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See value in vintage

Peter Jensen took a road trip to the south-west region of Victoria for the Cobden Vintage Rally where the Cistern Chapel was revealed.

After seeing one of my recent Australian Plumbing articles, a plumber, Brian, and his mate, Tony, from Warrnambool contacted me about their own special collection, which is housed in a shed in Cobden. The site, at the old horse racetrack, is run by the South-Western District Restoration Group (SWDRG).

To coin a phrase from the film Apocalypse Now: I love the smell of steam and diesel in the morning!

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See value in vintage

Originally started in the late 1970’s in Bookar, just north of Camperdown, the group moved to Cobden in 2010 where they bought the old racetrack site for their operations.

The site is flanked by the Cobden Airport on one side and a modern Go-Kart track on the other, and just down from the Cobden Pioneer Village and popular Miniature Railway.

The group preserves, restores and displays an eclectic range of antique and vintage collections including machinery, old tractors, agricultural equipment, old tools, vintage cars, steam engines and much more.

Each year the group holds the Cobden Vintage Rally. The Rally shows off some 25 sheds run by individual men and women who specialise in their own pieces that they have collected, restored and now display.

Apart from the permanent displays in the sheds, there are many guest groups who share their collections for the weekend. Some of which include, static engines, a tractor pull, vintage cars and trucks.

So, we loaded up the caravan and arrived Saturday morning (Labour Day weekend), meeting friends from Portland to camp in a large paddock area (with all the presenters and visitors) behind the sheds.

To coin a phrase from the film Apocalypse Now: I love the smell of steam and diesel in the morning!

That afternoon we caught up with Brian and Tony in shed 18, aptly named the Cistern Chapel. Over the years the pair have collected many items and have them neatly displayed around the building.

Their main display of course is a great collection of cast iron, brass, copper, china and plastic cisterns along with a mix of pans. Other items included gas, wood and electric water heaters, lead, brass and copper traps, taps and many old and great tools.

One tool that grabbed my attention was a Rigid ½, 3/4 and 1 inch single head (all in one) thread cutter.

Brian’s current project is the restoration of a 1948, early form of a composting toilet called the “Hygeia Dissolvenator”. Hygeia, a mythical Greek Goddess; the goddess of health was once used on letterheads and stationery of the Master Plumbers Association to promote and instil the importance of sanitation for good health.

We also took the time to catch up with long-time Master Plumbers member Greg McQuinn, from T.S. McQuinn plumbing. Greg is 3rd generation and his son Stephen is a 4th generation plumber.

The next big Rally is in October 2022.


For more information, visit cobdenvintagerally.com.au

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To coin a phrase from the film Apocalypse Now: I love the smell of steam and diesel in the morning!

Share this quote
CBUS advert Jan/Feb 21

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