Cranky Handle Rally returns

PREPARATION: Publicity Officer for Hunter Valley Vintage Farm Machinery Club Scott Brooks (l) and Chairman of the Richmond Vale Railway Museum Peter Meddows. (r)  Picture by Simone De Peak
PREPARATION: Publicity Officer for Hunter Valley Vintage Farm Machinery Club Scott Brooks (l) and Chairman of the Richmond Vale Railway Museum Peter Meddows. (r) Picture by Simone De Peak

The smell of diesel will be thick in the air this weekend when the Cranky Handle Rally gets underway at Richmond Vale Railway Museum.

Hosted by the Hunter Valley Vintage Farm Machinery Club in conjunction with the museum, the annual rally is a two-day peek into the past with a focus on old stationary engines and farm tractors.

Club President Scott Brooks said he expected this year’s rally to be one of the biggest yet.

“We’ve got members coming from the mid-north coast, the central-west and Sydney and they will all be bringing old vintage engines,” he said.

“A lot of the out-of-towners will be staying in the area for the event which is also great for tourism.”

Scott added that all of the exhibits will be operational and club members will be on hand to tell the stories of how they came across their displays and the blood. sweat, and tears taken to bring these machines back to life.

“There will also be truck displays, vintage cars, Maitland Steam will be bringing a couple of engines, and Marjorie, the steam locomotive that is housed at Richmond Vale will be running on both days to take people on short rides along the track that adjoins the site.”

Revelers will also get to witness the power of some of these machines with a tractor pull.

However, if vintage machinery isn’t your thing, Scott said there would be plenty of other attractions to pique the interest.

‘We’ll also be having colouring-in competitions and face-painting for the kids and there will also be displays of old kitchen equipment so people can get an idea of some of the interesting things we used to use to prepare our food.”

The Richmond Vale Railway Museum reopened in March this year after an 800-hectare fire caused $1 million worth of damage to the railway track and historic rollingstock in September 2017.

“The main historic buildings were not touched by the fire, so it’s definitely going to be business as usual this year,” Scott said.

​The Cranky Handle Rally will be on at Richmond Vale Railway Museum (262 Leggetts Drive, Richmond Vale), on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August. Tickets are $16 for adults, $11 concession and $7.50 for children (under 5 free).