A new attraction is opening at Historic Village Herberton on Boxing Day, and it provides a rare perspective for lovers of all things automotive.
Day’s Garage, named after a local family who ran a garage in the town for many years, is purpose built, unlike most of the buildings at the Village. Original owner Harry Skennar built the front section during the 1970s using forest hardwood posts to construct three bays. The rear section, which incorporates ironside panels reclaimed from Herberton’s Great Northern Tin Battery with matching hardwood posts, was completed by the Village’s current project team.
Inside, solidly built motor cars which survived Australia’s rough roads in the decades leading up to World War II stand beside fully restored vehicles from the 1920s. Daisy, the 1923 T-Model Ford Roadster, and an Australian-bodied 1933 Continental Flyer convertible under restoration (thought to be the only one in existence) take pride of place beside the 1927 Morris Cowley Van from the 1980s "The Sullivans" tv series, and a 1927 Chrysler Tourer. They’ll soon be joined by a 1923 F Model Harley Davidson.
The Village’s curator, Darryl Cooper, says the chronicles of automotive history within the garage will prove fascinating to fans, and others will love the olden days styling of the new attraction.
“Day’s Garage highlights the changes over the years in the automotive industry. We have many really old vehicles here, and three that are completely restored. Outside, there are the old hand pumped petrol bowsers from the early days, and the development of the fuel industry can be traced inside from a comprehensive display of enamel signs that ring the changes over time. Not only that, but people can take photos inside and outside the garage and there are wonderful photo opportunities to be captured in this new display,” he said.
Another new display open this Christmas is the Bottle Shop - a huge collection dating from the 1800s featuring many different styles from Codd bottles with marbles in them through to torpedo bottles and spirit bottles and hundreds of different kinds of sauce and pickle bottles.
Darryl Cooper says the display explains the origins of HP Sauce. “The inventor of HP sauce was Mr Garten, and the bottles contain an endorsement to him” ‘Garten’s HP Sauce’. Not many people know that HP stands for Houses of Parliament and his recipe was used for a Worchestershire Sauce - a black sauce - in the Houses of Parliament so he decided he would patent it.”
Many of the bottle displays are perspex to showcase different coloured glass, and are fitted with backlights to illuminate the glowing, gem-like bottles.
Also new at the Village is the redeveloped Wireless Store, which has many old cabinet wireless from the pre World War II era, as well as a workshop at the back showing how the wireless repair work would have been done in the old days.