The Yass Railway Museum Picnic Day is getting closer! On the 9th of October from 10am to 3pm the Railway Museum will be welcoming the community in its gates. The free community day is a much-anticipated comeback event after its huge success in 2019, and will boast many activities as well as entry to the museum, a local treasure trove of fascinating and exciting railway pieces. 

Heavy horses and pony rides, face painting, a barbecue, and picnic games like egg and spoon or three-legged races are just some of the events in store. Scouts will be running the picnic games and Rotary will also be at the event helping. 

People in period dress will be at the event, and people will be able to take pictures with them. The Good Vibes Choir lead by Derryth Nash will be providing live music. 

Liam Mernagh enjoying the jumping castle at the 2019 event 

Yass Railway Museum volunteer Samantha Mernagh said that the biggest hit of all at the previous picnic day was the museum itself. She is hoping people who have walked past the museum but never actually been inside will come along, have a look and see what it has to offer. 

“We’re hoping to top last time’s numbers, last time we had 550 people attend, so we’d like to get a few more. Hopefully we can make it a really good day and just give back to the community,” she said.

A new attraction on the day will be a local gentleman’s Lego model train replica of the Yass junction. He will be coming to the picnic to set the model up for people to enjoy. 

The museum will, of course, be open, with all of its displays, including its model train set. 

“Our most popular piece by far is the model train which was donated to the museum by a local family. John Harmer built it and when he passed away, his wife rang the museum and asked if we’d like it. We said of course!” Sam explained. 

“We’ve got a steam engine, 1307 is our showcase piece. We received it quite a while ago as a rusty old steam engine and we’ve done a lot of work to revamp it.”

To help count numbers, the Railway Museum will be handing out raffle tickets at the gate which will be drawn throughout the day. Local businesses have made donations, and prizes include vouchers for Jim’s Carpet Cleaning, Tanks Coffee Van, and gift bags from a local body shop consultant.

Don’t Miss Out on the Yass Railway Museum Picnic!

Sam explained that the Picnic day aims to give back to the community as well as promote the museum.

“We want to let people know that we’re there. Our biggest thing is to make the museum a community hub where people, if they’re having an event or a family gathering, think the museum is a great place to meet. We want to promote the museum as a place where people can come gather

“We have a beautiful big grassed area at the back, so if you are having a family gathering, and it’s perfect for people to come and kick a soccer ball, have a play, spend the day,” she said. 

To ensure the longevity of the Yass Railway Museum, Sam calls the community to volunteer. 

“We need more volunteers to come help us ‘dust off the old beauty’,” she said. 

Until recently, the museum had dwindled to just a few members. They have now built back numbers, but the more people who can come and help the better. 

“We try to match volunteers with their areas of interest. If someone’s background is in promotions, we get them involved in the things they’re good at. If we have people who are train enthusiasts we get them involved with that side of things, or if they’re a model train enthusiast we link them in with that. We’re all about finding the right volunteers for the right jobs, rather than asking them to do anything and everything.”

Currently, the Railway museum team is particularly looking for someone to rejuvenate their gardens. 

“We have someone who’s happy to mow the lawn and look after the maintenance of the yard but need someone who’s super keen on gardening to make our garden beds look beautiful,” explained Sam. 

Southerly Jones