RUN TO VISIT GLENN SMYTHE WHO IS BUILDING A FULL SIZED R SERIES TRAIN IN HIS OWN SHED IN IRONBANK - SUNDAY FEBRUARY 21ST 2021.
We had the opportunity to visit Glenn’s property some 3 years ago and were all wondering how he was getting along with the project. A good group of 31 headed off from Strathalbyn on a mild morning all armed with a copy of the run sheet, one I had on my computer. Three more members caught up along the way. I had two passengers with me in the MG6 who I did confess to them that I had not previously done the run which I normally do. I was pretty happy with the first part getting to Clarendon, but had some reservations about the next bit, getting to Glenn’s place as this part of the hills in not familiar to me. All was going well at first but then as usual we all follow each other! Wrong! Drivers up ahead took a wrong turn and a brief stop resulted. Out came the GPS’s! We all eventually got there but in the process about a 6 KM drive where we saw quite a lot of hills properties we had never seen before! Ironbank Road is a very long road but eventually we drove into Glenn’s where the smart ones who followed the run sheet were already parked and having cups of tea and hot cross buns!
Unfortunately Glenn and his son were away as he is also the Maintenance Manager of the Pichi Ritchi railway from Port Augusta to Quorn and had been called away to assist in an emergency however Glenn had arranged for his father, John ,who very capably explaining what stage Glenn had reached since our previous visit. According to John, Glenn has made all of the components and has the cylinders being checked over in a test lab in Geelong but otherwise there are lots of parts which he has made since we were last there nearly ready to start assembly. Everyone was most concerned about how to get the train out of the shed given the fact that he lives in an area in the hills which is steep and winding roads to get to the freeway at Stirling the whole front of the shed needs to be taken down so the train can be moved. Well apparently a road will be made between the land where the shed sits out to the road will be constructed and the main chassis with some engine parts will be lifted onto a low-loader and taken to Port Adelaide to start with . Once the shed is cleared Glenn will then be able to start to weld the boiler which is being fabricated as room is needed being rather long , so still lots for him to do yet! We did see the bogie wheel section and the front section and the cabin section plus the cylinders have been fabricated in very heave gauge steel, I seem to remember seeing the pistons as well. A round of applause was given in thanks to John (and to Glenn in his absence) for letting us come and see his progress.
After this we all eventually got on our way to the delightful picnic area at the back of Clarendon main street for the picnic lunch where we were able to sit around in the shade in small groups (about 1.5m apart) in the warm sunny and picturesque park catching up.
In the group were:
Bob & Elaine Seller in their White Mercedes Benz all the way from Willunga Heights; Doug & Vivienne Hill in their Volkswagon Beetle from Goolwa ; First Timers Bev & Rein Geriitson also in a Volkswagon Beetle; Roy Shelton Carmel Chell and Greg in the modern S Type Jaguar; John Dawson & Rex Jaensch in John’s big Mercedes Benz; David, Penny and son William in their Ford; Kym Arnold, Mercedes Sports; Bryan & Sonia Chapman; Adrian & Sharon Sakko in their modern white Jaguar; Joe Geue, Morris Byrne & Mike Greenwood in his Gold MG6 Turbo; Roy & Noreen Smith in the ever reliable MGB Roadster; Phil & Wendy Kenyon in their big Landcruiser; John & Jenni Howard in the Katoomba Grey MGB Roadster; Colin & Tricia Goodrich; Gordon & Di Thorpe in the Maroon Series 11 XJ6 Saloon now sporting new white wall tyres; David Patterson in his Morris 1300 and two interested friends with him.
I believe this task is a huge one but the Glenn will succeed and we wish him good speed ahead.
Mike Greenwood – Events
Strathalbyn – 24 February 2021