G'day Don R Looking at the list of tow cars your DON has had.....I can't help but notice the Humber was kept a little longer than most before being traded and no photo . It may have looked some-thing like this
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 26, 2011 22:47:48 GMT 10
Hi Geoff 'n Jude & Dosse,
Thanks for a double dose of nostalgia!
That Buick is certainly an absolutely beautiful car - just glorious. It's pics like that that almost - but not quite - tempt me to buy a period tow car...
And Dosse, the Don and the Humber looked just like our rig did, although I think - judging from the badge on the grille and the orange turn lights - your Super Snipe may be a Series 4 rather than a Series 3? Am I correct? However, even if that is the case the differences were extremely minor and the vibe is still exactly right.
Our Humber was charcoal grey, as was the Buick. My father used to comment that a grey or black car was always suitable for attending a funeral!
I am still not sure if he was joking, but given that he was relatively old when I was born, he was at the stage of his life where he did attend a lot of funerals, so I've got a hunch he may have been serious! People were much more formal about such things in those days.
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 17, 2011 22:19:05 GMT 10
Dona Ricardo and I, together with "the Don", have recently returned from a few days R & R up on the Murray River. We actually stayed at the Maiden's Inn Holiday Park in Moama, so I guess we can even call it an interstate holiday... ;D ;D ;D
The Holiday Park mainly consists of up-market cabins, as many do these days, but they have maintained a dozen or so nicely set up sites right on the river bank:
The views along the river were magnificent...
...and there was quite a bit of traffic, with paddlesteamers chuffing or chugging past us (depending on their type of motive power) a couple of times a day...
...and even the odd canoe:
One of the rather delightful aspects of the park were the many ducks which seemed to be enjoying the scenery as much as us. These two were swimming in the small lake in the middle of the park:
But there were also lots of pairs of ducks with young:
Maiden's Inn was the original name of Moama and was the site of a hotel built by James Maiden near the river crossing from NSW into Victoria. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1937, and all that is left is this rather magnificent portico:
Nearby is the telegraph station built around 1850:
Holidaying in Echuca (or Moama) almost inevitably means you spend a bit of time on the river. We spent one afternoon travelling down the river on the PS Pevensey...
...which is powered by a magnificent steam engine:
While browsing in the local shops, Dona Ricardo and I bumped quite unexpectedly into a former colleague who has now retired, and has built his own paddle boat...as you do! And it's not just a little runabout either - it is two storey and has sleeping accommodation for 16! It's taken him 8 years to build and he still has some work to do. Our friend offered to take us for a trip down the river in his boat, which we were very happy to accept!
Dona Ricardo enjoying the view:
One feature of the boat is that the cabin walls beside the paddles are glass so that you can see the paddles going around:
It was a very pleasant way to spend three or four hours!
The Echuca port area is a good place to wander around or enjoy a cuppa:
In its heyday, the Port of Echuca was a very busy place, and there are still an amazing number of paddleboats using the port:
The historic Echuca wharf is currently under reconstruction. It is currently 75 metres long, but was once three times that in length (900 ft!):
One of the paddlesteamers which particularly interested us was the 'Etona':
The Etona was built at Milang on Lake Alexandrina near the mouth of the Murray, and was used by the Church of England (as it was then) as floating church visiting the ports and pastoral stations along the Murray River (note the little cross on top of the cabin). I can think of a worse way to spend the working week! The boat provided accommodation for the vicar and his wife, and also had a 12-seater chapel on board. The building of the Etona was funded by Eton College in the UK, hence the name.
One of the features of Echuca is some rather magnificent brick buildings. An old warehouse:
The Echuca Coffee Palace:
And on the side of the Coffee Palace was something you don't hear about much these days - a temperance hotel:
Dona Ricardo and I have a bit of an interest in church architecture, and Echuca has a number of fantastic brick churches. This one is the Uniting church (formerly Presbyterian):
On the way home we called in on some friends in Kyabram, which is also graced by some wonderful brick churches. St David's Presbyterian church:
The Anglican church:
And St Augustine's Catholic Church:
They obviously had a lot more bricks than bluestone or other building materials in north central Victoria in the 19th and early 20th centuries!
Well that's it for now. We are back home, into the daily routine, and looking forward to the next trip away!
