Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Pearns Steam World

Community Bank comes to the rescue

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

A TOTAL of $152,601.80 was committed to 10 local projects in the Deloraine and Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank second community grants round for 2018.

The funds will support dedicated community groups to realise their dreams.

“We feel so supported,” says Sharman Lewis, grants offi†cer from the small but devoted group of people working to restore the fabric of the heritage listed Parkham Church.

The deconsecrated church and hall property at Parkham was purchased in 2016 by Parkham Community Inc to be used as a community centre. The external fabric is in poor condition and needs urgent intervention to repoint the stone foundations, replace leaking guttering and sections of rotting timber before being repainted.

“There are starlings nesting in the walls,” comments Sharman.

Parkham Community Inc. received a $10,000 grant from the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch that enables the group to apply for a further $90,000 from the Tasmanian Community Fund who require that 10% of funds needed for projects be raised from another source.

The old church was built in 1902 by community members on donated land with donated local timber and funds raised by the community largely by growing potatoes. The inner fabric of the church is still in good condition and Parkham Community Inc members are keen to see the beautiful old building restored thereby helping them with fundraising into the future and keeping their heritage alive.

Another restoration project that will go ahead thanks to a community grant from the bank is the refurbishment of Pearns Steam World flagship engine the 1910 8HP Foden traction engine.

A regular attraction at Agfest, St Patrick’s Day festivals, Westbury and Deloraine Shows, without repair, the engine will become a static display at the museum.

As a high-pressure vessel, boilers must meet strict criteria and the Foden no longer meets certification standards.

This type of work can only be carried out by specialist heritage repair people and will cost up to $40,000 for the professional component of the repairs. “The $20,000 grant provided by the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank will go a long way towards breaking the back of the fundraising needed to repair the Foden,” says treasurer of the Pearns Steam World Committee Ruth Paterson,” adding “It’s a big job for our small committee to raise funds. We can’t thank them enough.”

Simon Rootes, Manager of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank says he enjoys leading a team that are working together to support local community projects. ”As a team we feel so much pride when we see the work we put in throughout the year turn into such great community outcomes. Not only are we providing an excellent banking service to our community each day, we are then able to give back to the community that support our branch. It’s a great organisation to be a part of, knowing that we are really making a difference to our community is what really drives our team.”

The Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank has now returned close to $1.5 million to the Meander Valley community through grants, dividends, sponsorship and donations.

Recipients for the Community Grant Round 2 were:

• Deloraine Agricultural & Pastoral Society (Deloraine Show) - $50,000 - new kitchen/dining pavilion and amenities.

• Deloraine Baptist Church - $5,500 - Hall heating and replacement floor

• Deloraine Football Club - $7092.80 - tables

• Deloraine House - $9,960 - Upgrade to windows and removal of chimney

• Kentish Regional Clinic Inc (CORES - Meander Valley) - $1,900 - Meander Valley Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (one day prevention workshops)

• Parkham Community Inc. - $3,500 - Water Security for Parkham Community Centre

• Parkham Community Inc. - $10,000 - Restoring the Heart of the Community (Church restoration)

• Pearn’s Steam World - $20,000 - The Crown (restoration of historic machinery)

• Rotary Club of Deloraine - $7,000 - Rotary Function Centre Improvements

• Rotary Club of Westbury - $12,649 - Food Van Upgrade

• Western Tiers Film Society - $25,000 - Little Theatre Sound System Upgrade

Simon Rootes, Manager of Deloraine & Districts Community Bank Branch, discusses repairs to the Parkham Church with Sharman Lewis, Parkham Community Inc. Photo by Mike Moores

Simon Rootes, Manager of Deloraine & Districts Community Bank Branch, discusses repairs to the Parkham Church with Sharman Lewis, Parkham Community Inc. Photo by Mike Moores

Pearns Steam World Foden 1910 8HP traction engine delights crowds at local events. Photo by Mike Moores

Pearns Steam World Foden 1910 8HP traction engine delights crowds at local events. Photo by Mike Moores

Fairground Foxtrot

EventsJoanne EisemannComment


THE VOLUNTEERS at Pearns Steam World were thrilled to host a display of Fairground organs at their recent ‘Steam Up’. The organs were imported to Tasmania by Richard Hill, who, having been involved with steam engines and fairground organs since he was a small child, brought his extensive collection with him when he recently returned to live in Tasmania.

