Monday, 28 January 2013

Parkes Loves Other Old Stuff Too

Sunday saw us heading a block up the road to the Henry Parkes Centre which is the Tourist Information Centre as well as three museums, Elvis, cars, and farm machinery. What a fascinating sounding place but I didn't think it would take us long to check it out, didn't look big from the outside. It killed half the day :-D

First of all there was the tourist centre, lots of touristy stuff to buy there and I was all determined to go back when we were finished to buy something ... I didn't, I really should learn to go with the impulse buying thingy sometimes.

Then we headed into the Elvis Museum where the first display that I noticed was one of some of his original costumes (I like things that twinkle and glitter) but Terry was off looking at the other side of the room where there was a display of some of his furniture.

See that just didn't interest me and I agreed with Terry when he said how sad he thought the whole thing was, with the poor guys personal life layed out for people to pick over and make their own. How can anyone live like that, I guess it's the curse that was a part of his fame and is for any famous person now. It's something I've never understood, but I've never actually been repulsed by it, I just don't look at it if it doesn't interest me.

I did notice that there was a whole display case of Elvis's first haircut when he joined the army, there were photos and a lock of hair, and a copy of the magazine that was giving away that lock of hair in a competition. Hmmm that's kinda bizarre.

I found out that the first Elvis impersonator started in 1956, guess Jim Smith knew a good thing when he saw it and decided to get in early. I also found out that Elvis was big on helping people, he gave out money to charities and helped numerous causes in his life, I wonder why we never hear about the good things he has done but hear all about how he liked fried banana sandwiches.

I knew he was into cars and bikes, but I didn't realise on what kind of scale he was into them. He had heaps!!

And most of them were pretty exciting vehicles, he was into adventure and excitement!!

There just has to be some scrap metal art somewhere here ...

Oh there it is!!

We moved out of there to the car museum which has the last car that Elvis owned when you first walk in the door, I wonder why I didn't take a pic of that, I think I was starting to feel a bit Elvis'd out.

But there were a bunch of awesome old cars and bikes here ... wheeee!!


Even a couple of scooters.

And Cars.

This is turning into one long post, but it was turning into one long tour too, we still had two museums to look at, the one of the history of Parkes and the Farm Machinery one. We skipped through the Historical one quickly and made our way out to the sheds.

Where we found ...

Farm Machines!!



I may be able to start a career in standing next to big wheels on harvesters for photos, this is the second I've posed next to this year, the other one was a lot newer and a lot bigger but when you compare the wheels, the older one had a much bigger wheel.

There were a couple of train carriages there as well, these brought back some nostalgia for me as my main mode of transport when I was a youngster was by train, we used to ride what we called 'red rattlers' in the late 70's to the beach whenever we could.

This one was surrounded by junk but also had the look of being restored, I hope it is because its a great piece of Australian social history.

Those old rattlers were replaced sometime in the late 70's to early 80's by the silver bullets .. they were pretty much the same inside and they still rattled around on the tracks, but hey they looked pretty slick.

This one was open so Terry and I headed in to catch a whiff of some nostalgia .. and old vinyl.

Hmm looking at the graffiti in here makes me think these trains were around earlier than I remember. See ... Social History!

Typical Aussie farm equipement ...

To the next shed, and what have you found Terry?

Oh an antique farm bike!!

Honestly we have no idea what this is, but it looked fun. I just dont know where you sit ...

This shed was full of trucks and the like on one side and a ramshackle assortment of interesting farm stuff on the other side. We poked around for a while and found ...

A wool baler.
Butter Churn.
What is that Terry? Looks like it was pulled by horse.

A Water Cart, it seems to be full of advertising for itself there.

Fridge ? Not sure what they called this but I know it was used for food storage.

The original Trundle Bushfire Truck

The shed we just went through from the other side. All lined up and ready to roll.

Sunshine was apparently the ultimate in farm machinery. I remember that symbol if nothing else.

All the tractors

Plow anyone?

Well that was fun, We headed back inside to the Historical Museum now and had a bit of a poke about .. we found some interesting convict recipes ...

Now I thought that camels were introduced to Australia a long time after the convicts came here, I guess I was wrong.

There were all sorts of interesting things about Sir Parkes, he seems to have been a bit of a character, and he certainly looked like one. This is a more sedate portrait of him with his third wife.

Some of the photos here were facinating, piles of rabbit furs and bunches of men in suits standing round looking very hot .. I was tickled by this one.

The rest of the day we just kept out of the heat and looked and listened to some Elvis's, it was starting to get a bit monontonous so I won't share that bit again.

The next morning we headed home, there's a bit more to share with that little trip but this post is becoming so epic that I think I may just have to end it here and tell you all about our return trip at a later date.


  1. So much fun. I love looking around museums. All that history and things you just never knew. Those bikes and scooters are pretty neat too.

    I didn't realize Elvin was that charitable. I agree with you, we should hear more about that than how much he lived those sammiches.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Brandy,

      Yeah I have to admit I love those old places too, the more cluttered and the more I have to poke around to find the gems the more interesting they are too.

  2. I've never really been an elvis fan, but probably know 2 or 3 songs for some reason. I didn't know he was into motorcycles, maybe thats why he was so cool back in the day.

    1. I bet you would be surprised how many elvis songs you really do know, I found myself a few times on the weekend saying 'oh I didn't know this was an Elvis song'

      I also didn't realise how much he was into bikes .. bit of a dude eh :-D

  3. Brenda:

    I often wonder how it would have been to be growing up in the early part of this century when people were trying to make bicycles with engines, or try to make a self propelled "horseless carriage". Must have been fun times figuring this out in a garage full of friends.

    we could all be riding around on "brenda" motorcycles. I also think of the people who used to use this old machinery when they were new.

    Riding the Wet Coast

    ps: nice photo of you too

    1. Thanks Bob :-)

      Oh you just hit the nail on the head with those thoughts, that's almost exactly what goes through my head when I see stuff like this. When I look at some of the farm machines though the first thing I think is wow Occupational Health & Safety really wasn't an issue back then ... Some of that stuff was scary!