ORGANISERS of the “Back In Time” event in Noojee earlier this month have said the turn out for the event exceeded expectations.
Above: Gary Aitken, Alex Schellekens, Lucas Schellekens and Brian Aitken work on a Foden traction engine in Noojee. Photo: William PJ Kulich.
First published in the 16 January 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
The event, held by the Noojee Historical Society, featured classic cars, traction engine rides, historical displays, raffles and other events and was held at the Noojee Railway Station, recently rebuilt by society volunteers.
Society president Lynn Mizen told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen the group was now looking to make the meet an annual event.
“I think it’s exceeded our expectations,” she said.
“It started off as an idea with the Ford car club saying they wanted to come down for a drive and we thought ‘well, why don’t we build an event around it?’
“We got in the realm of 70 car entrants, so that was really good – we were hoping for around 30.
“I think after today we will certainly look at this becoming an annual event, certainly with the classic cars.
“I think the idea is we will probably run two major events a year, this being one of them.”
Ms Mizen said most visitors were from within Baw Baw, especially the towns of Trafalgar and Warragul.
“We advertised around the district, so I think that’s where a lot of people have come from,” she said.
The society officially opened the rebuilt station building in March last year and, despite a slow start, the historical centre housed within and the steam locomotive on display outside it have begun to firm as a tourist destination.
“The society has a group of very dedicated volunteers, [and] as people have got to know that the centre’s here and word of mouth has [spread, visitor numbers have increased.]
“Certainly in the couple of months before Christmas we were getting really good patronage on the weekends.
“We actually now have gone out to groups and we do a day visit for Probus clubs and other groups, who have even come down from Mildura and Melbourne, where we do a day thing for them so it’s not on a normal weekend.
“They love it.”
Future plans for the group include further rebuilding and restoration, however plans to restore the historic locomotive on the site to working order are not a priority.
“In terms of any major restoration [of the locomotive], you’re looking at really significant funds to be able to do that. The idea is to try to get it into a better state than it is now in terms of the rust and paint-ing, but to ever get it working as a locomotive is a significant amount of money,” she said.
“I think there’s other things we want to do first, like our next major project is the goods shed. Then we can store historical artefacts that we can’t fit in the station.”
The goods shed project will involve reconstructing the shed which used to be on the site from scratch.
January 2015 edition out now:
Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen
Read more Baw Baw News