Night 1996

At about 1.30pm on Saturday October 5, local ABC Radio personality Zoe Wilson gave the green flag to ten various makes and models of section cars that had been on display during the opening of the Roundhouse. And it was with much noise and blue smoke that they headed off towards Eurelia.

The downward trip was marred only by a couple of minor breakdowns but there was still plenty of fun and excitement for the owner/operators. Photostops where made at Minvilara, Black Rock Bridge, Black Rock Station and Orroroo, but because of the lateness of the departure, and the impending departure of the evening train from Peterborough, an express run was made through to Eurelia.

Once we were at Eurelia, tents were erected alongside the three or four caravans that were already there, and final touches were put to the decorations of the old Goods Shed. Extensive work cleaning, repairing and pigeon proofing the building had been done in the weeks previous by me, Ian (Wild) Oates, Keith Harm, John (Woodchip) Hall, Steve (Snakebite) Cassim, Raymond (Lofty) Smith, Kenny (Supervisor) Krueger , Nic (Tina Doll) Doncaster, and last but not least Norm (Freight Truck) Bray in readiness for the Country and Western Music Night.

Whilst we were enjoying a delightful all mutton BBQ, that was cooked to perfection by Eric Rann and his assistant Robby Magneson, the train arrived from Peterborough with passengers for the show on board. More importantly, it also hauled up the MCN van that had earlier been set up with a bar. This was shunted into the Goods Platform Annex and made ready.

By this time, the crowd was growing by the minute and the music was underway, so we all settled to what was to become a fantastic night.

The music was presented by local singer John Sullivan, who also acted as MC, and a young three member band from Balaklava called Misty Mountain. This group was backed up with another local singer, Allan Graham. Many thanks must go to John for his assistance and support with this venture as it was my first time. His help was invaluable even though his criticism of the Sheds' acoustics was anything but encouraging (actual comments unprintable) but he courageously accepted my determination to have it there and in the end put on a great show.

I can not say enough about Misty Mountain except I hope that I can have them back next year to do it all again.

Allan Graham is well known in this district and he always puts on a good show: this night was no exception. Thank you, Allan.

It was estimated that about 150 people attended this night, most of whom have indicated that they will return next year, with friends. If you have not yet planed anything for the 4th and 5th of October next year, mark it down now for a camp out at Eurelia with the Quad Squad.

I will make a promise now that Spray Can Stan and I will not sing again unless we are called to do so by overwhelming public demand, and only then if we can have a little practice.

By the way, as if by request the weather closed in during the night and shrouded the hills and valleys of Eurelia in a heavy mist.

On completion of the music and fun everybody retired to their homes, tents, caravans, the Town Hall and even bed rolls for a couple of hours, although one fellow (who had met a very attractive lady, who in return had lost her head over him) thought it might be nice to sleep by the fire (until a finger appeared from underneath him to let us know he was still awake).

Local residents who attended included the wonderful Reece and Gloria Bennett and their grandchildren (who I must thank for their invaluable help during the clean up period) Miss V Gregson (who initially wasn't sure that she wanted the show to go ahead, but I'm sure enjoyed it in the end) Mr and Mrs M Byrelee who owns the Goods Shed and, true to his word, let the "show go on", and Mr G Byerlee for opening up the Community Hall or use by those who didn't have a tent or caravan.

I believe that Steamtown now has a yearly event that will grow into something worthwhile.

Sunday morning: a delightful breakfast of bacon and eggs was prepared by Eric and Robby after which a working bee was undertaken by all fit and unfit volunteers in order to clean up the Goods Shed and surrounds with everything being stacked and secured in the MCN van.

By this time, the scheduled train from Peterborough had arrived and workers, passengers and crew were once again into the BBQ for lunch.

Whilst the train was being checked out and the MCN Van shunted into the consist, operators were busy checking out their machines for the return trip to Peterborough behind the train. This trip was to go smoothly too, except that Mark Swaby's car blew a seal and had to be towed back to Peterborough.

Dennis Naughton won the beautiful leadlight section car prize that was the highlight of the night. The leadlight was made up and very kindly donated by Mick and Dorothy Roberts of Inverness Leadlight Studio in Orroroo. There were so many prizes in the door raffle and they were mostly donated, so, for me to name them all would take up too much space, thank you to everyone who donated a prize.

To those who helped in any way to make this weekend such a success I can only say thank you and hope that I have your support along with a few extras next year.

The weekend only returned $118 after all expenses, but the benefit from the publicity created is immeasurable (ads and advertorials were run on GTS BKN television, including news items, Flinders News, regional radio and The Advertiser). The weekend also assisted in the establishment of a working relationship with Peterborough APEX (best donuts around) with a donation from them to assist with the repairs to W901 as well as adoption of the section of track from the station to Kings Road Crossing (about 2.5km). We also have a possible joint venture coming up with the Peterborough Rotary Club.

This is something that should have happened years ago, but needed something to trigger it, and this just happened to be the Section Car Meet and Country and Western Music Night. If we can now maintain the relationships with these two clubs no amount of money could make me happier.

I also now know a lot of short cuts for next year, which will help reduce expenses, and of course there will be much less cleaning up to be done if the shed is maintained. The Society is now planning to use the Goods Shed for BBQ's all year round.

I could carry on writing about the weekend but I am not going to because I think you all should come along next year and experience the atmosphere for yourselves.

Article written by Don Smith for the Partyline, Magazine of Steamtown, Peterborough.

Reproduced with permission of the author.

Photographs were recorded on black and white film

Steamtown Meets | The Section Car Page

Page developed August 15, 2003 Uploaded September 7, 2003 Updated February 2, 2014

© Nic Doncaster 2003