Hope you visited the Art Show in Echuca, we exhibited paintings there. The Maidens Inn brings back many memories of many stays with kids and our old van. Unfortunately, they seem to be far more interested in cabin stays than the good old days of staying in your own van. Those beautiful river views are rumoured to be changing to cabin views in the near future. Nothing was as beautiful as gazing onto the Murray as you sat in your own van. Did the +#$@? cockies wake you at 5 or 6 in the morning??
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 17, 2011 21:52:04 GMT 10
As a matter of fact we did visit the Art Show being held in the Uniting Church hall. Is that the one you were exhibiting in? Which were your paintings?
The van sites we stayed in looked as if they were being very well maintained, and because of their location I imagine that they may have trouble putting cabins there - at least I hope so! There were some very nice cabins situated all along the other side of the road which had the benefit of the river views as well, but who knows what the future plans may be? There was quite a lot of development happening in another part of the park which looked like it might be being turned into a marina or something, so maybe that's where the change was occurring.
We didn't have any problems with the cockies, and I don't even remember seeing any. We were just fascinated by all the duck families which were waddling around - mum and dad and up to 13 ducklings.
Hi Don, re Maidens Inn stay, the cockies are actually corellas, at dusk and at dawn they used to make the most incredible noise best alarm clock ever. We always knew when we had arrived.... the cockies ie. corellas...welcomed us. The art show was a good success, my husband, Col Brown won best oil/acrylic in this years art show. He paints in very traditional australian styles. Please have a look at www.colbrownbushart.com.au this is his website, bring along your sense of humour. I am going to commission him to paint something of old vans, a la dunny style.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 26, 2013 15:58:03 GMT 10
Dona Ricardo and I are just a few days back from a sojourn at Tuross Head on the south coast of NSW. For the first time in quite a few years we put up the full annexe on the van instead of just the canopy because Son No 3 and his wife came to stay with us for a few days:
One of the fascinations of Tuross is that the beach where the entrance to Tuross Lake meets the ocean (and adjacent to the caravan park) is constantly changing due to the action of the tides. Every year the beach has changed shape. This year the tides had created a lagoon which was warmed by the sun during the day and refreshed by an influx of clear water at high tide:
This photo shows fisherman fishing in the entrance to the lake at dusk:
The water was pretty calm most days, but on one day the winds whipped the water up into a wild frenzy:
There is often quite a bit of bird life around the park, but this year we were visited by a couple of animals! One was a little Nobbi Dragon which allowed me to get quite close...
...and one day even visited us in the annexe - he wasn't impressed with the slipperiness of the floor though:
The other visitor which caused a bit of a stir was...
...a diamond python, who had obviously been to the local "bunny cafe", and just wanted to go under one of the units to sleep off his lunch for a few days. The problem for him (or her) was that there were so many people gawping that he (or she) couldn't get where it wanted to go (but did eventually):
One of the highlights of our stays at Tuross are the Annual General Meetings of the Eurobodalla Vintage Caravan Society at Bateman's Bay:
This year only Jennison and Mrs J, Cruz, Dona Ricardo and I could attend. Buggsy was on call for the Rural Fire Service (good on you Buggsy for being part of the RFS), and Alan couldn't come. And the Kings (AKA Kingy and Maryanne) were AWOL AGAIN! Are they ever going to come home? Probably not, now that they have WA citizenship!
In any case, the get together at Bateman's Bay gave Jennison and I the chance to admire Cruz's new set of wheels:
Being the gentlemen that we are, both Jennison and I have offered to help Cruz to find a vehicle "more suitable for her needs". Naturally we will offer - out of the goodness of our hearts, you understand - to take the Mercury off her hands when we find her something else. Take it from us though, the Mercury is a veeery nice vehicle indeed!
For a change Dona Ricardo and I decided to return home via the Hume rather than our usual route through Gippsland. That meant towing the van up the Kings Highway from Bateman's Bay to Canberra. Interesting watching the fuel consumption hit 97.9 l/100km at times on the way up! After the climb we stopped at Braidwood for lunch and admired the local post office:
On the Hume we stopped at Bookham, only to find that the terrific little cafe there was closed, but noticed some machinery in a yard:
The photo doesn't do justice to what was there - more traction engines than I could count, an A-model Ford ute, a big early Albion truck, tractors, trucks. Amazing stuff.
At Euroa we caught sight of a van which is probably Classic era:
So now it's all over, and I'm back to work. Actually not so bad - I enjoy my work, and if I was on holidays all the time I wouldn't appreciate them when I have the chance to have them, would I?
