Out came the sunshine just in time for the Yass Railway Museum’s much anticipated Picnic Day. Museum volunteer and picnic organiser Samantha Mernagh was overjoyed to get lucky with the weather and said the highlight of the day was everybody’s happiness and enthusiastic excitement to be out and about on a sunny day after so much rain.

“Everywhere I looked were lots of happy, smiling faces, which was great,” she said.

Photo credit: Melissa Flanaghan ‘A shot Above The Rest’ Photography

Yass Railway Museum’s signature display, the big black steam train, delighted both young and old. Mount Carmel students Isabella and Molly Jarratt, who came to the picnic day with their grandmother, were fascinated by the train because of its connection to their school and family. 

“We’ve always seen the trains because it’s right near our school and the train tracks go past our school, but have never actually been in here. It’s pretty cool to be able to come in here and see all the trains,” Isabella said.

“It’s quite fascinating because our uncle used to catch the train to go to school with the other boarders, he would catch it from out near Yass Junction,” Molly added. (Girls featured in photo at top standing in front of the iconic engine – The1307)

The picnic also attracted some visitors from out of town looking for a great day out. Kevin Du and his daughter Claire from Canberra enjoyed the walk-in train displays as well as the history at the museum.

Great day trip from Canberra for Kevin and Claire Du

“It’s so lovely, because my daughter loves the little trains, and the historical side I’ve probably never seen before, it’s very interesting. It’s a great sight for children, and just a half hour drive from Canberra so it’s very cool,” said Kevin.

According to Samantha, the children got their biggest kick out of the face painting, which was definitely the most popular event with the little kids. 

“The girls who ran the face painting did a brilliant job for us,” she said. 

Photo credit: Melissa Flanaghan ‘A shot Above The Rest’ Photography

The amazing volunteer face painters were Adrienne, Erin, and Kelly, who delighted children with a range of creative painting ideas. 

Yass 1st Scouts Group children and volunteer Colleen Bush ran some excellent picnic games, which were especially popular because of the way they involved both the parents and children. Among the games were thong toss shoe throwing, three-legged races, egg and spoon races, and cornhole, which involves throwing bags through a hole.

Photo credit: Melissa Flanaghan ‘A shot Above The Rest’ Photography

Samantha said that the adults really liked the display of historic cars, and thanked the Yass Valley Cruisers Car Club for both their impressive display of cars and wonderful barbecue skills. 

Lawrie Nock was one of the car owners showing off a well-polished historical vehicle at the picnic day. 

Lawrie Nock and his 1939 Packard 8

“It’s a 1939 Packard 8. It was one of the last cars to use a flathead or side valve motor. It was a top line manufacture in America, and would have been matched against Lincoln,” said Lawrie, standing in front of his beautiful old car.

“This is a factory make, but the company used to make a hand built car as well, which was up in the league with Rolls Royce, Cadillac, and the top end of the Lincoln, so they were a class manufacturer,” he added.

The Railway Museum’s picnic raffle was a great success too. Raffle winners were Carly Nicholls from Yass and 6-year-old Mila from Murrumbateman.

Carly thanked the committee of volunteers involved in the railway museum picnic and said it was a wonderful community event.  

“Such a pleasure to see many different community groups working together. A beautiful event for young, old and everyone in between. A huge thank you to the sponsors, What a fantastic hamper,” she wrote to the Railway Museum on social media, following her raffle win.

After a tremendous effort, Railway Museum volunteers were extremely happy to pull off such a great event. 

“We are so excited, especially because despite the weather and poor conditions of the grounds, we managed to equal our last event and had 566 people through the gate. Everybody went home with very happy hearts yesterday,” said Samantha. 

“Our MC Wayde Chalmers, he was brilliant and really pulled the whole event together for us.”

Photo credit: Melissa Flanaghan ‘A Shot Above The Rest’ Photography

“Derryth Nash and her singing partner Deano also came and did a live performance. They did an hour and a half set for us which really set a great atmosphere,” she said.

Samantha extended more big thank yous to Rotary, who manned the museum gates; A Shot Above the Rest Photography, who took photos all throughout the day; and to all those who sponsored the picnic and raffle. 

Southerly Jones