Rushworth Wizard

Mike Wellington
Rushworth & District Historical Society Inc
c/o 16 Phillips Street
Rushworth Vic 3512

Editor
Waranga News Inc

THE RUSHWORTH TRACTION ENGINE AND ITS IMMEDIATE FUTURE

Citizens of Rushworth,

We’re all accustomed to the welcome sound of our traction engine, the ’Rushworth Wizard’ sounding off its steam whistle whilst it trundles around Rushworth during a fine weekend. There’s little doubt that The Wizard is a real attraction as far as our tourism industry is concerned. It’s my belief that, since The Wizard came into our possession following numerous generous contributions by Rushworth’s citizens over an extensive period – and a very large contribution by a former Rushworth inhabitant (Graeme Howard) it falls to us, the historical society, to keep Rushworth aware of developments with regard to the Wizard.

It’s necessary of course to protect our roads around the centre of Rushworth from the impact of The Wizard’s iron wheels. To this end we’ve fitted the The Wizard’s wheels for the past few years with industrial conveyor-belt rubber. This has been a temporary measure unfortunately and has lasted perhaps a year before a replacement is necessary. Following the initial purchase of the traction engine our principal benefactor, Graeme Howard, gave us a very generous gift of cash with which to purchase rubber pads which will need to be vulcanised to the traction engine’s wheels – fore and aft. It’s time to use Graeme’s very generous cash donation and so arrangements with a Melbourne firm have been made and shortly the Wizard will be stripped of its wheels which will be transported by Brett Petersen to a Melbourne firm specialising in this process.

Unfortunately for the writer (who did the paint job on Wizard’s wheels), the vulcanising process will destroy the paintwork. No matter, I’ll do it all again when the Wizard returns. Incidentally the yellow over black striping on the wheel spokes was meant to represent wattle. So some green will feature in the new design.

As the owners and custodians of the traction engine, The Rushworth and District Historical Society thank the operators and mechanics who operate and keep The Wizard in good mechanical order – Brett Petersen, John Kean and Brendan Hawking – who are also members of the historical society.

Mike Wellington
President Rushworth and District Historical Society

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