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Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

The annual New England Antique Machinery Club Rally is receiving a much-needed revitalisation and rebrand to the New England Heritage Fest to broaden its appeal and attract future generations to ensure the region’s rich history and heritage continues to be celebrated.

The New England Antique Machinery Club (NEAMC) has successfully held the rally annually since 1986 and the event has been an integral part of the club’s engagement with the community. The club also relies on the event to generate much of its revenue which covers rent at the Armidale Showground and ongoing maintenance costs of the club’s antique machinery collection. Like many clubs, especially those that celebrate our history, the club’s membership is getting older and a new generation is needed to take the reins and keep the love of antique machinery alive and thriving.

President of the NEAMC Rob Taber said it was now or never for the club and its continued existence.

“We are one of the oldest antique machinery clubs in Australia and our members have done so much over the years to showcase the region’s heritage machinery,” said Mr Taber

“Many of us are getting older and we need new blood that can continue our legacy. We have some young members with some great ideas to make our event more enjoyable and relevant.”

The New England Heritage Fest is being held from Friday 10 to Saturday 11 November at the Armidale Showground and will continue to showcase heritage machinery including steam powered engines, working demonstrations of heritage saw-mills and farm machinery, tractor pulls and draught horse demonstrations.

The resurgence of lost trades will be a feature of the revamped event with blacksmith demonstrations and other heritage trades. To ensure there is something for the whole family a wide array of food trucks and market stalls are a feature of the new event as well as live entertainment throughout the day.

A new initiative to be held on Sunday 12 November with free entry is to host a mega antique machinery and farm equipment auction. The club have joined forces with local auctioneers Armitage & Buckley who will manage the auction.

“We are so excited about the introduction of the auction and believe this will become an annual feature of the festival weekend,” said Mr Taber.

“Everyone always has some old machinery lying around that they don’t use anymore and could sell, but just don’t have enough to hold their own clearing sale. This way people can bring a few items in and join in on one large auction.”

“It also gives people the opportunity to buy their first piece of antique machinery. We all started collecting at some point and often bought something from an auction or a clearing sale and never looked back!”

The club is looking for stallholders, food vendors and people or organisations that would like to display their antique machinery or vehicle. This year the event is also looking for stallholders who can do demonstrations in lost trades, ancient arts and heritage crafts. 

If you or your club would like to be involved, please phone Bronwyn on 0408 658594 or Rob on 0428 751 275 or email newenglandantiquemachineryclub@gmail.com

Top image: (L-R) Members of the New England Antique Machinery Club, Rob Taber, Ben Motley, Bronwyn Broom, Mike Wallace, Ian McLennan, Brian Weis, John Broom and Rod Ferris

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