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 28, 2013 22:16:07 GMT 10
Well this weekend has been a bit of a watershed moment for the old Don. Son No. 3 and his wife took the van away to Rosebud for the weekend. That makes the third generation of our family that has enjoyed traveling with the van.
Of course Son No. 3 and his brothers have had lots of holidays in the van with Dona Ricardo and I when they were children, and even as young adults. But this is the first time one of them has used the van independently.
A couple of pics from the weekend. Son No.3 with his little nephew:
They needed to use my car to tow because the tow bar on Son No.3's ute is set too high for the van.
Our boys have gone through various stages with regard to the Don. As young teenagers they used to argue about who the van should be left to when we died. As older teenagers none of them wanted it to be left to them because it wasn't cool enough and didn't have all the modern mod cons. In their twenties they decided that none of them wanted the responsibility of preserving the van and thought it should be given to a museum when we could no longer use it. Now in their early thirties (or nearly so), two of them have asked to use the van for some trips this year. We will be delighted to see them do that - it's part of our family life and tradition.
Thanks for this post - it's enough to make a girl misty!
Really heartwarming really to hear how your growing children can now appreciate the Don's simple pleasures enough to take it away on their own. Apart from being custodians of a piece of history, even taking up the responsibility to maintain family traditions is a big responsibility and commitment.
Perhaps in time your own grandchildren will go away in the van and sleep in the bathtub as well. Wouldn't that be something?
The Blue Flyer - 1951 Homemade Bondwood
Chryssi - 1966 VC Valiant Safari
The Seeshell - 1969 Olympic Riviera (deceased)
Post by cruisindoug on Jan 29, 2013 8:17:27 GMT 10
Your family are definately very fortunate to be a part of Australian "living history", and its great to see that your sons are starting to take their children away in the Don. The memories if they keep going will probably mean they end up with the same cycle of attitudes to the Don as your own children did. Its all about the use of the van as part of cherished childhood memories, rather than the van becoming a museum piece!
Just read this post with delight. Such a happy look on their faces. A littlun may leave the odd scrape, scratch or the odd dent, but its just like a woman who has lived life.... laughter lines. Great to see a well used van. cheers....
Post by Surf Tragic on Jan 29, 2013 22:05:20 GMT 10
G'day Don Ricardo
What a great event that has just happened with you ! Fantastic!! This is my dream as well, that my family will take on our Don when we're gone, better get my act together. There are promising signs from my son-in-law, he walked among my Dons the other day, & the feedback is, he likes the vibes (& the smell they give off , so there's hope.
You & I have both experienced the atmosphere of having such a great Vanning life, my memories started in 1950 with our van. So many good times centred around the Don. May they continue ;D ;D
Thankyou for sharing the photos of the next generation of don loving family members enjoying holidays in your beautiful don.
How lovely surf tragic that your memories of holidaying start back in 1950.
From my perspective, mrs retro64, I really enjoy the sense of family coming together to enjoy each others company with the shelter provide by these lovely old vans as well as the continuity of family tradition being picked up by the younger generations of your respective families.
As for myself, I can honestly say that my family had not a single holiday of any kind, at any time. Maybe thats why we as a couple work so hard to restore our own vans and make our own memories together. Unfortunately neither of the children have the slightest interest in our vans.
Perhaps if we purchase a don? , well thats as good an excuse as any isnt it
Once again thankyou for giving us a glimpse of your family pics.
Well I have whiled away the afternoon reading this lovely thread from start to finish. Such lovely memories!
Thanks for your comment. You're right - lots of lovely memories, and your van obviously carries lots of memories for you too. We are both very fortunate to have vans that have been part of our lives in one way or another for so long.
Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 7, 2013 20:14:03 GMT 10
I recently celebrated a bit of an anniversary, and it's clear that my 'secret V V obsession' has been observed by family and friends!
This insulated cup received from friends:
This beautifully crafted item received from Dona Ricardo...
...which contains a 'hidden' compartment:
And this handmade card from my sister-in-law, which may just remind you of a certain Don:
Note the leadlight windows, the clips for the annexe up the wall, the little chrome door handle, and the cutout on the bottom right of the door to allow for the wheel arch.
I think my secret obsession is out! ;D ;D ;D
For those of you interested in the little wooden caravan, it is made by Ian Blackwell, a New Zealand craftsman, who makes a number of vintage caravan themed timber items: www.ianblackwell.co.nz/ (His products also include a Holden station wagon - EH by it's shape.)