Thursday 18th – Wilmington to Broken Hill

We left the Wilmington Caravan Park at 7am –read 8:00 – and almost immediately we were seconded by a local to his shed, to reveal his collection of rusted restoration projects. These included a 1924 Dodge, a 1947 Austin truck – from which Howard tried unsuccessfully to trade parts, a 1952 Dodge Kingsway, and a 1965 Dodge Phoenix. In all, a good collection of vehicles.

Up the road 85km to Peterborough, we pulled in to the Steam Engine (rail) museum, called Steamtown, where WAIT AND SEE became the star attraction. It is amazing how the wood paneling in the old carriages makes you feel special. Today’s carriages are more like buses. One of the carriages was a 1950s nurse’s carriage, where Ollie and Howard were left holding the baby – see below. These types of carriages were pulled to an Outback town and left there on the rails for mums and their babies to have check ups. The nurse lived in one end of the carriage, and the other end was set up as a nurse’s room where she could weigh the babies etc.

After an hour at the Museum, we re-fueled and were on our way to Broken Hill. Along the way we stopped at Yunta to again re-fuel and to use the internet service that is provided in the Outback at Telecentres, but once again all was not well with the Internet. Yunta is 235km from Broken Hill, and is at the limit of our fuel range. With a slight tail wind today, we achieved the distance in one go. We will arrive in Broken Hill just after 6:15. It has been another jam packed day, and we are all looking forward to the rest day. Howard has been in the lead Bradford (WAIT) all day and has been setting the pace at just under 65km per hour. Being the lead vehicle, he is enjoying the uninterrupted view of the Outback as he travels through it. Howard’s highlight of the day was racing an Indian Pacific goods train that had 96 freight cars behind – with Bill overtaking him! The train won.

Rest day did I say? Tomorrow we will set the World Land Speed record for a fully loaded Bradford, visit the ghost town of Silverton, and take in the many sights of Broken Hill, and hopefully upload the last three days to the web site.

Ollie has been driving ahead in his hire car, stopping at vantage points and trying to get shots of the Bradfords as they pass him. As far as we know, he hasn’t got a one – WAIT AND SEE are too fast for him!


Bill, Howard and Susan

Steamtown Peterborough with sculpture made of old forging tools

Ollie & Howard left holding the baby!!!