Pyengana Easter Carnival a step back in time

I SEE RED: Pyengana Easter Carnival organiser Vaughan Oldham steps inside a 1955 F500 firetruck. The truck was exhibited as part of the carnival's show and shine display. Pictures: Phillip Biggs
I SEE RED: Pyengana Easter Carnival organiser Vaughan Oldham steps inside a 1955 F500 firetruck. The truck was exhibited as part of the carnival's show and shine display. Pictures: Phillip Biggs

It’s difficult to imagine a more charmingly Tasmanian country scene than that offered at the Pyengana Easter Carnival on Saturday.

As a barbecue roared away in convenient proximity to the woodchopping arena, blacksmiths toiled over hot coals, camp chairs lined the sheepdog trial area and the hum of stationary engines filled the air.

The rear of the Pyengana recreation ground was filled with old and new vehicles, among the most impressive of which was a 1955 F500 fire engine.

Event organiser Vaughan Oldham said the vehicle belonged to the Tasmania Fire Museum but was usually housed in St Helens.

“It's an urban fire fighting unit,” Mr Oldham said.

“This is how the cities were protected with these mobile vehicles, in the towns where you had hydrants you had your hoses in the back.” 

The biggest crowds were reserved for the woodchopping program, which included four heats and a final.

Woodchopping organiser Les Rattray said the field had grown in recent years since the carnival expanded its focus at the turn of the decade. 

BIG EFFORT: Colin Fellows works his way through a log during the 300mm underhand event.

BIG EFFORT: Colin Fellows works his way through a log during the 300mm underhand event.

“Probably six or seven years ago it was really struggling with only the chopping, when Vaughan and a few of the locals had the idea of bringing (extra attractions) in and you can see what it's done,” Mr Rattray said.

“Years ago there were 70 or 80 axemen here but it got down to probably 18 a few years ago, now we've climbed back up to 30 and it’s a terrific weekend.”

About 1000 people are expected to visit the two-day carnival, which will continue on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

SHINE: Ansons Bay's Mark Bromley and Sidmouth's Richard Edmunds with a 5/8 scale model of a 1925 Sunbeam Tiger.

SHINE: Ansons Bay's Mark Bromley and Sidmouth's Richard Edmunds with a 5/8 scale model of a 1925 Sunbeam Tiger.