Page 145: Forbes, NSW
     
  A bit more on Temora then on to Forbes.  
 

Ever since arriving in Forbes I've kept hearing noises which my brain - or should that be 'brain'? - identifies as aircraft taking off. Back at Temora Airfield, a place which made a huge impression on me, a hangar had blocked the view of aircraft taking off until they were almost airborne so. When I heard the roar of the approaching engine, I had to race out to watch it lift off. Now I can't stop hearing them though we're far away from Temora.

What was so special about Temora? It was mainly the standards of the Aircraft Museum, standards which are rarely seen today. The whole place exudes discipline, pride and excellence. Their aircraft, facilities and presentation are second to none. Is this due to their founder and president, David Lowy? That I don't know, but whatever the secret, it's so unusual these days. Part of it may be that the museum and its aircraft are maintained in their pristine state by many volunteers, people who work for nothing because they love what they do.

The museum shares this large WWII airfield with a flying club and many private pilots who live in the adjacent Aviation Park which was interesting in its own right. We drove past a row of beautiful new houses with a private hangar at the rear of each and a taxiway running parallel to the road behind the hangars. What a life; roll out of bed, push your aircraft out, start up and fly away.

 
     
  Forbes.  
 

Forbes greeted us with high winds which gave way to torrential rain which, thoughtfully, held off until we had set everything up. Then came a really scary thunderstorm. Naturally, I wasn't afraid, especially when Pam joined me under the table. I had toyed with erecting our 17' aluminium flagpole which clamps to the caravan drawbar. What a great lightning conductor it would make, connecting a few megavolts to the caravan chassis. I hadn't thought of that before!

The Country Club Tourist Park was a surprise, or rather a shock. What a misnomer! Country Club? It was situated in an industrial area with a freight railway a short distance away. However the park itself was fine, neither very good nor bad. Our great friends from Sydney, Greg and his wife Bev . . .

 
     
   
  Greg and Bev with us at a wine tasting. Hi, both.  
     
 

. . . came to spend a wine-drinking weekend with us. Well, it wasn't intended to be a wine-drinking weekend but - well, these things just happen sometimes.

 
     
   
  Passengers with their luggage leaving an airport? No, just Greg, Bev and Pam leaving a wine-tasting with their purchases.  
     
 

During the first day we all visited a marvellous car museum in Forbes. I won't show you too many pictures of old cars but some certainly deserve a picture here.

 
     
Left: A view of the ground floor of the museum from the mezzanine floor. The 'people' standing around are manikins.
Right: We were encouraged to sit in some of the cars, wearing appropriate hats, for photographs. Greg and Bev.
     
   
 

Take a look at this paint job! Note also how the doors have been modified to open upwards and that is just the start of the modifications done to this car by - we were told - a drug baron. When he was arrested the police confiscated the car as
'proceeds of crime'. Its owner was gaoled and the car auctioned off. The museum picked it up for $14,000.

 
     
   
 

Apparently the first Rolls Royce ever to be supplied in white. The company normally refused to paint
its cars white because they were hard to see in snow and fog . . . but this one was destined for Australia.

 
     
 

Many of the exhibits were on loan to the museum so there was a certain amount of turn over. Many of the museum's own cars were registered and, from time to time, taken out for long trips. In 1966 my first car was a Ford Zephyr Mk III and there, in the museum, was the same model.

 
     
  Utes in the paddock.  
 

The following day Bev, Pam, Greg and I set forth for "Utes in the Paddock", a distant field in the middle of nowhere, or so it seemed to me. The nearest town is Condobolin (lovely name). Pam had got a tip-off from the Tourism Office in Forbes that this particular paddock was worth a visit . . . and it was.

 
     
   
  A giant bottle of rum? No, it's a Holden ute painted to resemble a giant bottle of Bundaberg Rum. The horse is probably plywood.  
     
 

First, a clarification for people in the Mother Country. Holden is an Australian subsidiary of General Motors. The British equivalent is Vauxhall. 'Ute' is short for utility - often a vehicle with the engine and cab of a saloon car but a flat tray on the rear. The British equivalent is called a pickup truck. All the exhibits in the "Utes in the Paddock" display are Holdens.

This exhibition will eventually number twenty utes but it's already worth a visit.

 
     
   
  Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) has her own dunny made from this upended ute.  
     
 

Though the horse pulling on the Bundaburgh bottle was a fake, there was real mare in the paddock with the utes. I think she was lonely because as soon as we arrived she adopted us and followed us up and down the fenceline, getting in the way as we tried to photograph the exhibits. She was beautiful and very friendly and it was entirely my own fault that I tore my hand on the barbed wire when I reached through to pat her as she tossed her head.

 
     
   
  See what I mean?  
     
   
  It almost looks as if she has this ute on her back. We can see your bald patch, Greg.  
     
   
  Two more of the many utes.  
     
   
  A variation on the Australian Coat of Arms. It's hard to make them out but there is a
procession of rusty ants crawling across the bonnet and over the roof.
 
     
  The mighty dish at parkes.  
  Leaving the 'Utes in the Paddock' we drove towards Parkes, stopping off at some wheat silos near a small hamlet called Bogan Gate which boasted a very friendly pub. There we refreshed ourselves, pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, before carrying on to Parkes.  
     
   
  This is the radio telescope responsible for assisting the USA during the moon landing and also the location
where some of the movie, "The Dish", was filmed. Most was filmed in Forbes, according to Forbes residents.
 
     
 

The telescope is still operating and well worth a visit.

On our way from the car park we came across two dished spaced about 200 metres apart and facing one another. If one person stands with his/her head aligned with the centre of one dish and whispers, a person in the same position at the other dish can hear every word.

 
     
   
  I used a telephoto lens for this pic so Greg is not as close as he appears. He could hear everything we whispered in a similar
dish situated 200 metres away; and vice versa. Like a radio transmitter dish, any sound from Greg was collected by the
dish and focused in a concentrated beam across to our dish which collected the sound and refocused it towards our ears.