Words by Paul Hollingworth.
The Bylands Tramways Heritage Centre has been a very anticipated and much delayed adventure. Originally planned for 2020, then a few times in 2021, and a few more times in 2022, we were finally out of lockdown and found a date that worked for both the volunteer-run Heritage Centre and our Club’s busy events calendar…well, almost.
Anthony, our event leader, was first knocked with a case of COVID, and then our friends at the Bureau of Meteorology knocked Bylands with a dose of heavy rain. Due to the boggy conditions, the Tramways Heritage Centre was once again closed – comme ci comme ça.
On the bright side, it gives us something to organise another three or four times – lolz.
Taking the lead, last minute, was Chris Q. I mention the Q as we had two other Chrisses on the day, Chris G and Chris M… actually, was this our Chris-mass in July? :-O No, it wasn’t, but I digress. We started the morning at a very civilised 10:30am at the carpark of the Craigieburn Bunnings. I travelled there with one of the Chrisses (Chris G) in his wonderful “Millie”, a 1968 Lancia Flavia. It was my first time in Millie, and she was a delight! Chris picked me up at Deer Park on a beautiful, warm and sunny morning to head to Craigieburn where it was somehow freezing and raining. The beauty of having our meeting point at Bunnings is that we can get a coffee, a cake, or breakfast from their cafe, or we can grab a snag from outside. Daniel and I grabbed a snag – still only $2.50! Nothing beats having a cheap sausage in ya!
Anyway, after freezing my ta-tas off and taking a few pictures of the cars, we headed off. Chris (Q) had arranged a lunch booking for us at the Tallarook Hotel, and due to the weather the group decided to head straight there. According to Chris (G) and Wikipedia, the town is known for the colloquialism, “Things are crook in Tallarook”. It is believed to date to the Great Depression and the unemployed travellers who were seeking work there. The phrase later became the basis of a song composed by Jack O’Hagan. But not all is lost, a roadside sign informed me that things were NOT crook at the Tallarook Hotel! I’m not entirely sure how true this is, it seemed pretty crook to me, but considering the size of the town (700-odd and one llama), they did a pretty decent spread.
The atmosphere was conducive to good and lively conversation, and much of it was had! My highlight was giving Alan directions to the female toilets. Upon his return, he informed me, “Paul, you may not be a woman, but you most certainly ar a c*nt!” Never a truer was spoken, ha-ha.
To finish off the day, three-quarters of us decided to head off to Killmore for a coffee. We ended up at the Bakery Tea Rooms, where we noticed a cute little Nick/Gordon sized dining setting. We all grabbed a drink and some desert, and had some more engaging conversations. At this place I had a frog-in-the-pond (a chocolate Freddo on green jelly), and a chocolate moose. Unfortunately the chocolate moose had a Freddo on it too. I was informed, “look a frog-in-the-pond, and a frog-in-the-sh*t”.
Motafrenz is nothing, if not classy!