Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Excursion into the Past

Today, Sunday, is National Motoring Heritage Day. An exhibition of cars of yester-year was held in brilliant sunshine on the Spalding Cricket Oval in Geraldton. We attended.

Row upon row of wonderfully aged motors stood side by side on the grounds where in summer cricket balls hit the bat resoundingly. Today Holdens, Fords, Buicks, Chryslers, Rovers, an Austin 7 sports, and Tractors, Trucks, and Motor bikes held the attention of those assembled. I took photos ... to keep the memories of the day, and the cars of my youth, alive.
After wandering around the area of parked vehicles, and after peering at the paintwork, the fluffy pair of dice dangling from the rear-view mirror of a chrome trimmed black Cadillac, 1958 Fleetwood Special, left-hand drive, and admiring the beautifully restored upholstery we ventured further afield ... there were eldery motor-bikes, one similar to what my Uncle owned more years ago than I care to recall; trucks small in comparision with the road trains of that make frequent pilgrimages up the Brand Highway; tractors that bear little resemblance to the machines that are this day spraying wheat paddocks ... and further afield to where a tent housed a display of eldery items that we have almost forgotten about.

There were kerosene refrigerators, washing machines that while saving the housewife a few hours and hard work on wash day are a far cry to the pristine white models that grace our laundries today.

Two steps inside this particular tent stood a circular display of sewing machines; vintage sewing machines. Not a treadle machine in sight! All were hand wheeled models, some almost 150 years old. They would have been innovative for the housewife towards the end of the 19th century when a needle and thread was the norm. I can imagine the enthusiasm these machines were greeted with by those charged with the task of sewing for the family.

I look at my modern Janome and marvel ... the difference between those elderly sewing machines painted black, with gold embossing, a shuttle in the place of our modern-day bobbins, is as striking as is the difference between an early model Massey Ferguson and a modern bright green and yellow John Deere of today guiding the giant sprayers that look like a praying mantis with arms outstretched.

Beyond the sewing machine display a collection of household items were protected from curious poking hands in a large wooden open-topped box sealed across the top with chicken wiring. Heirloom china and Grandma's doilies had pride of place. I tried to take a photo of just one of the doilies; it proved difficult as the closer I tried to reach the more precarious the box was, moving [it seemed] with me. I contented myself with the above photo. I pictured the maker sitting by a kerosene lamp stitching after the household chores were completed.


cheryl said...

I love looking at old items,, they are such a marvel!! What are the large round items behind the sewing machines that say 'needles'??

Shirlwin said...

Hi Cheryl ... the round items are tins for holding shuttles and needles. I was amazed that some people had kept them in such a perfect condition.

Margarita said...

What a marvelous writer you are!!!, ever considered writing, you made that show come alive for me.

Bev C said...

Hello, what a lovely display they put on. Thanks for sharing. Happy days.

ER said...

I finally found you! I thought i had you on my blog reader all this time. Sheesh! I enjoyed your post, i love classic cars, too. We have something here called the 'North to Nairn' rally, all classic cars. I took loads of pics one year, i should put them on my blog. The Singer sewing machine takes me back to my auntie from Hungary. She and her husband had a decorating business in Manhattan. She worked well into her 80's, and only used one sewing machine...the old black Singer with cast iron base and a foot paddle. She wasn't interested in those new-fangled electric things. ;) Lizzy