Restoration project remembers region’s history
WHEN Rodney Hammond heard his friend Stan Janas was getting rid of an old broken-down wagon, he decided to restore it.
The only usable parts were the steel fixtures, so Mr Hammond got to work on rebuilding the tip dray wagon from the ground up.
At first, he didn’t know what he would do with the wagon, but as he built it he thought about how his grandparents arrived in the Boyne Valley in 1905.
Mr Hammond’s grandparents owned a hotel on Blackmans Gap Rd, where his grandfather, Walter Hammond, took on a mail run.
Later, the family moved to a dairy farm in Littlemore.
Mr Hammond said he decided to dedicate the restoration to his grandparents and parents.
While it will be a memorial to the Hammonds, the wagon will also represent the soldier settlers who arrived in Ubobo in 1920 as part of centenary celebrations.
“Those people that all came way back then need to keep their story because they’re the ones that built the Boyne Valley,” Mr Hammond said. “Without them starting it off there, it wouldn’t be what it is.”
Mr Hammond will deliver the wagon to Ubobo tomorrow, marking the end of eight months of hard work.
“It’s a really happy day for me,” he said, adding the project was made possible by some generous people’s help.
“Without the assistance of Rob Noy, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to make the wheels. He was really good at what he did there,” he said.
All of the Ubobo timber was supplied by Jurgen Ehret, which helped minimise Mr Hammond’s costs.
The wagon will be at the Ubobo Discovery Centre initially, but there are plans for it to eventually be on the site of the old railway station.
Mr Hammond is proud to be part of his family’s story in the Boyne Valley.