Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Crank Up- 2017

Catch-up

This one's been waiting in the wings for a long while- since Saturday, January 28th, 2017 to be exact, a Saturday that turned out to be the hottest day in the whole of Southland's poor excuse for a summer. 


Crank Up is one of the biggest vintage machinery events in New Zealand and is held in the shadow of the huge Edendale Dairy factory that dominates the landscape in the Southland country town of the same name. This year was the 30th anniversary.


Our Winton family have made it one of their 'must visits' each year and were keen to have us share the day with them this time round. We packed up a picnic lunch and folded ourselves into the people mover and headed off across country to Edendale. Ollie & Ruby were so excited, they spent the whole 55km road trip rattling off a long list of what they thought we should see and what they wanted to have a go at this year.

Once we found ourselves a car park. we hailed a 'taxi' and clambered aboard the quadbike-trailer combo, along with another couple, for an exhilarating ride weaving our way through and down the row upon row of vehicles already parked. I hope we can find our way home later...


Of course first up (and to curtail the excited chatter), were the mini jeeps. Last year Dad drove Ruby's jeep, this year she was determined to do it herself (see the tongue). 


I've never seen so many tractors in one place! I wonder where they all hide for the rest of the year. There were rows and rows of tractors lined up across a couple of large paddocks.


Southland certainly has more than its fair share of vintage tractors and trucks. It's great to see New Zealand's history and heritage is being so well looked after.


The tractor pull was happening near the dairy factory. Tractors in their respective classes pull a set weight on a sled. When a tractor gets to the end of the 100 metre track, it's known as a "full pull". When more than one tractor reaches the end, more weight is added to the sled and the competitors that moved past 100 metres compete in a pull-off; the winner is the one who can pull the sled the farthest. There seems to be a David & Goliath competition going on here. 


Various unusual contraptions trundled and shook their way along the walkways on their way to and from the parade ground. Before this traction engine made it into the alleyway, I had visions of excited kids (not our kids) falling underneath as they pushed each other out of the way and ran across in front of it.


Look at the face on this guy!


Either the guy is very tall (bottom right) or that's a truckie's version of a lowered car. Check the number plate out too. And we certainly knew when the tractor was making it's way through the crowd by its throaty roar, even if you couldn't see it.


Southern police need this secret weapon to chase crims across muddy fodder paddocks and maize fields. Ruby enjoyed climbing up into the cab and pretending to drive the tractor. And, it's a gimmick, the police don't really chase criminals in it, the tractor is used for PR at shows like this one.


These steampunkers wandering through the crowd certainly turned a few heads in conservative Southland.


And I have the feeling that this guy belongs with the others...or he's an extra in a Mad Max movie and has lost his way.


This guy (and his owner) certainly look like they belong with the others but they don't, this Macaw parrot is one of only two privately owned in New Zealand. His owner is a local magician who does shows and children's parties. Aren't those colours just stunning, nature sure is amazing.


Time for lunch....now where did we park the car and more importantly, how the hell do we tell our taxi driver where to go (shout at him loudly) .


After lunch we visited the stationary engines display...


Obviously there are plenty of people who enjoy owning and looking at these engines but personally I prefer something that moves. Fast.


Although I did try to convince David I'd be in seventh heaven towing this generator behind the rig! I don't think our neighbours would be though.


To add to their ever growing list of experiences at Crank Up, Ollie and Ruby were interviewed and videoed for a local newspaper. I'm not sure a ride in the mini jeeps was quite what the reporter was expecting from them when she asked what was the best bit of Crank Up. And 'Frankie' the teddy bear got a starring role.


Next came the parade, first a mock battle between....I'm not too sure, but they made a lot of noise. And don't ask, I have no idea what the Ninja Turtle was up to.


Someone won....but like the Turtle, I'm not so sure the Porta-loo quite fits the scene either.


Next came the steampunk people...


...some of whom didn't look too happy to be walking around the oval. I'm sorry, but I can't contain myself anymore. I wondered if they might have stolen a few subjects from the local rest home. Good on them for doing something outside the norm though.


Then came the Vauxhall parade and a few old memories- Dad's sister's husband was a Vauxhall fan and had many of these models. 


And I drove a few of the later models during my teen years.


It wasn't long before the kids got bored, the sun climbed higher and the queue for an icecream snaked across the yard. We decided to head for home, we missed the dancing tractors and another whole field of diggers and dozers and the kids were most upset that they didn't get to have a go at the 'digger dig' like last year. Cameron thanked his lucky stars we didn't find it, he had to queue with them and the queue was double the length of the ice cream line! 


And the reason why I hadn't done a blog before now? Once again I had to process the photos and as per usual I had far too many of them. I've uploaded them to a Flickr Album, click this link if you'd like to see more.


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