Auto Collectors' Club of Murray Bridge: Patron's Run

Sunday November 5 was the Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) annual Patron’s run, with a difference.

With perfect weather forecasted for 76 ACCMB members and their 40 assorted vehicles, the usual pre-run information and welcome at the clubrooms was given before departing Murray Bridge by club Patron, Mr. Howard Wright.

As the convoy was larger than usual, Patron Wright insisted that the mandatory 100m plus rule be kept between vehicles, so as to allow other road users free and safe passage at all times.

On leaving Murray Bridge, vehicles proceeded to the outskirts of Mannum, through Sanderston and onto the tiny settlement of Cambrai, formerly known as “Rhine Villa”, were members alighted their vehicles for morning tea in the O S & P Park, setting up their tables and chairs in this neat, shady park situated in the main street.

This was a chance for ACCMB members who lived outside of Murray Bridge to join the group, with one such couple, elderly members John and Muriel Trappnell having an early morning 5am rise, and coming from Hamley Bridge. No mean feat when you have passed 90 years of age. Well done to you both.

Following morning tea, many ladies walked across the road to visit the local Red Cross Shop, with many ladies helping the Red Cross profits, flashing their “Plastic Cards” for their purchases.

Then it was off again, out of Cambrai, travelling along the picturesque Marne River Valley road enroute to the home of ACCMB members, Viktoria and Wayne Johns to view their collection of bikes, motors, airplane parts including Wayne’s fun flying machine along with his much more serious work and long haul aircraft.

On arrival Wayne gave ACCMB members an insight into his active life of collecting, his engineering abilities, working on aircraft motors, and also attending light aircraft accidents with investigators to pinpoint the causes of such events.

With aircraft information given, and with questions answered, it was then onto view Wayne and Viktoria’s collection of motorcycles, vehicles etc, before members set up their tables and chairs in and around and under the picturesque mallee trees, old vehicles and containers to partake of a BYO lunch.

While members sat around chatting in warm sunny conditions, others just wandered around viewing all and sundry. Wayne’s history was a revelation of history in the making supported by wife Viktoria.

Before the large group moved on, ACCMB President Mr. Claude Minge thanked Mr. & Mrs. Johns for their hospitality and the information shared of their experiences since moving to the property some 15 years ago, along with thanks to Patron Howard and wife Myra for organizing the days outing.

The return route to Murray Bridge was through Black Hill (Parliament House marble country ) and onto the historic site of “Shell Hill Reserve”, situated near the banks of the Marne River, approximately 6 kms from Black Hill and said to be some 5 million years old.

“Shell Hill” was so named because of the deposit of oyster shells which in some areas were six meters thick.

Shells over the years were turned into fertilizer, lime for agricultural pursuits by assorted quarries which were closed in 1946, reopened again and in later years closed off and fenced around the base to avoid erosion and pilfering of the historic shells. Public access is still allowed with historical heritage signs, Indigenous information etc readily available to read .

Following the “Shell Hill” history lesson it was off home via Walkers Flat for an ice cream and a drink, on through bustling historic Mannum before members arrived back in Murray Bridge some 190km later, with ACCMB members agreeing that the days run would go down in the 45 year history of ACCMB outings as possibly the biggest Sunday run the club has ever held, excluding any Biennial Twin Bridges Rallies.