Pictured are Pearns Steam World volunteers Ruth Paterson of Oaks and Anne Heazlewood of Whitemore enjoying the music of one of the fair organs on display.

Photo | Mike Moores

Full steam ahead

EventsJoanne EisemannComment


Pearns Steam World will be celebrating their 30th birthday at this year’s Steam Up to be held over the November long weekend (4th, 5th, 6th Nov from 9.00am - 4.00pm).

On show will be 100 years of Henry Ford cars and tractors.  People are invited to bring along their own Ford car or tractor to be part of the show.

Also on show will be tractors, tractions engines and much more.  The museum is home to a collection of more than 200 pieces of equipment;  some so rare they are of international significance.

In the 1950’s, the Pearn brothers (Jack, Verdun and Zenith) saw that the age of steam and threshing was giving way to diesel-powered tractors and self-propelled headers.  Visionaries before their time, the brothers decided to collect a representative sample of the steam engines operating in the state.

When others sold their machines for scrap metal, the Pearn’s purchased 12 engines and used their spare time to restore them.

Entry $10.00 adults and $5.00 for children.  More info at

Photo | Mike Moores

A real cool read

NewsJoanne EisemannComment
Anne Heazlewood of Pearns Steam World browses books from the new street Library in Westbury

Anne Heazlewood of Pearns Steam World browses books from the new street Library in Westbury

JULY 2017 | Marguerite McNeill

IMAGINE A fridge full of books that are there for you to borrow for as long as you like and don’t even have to take back!

You can do just that at the new Street Library located at the gate of Pearn’s Steam World in Westbury.

And best of all, without a due date stamp the library also incurs no fines.

Many of us remember fondly the days when the date on the library stamp was just a reminder and late returns were just an embarrassing hiccup.

No one fussed too much, it was just how it was - until the dreaded fine system took hold.

Nowadays, whatever your walk in life, time seems to go much faster and in my book that due date library stamp wins the race every time.

But it all slows down at Westbury where, at the Street Library, you can browse and borrow for free.

The library welcomes donations of once-loved books that can go into the selection of titles for others to share.

The project was initiated by Steam World secretary Anne Heazlewood who saw a similar free library when travelling in England a few years ago.

“I saw one in a Lincolnshire village,” she said. “I thought it would be great for Westbury.”

“A lot of people who like to read have too many books and need to de-clutter their homes.” This way they can pass on treasured books for others to enjoy.”

Mrs Heazlewood said that the 1950’s fridge/freezer once belonged to her grandmother Eliza Pearn and had been a new acquisition when power came to Station Lane in Hagley.

The fridge is now filled with books bearing a Steam World stamp and sorted into categories that include fiction and non-fiction, children’s and adults. Some magazines are also on hand. A couple of wheelbarrows cater for the overflow.

Readers are also supplied with promotional bookmarks with contact details for Steam World, including the surprise announcement of free WIFE on site.  Laughing at the typo Mrs Heazlewood said that free WIFI was definitely available.  A free wife might even be found she added, as the library was a good draw card for women abandoned by husbands who were keen to check out the Steam World machinery.

Delighted by the positive response to the library Mrs Heazlewood hopes that it will encourage other communities to consider a similar venture. “I hate waste,” she said.

“The books keep coming and going. There’s no excuse for kids not reading.

“The books are here for everyone to read and return or to keep. I hope some end up in Darwin.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Pearns win the big prize

NewsJoanne EisemannComment


Despite the blustery conditions around 4,000 people attended Pearn’s Steam World ‘Steam Up’ over the long weekend in November. The miniature steam train rides proved as popular as ever, transporting people around the perimeter of the grounds.

