Farming through the ages

TAKE a steam-powered trip through history at this year’s Heritage Farming Expo, with everything from antiquated appliances to cutting-edge equipment on display at Cambridge in early March.

Hosted by the Hobart Vintage Machinery Society, the expo will feature the biggest and best display of vintage machinery seen in the south in several years, along with an array of farming-related demonstrations and activities.

“All five machinery clubs in Tasmania are going to come down and join in the event, so it’s the biggest machinery exhibition in southern Tasmania,” Heritage Farming Expo liaison officer Phil Brooke said.

“The theme for this year is ‘then and now’, so we’re going to have displays of really old machinery and not-so-old machinery to compare with the new machinery that does those jobs today.

“It looks like for the first time ever we’re going to get three steam engines there.

“There’ll be a traditional haystack, which you don’t see these days, for the chaff cutting; Brian Fish is coming down from Oatlands with his bullock team to do ploughing demonstrations; the Tasmanian Draught Horse Association in coming along; a blacksmith shop is being built, and we’re catering for the kids with an animal nursery and hayrides.”

The Heritage Farming Expo will be held at 761 Richmond Road, Cambridge from 10am to 4pm on 2-3 March.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, or $25 for a family.

Money raised will support Riding for the Disabled, Kalang.

Although the Hobart Vintage Machinery Society members have been busy preparing their machines and displays for the expo, they have still found time to work on a special project in their Hobart Showgrounds workshop – restoring an old McDonald Pavement Roller owned by the Tasmanian Transport Museum.

The roller required extensive work on its engine, which had several badly worn or damaged parts.

The task was made more difficult by the lack of information available about the machine, which is believed to be up to 80 years old.

“It hasn’t been easy, a lot of parts were missing or broken,” Mr Brooke said.

“And nobody really knew the concept behind how it ignited the fuel, because there’s not many of them around.”

But perseverance paid off and the society members eventually got the engine running, for the first time in 40 years.

Caption: Clinton Lucas, right, and his father Nic with their vintage hay press, which will be in working order at the upcoming Heritage Farming Expo.