DECEMBER 2016 | Heather Summers

PEARNS STEAMWORLD was recognised at the Tasmanian Community Achievement awards, winning the Fonterra Australia Agriculture Award.

“To receive an agricultural award at this level is absolutely tremendous recognition for a project whose foundations started 60 years ago,” said event organiser Gerard Gelston.

At the time of presentation, Pearns Steam World was also celebrating its annual ‘Steam Up’ with a special ‘Fergie Muster’.

The Fergie Muster exceeded all expectations on the November long weekend. The predicted 20-30 Little Grey Fergie tractors swelled to a staggering 96 on the day, filling the venue and delighting visitors of all ages.

The streets of Westbury were filled with a convoy of Ferguson tractors in a grand parade, celebrating 70 years since the little grey tractor went into production.

A wide variety of Fergies were represented, the oldest being a 1948 model, contrasted by a brand new MF7715 Massey Ferguson tractor.

Tractors came from as far away as Smithton and Geeveston, with one group of enthusiasts driving their tractors from Wynyard to participate.

Plans are already underway organising the 2017 feature, which will celebrate the 100th birthday of Ford tractors.

Photo | Mike Moores

Old grey Fergies going strong

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment


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OCTOBER 2016 | Heather Summers

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PEARN’S STEAM World will be a hive of activity this November long weekend, with the annual Steam Up ready to roll.

The Steam Spectacular is a yearly institution in the town of Westbury, attracting steam enthusiasts from around the world.

This year’s event will include the much-anticipated Fergie Muster, celebrating the 70th anniversary of Irishman Harry Ferguson’s little grey tractor. “We hope to unearth Tasmania’s oldest tractor, and ask owners everywhere to drag out their pride and joy, dust it down and join the fun,” said event organiser Gerard Gelston. “We will welcome all Ferguson tractors, no matter the model or age, and invite owners of the latest models to join in the celebrations.”

The muster will take place on Saturday the 5th of November, with a grand parade starting at noon, culminating in the cutting of a birthday cake to top off the festivities.

Steam World is a long standing attraction, with what is thought to be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest exhibit of steam-operated engines and associated paraphernalia.

Highlighting the importance of Tasmania’s agricultural history, the majority of the collection came into being with brothers Jack, Verdun and Zenith Pearn the main force behind the original collection, started in the 1950s.

Built on what was originally Westbury’s sale yards, the local Rotary Club played a large part in setting up the museum, while donated time and labour have been the driving force behind the museum’s continuing success.

To participate in the Fergie Muster on 5th November, phone Gerard Gelston on 0407 681 161 or visit www.pearnssteamworld.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

State recognition for living legend

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

Merrilyn Young

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DECEMBER 2015 | Marguerite McNeill

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DELORAINE WOMAN, Merrilyn Young, loves her community and helping others who live in it.

It’s a passion that has shaped her life since childhood and throughout the years has earned her a number of awards.

Last month she stood up again as a finalist in the Heather and Christopher Chong Outstanding Achiever Award, one of the categories in the 2015 Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards.

Although not the winner, Ms Young was happy to have reached finalist status.

“I feel very honoured, “she said.

“All volunteering is good.”

“It is nice to be involved and to get satisfaction out of helping some one.”

A secretary at the Meander Valley Council (including the former Deloraine Council) for almost 40 years, the 53-yearold makes full use of her work skills to support causes and groups in the community.

The Deloraine Football Club sits high on Ms Young’s list of priorities and practically the only thing she doesn’t do for the club is play the game.

As a social committee member and secretary for almost 30 years she is actively involved in numerous activities to support the club.

Her dedication has been recognised by a life membership and last month Ms Young was elected Vice President.

She was also inducted as a “Living Legend of the NTFA” in 2014.

Ms Young is also a stalwart of the Deloraine Show Society where she uses her administration and organisational skills to great advantage to help ensure the ongoing success of the society.

Pearns Steam World in Westbury also represented Meander Valley as a finalist in the Fonterra Australia Agriculture Award category.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores