DARLING DOWNS CHAPTER
Established September, 2005
The MG Car Club was formed in 1954, the club is composed of motoring enthusiasts who enjoy all makes of motor vehicles, not just MGs and provides activities for all aspects of motoring, sporting, and social, present membership Stands at 690.ds at 690.
The Darling Downs Chapter was formed in September 2005, and since that date the chapter has grown strongly with a growing list of members in Toowoomba, Warwick and as far west as Roma, who, enjoy access to all the benefits of the parent body at a reduced membership rate.
MG Car Club of Queensland promote sporting and concourse events at a State and National level in addition to a strong calendar of club activities, technical and historic information can be accessed from the club web site. Darling Downs' members enjoy regular monthly day runs and midweek lunch meetings, organized alternately by the chapter conveners of Toowoomba and Warwick.
Day runs commence on the last Sunday of the month from the information centre on James Street Toowoomba, or, Lesley Park Warwick, at 8.00am in the summer months and 9.00am in the winter.
For further information contact Darling Downs's Conveners:
Glen Hadfield - DD Chapter Coordinator (replacing Gary Lawrence as from 1 Jan 2018)
Home phone: 07 4630 8872
Mobile: 0430 055 192
Work: 0409 486 670
Phil & Marilyn O’Brien – Midweek Run Conveners (replacing Ron & Judy Gillis as from 1 Jan 2018)
Mobile: 0488 750 037
Click here for 2020 calendar. of events
DARLING DOWNS CHAPTER NEWSLETTER
March 2020 Octagon Report – Darling Downs Chapter
Wednesday 22nd January – Twilight Run
After a long hot and dry summer, our first run of the year was planned as a twilight event to avoid the heat of the day. The timing was perfect, for ducks at least, as the first heavy rains for some time hit Toowoomba – heavy enough for us to make the choice: cancel the drive and head straight to the pub for dinner. The historic Downs Hotel in Drayton was the venue for our first get together and the food, ale and comradery were enjoyed with out a complaint about the weather, given ho desperate the region has been for rain.
Wednesday 12th February – Lunch Run
What a wonderful start to 2020, finally the Downs has had much needed rain over the last few weeks. Not enough, but certainly substantial, putting lots of smiles on the dials and providing plenty to discuss.
Our first lunch for 2020 was held at Club Glenvale in Toowoomba, due to the inclement weather, and was organised by Marilyn and Phil O’Brien who have once again come up with a diverse range of locations for our lunches throughout the year.
We had a great turn out that included 6 MG’s that ventured out. Hopefully, everyone made it home before the heavy rain as we departed on our various ways 2 hours later, with extra full stomachs and extremely horse voices.
It was great to see familiar faces and cars after our a seemingly long Christmas New year break.
Both Brian and Rob have vehicles nearly ready for road use, so all are hoping to see them mobile for our March luncheon at the Warwick Golf Club.
Phil & Marilyn O’Brien (Chrysler 300c)
Gene & Faye Lucas (49 MG TD)
Brian & June Phillips (MGB GT)
Gary Lawrence (Mazda BT50)
Owen Douglas (MGB)
Rob Frazer (D Max Isuzu)
Kevin Wruck (D Max Isuzu)
Greg & Beth Newey (MGB GT)
Glen Hadfield (HSV Ute)
Cheryl Francis (MG GS)
Sunday 23rd February – Monthly Run
It’s been a slow start to the year in terms of getting the cars out for a decent run, with the (welcome) weather playing havoc, but Sunday was near perfect – cool enough and only a little drizzle.
Kingfisher Café in the Springs Garden complex was the location to kick off the day, with 22 members arriving for breakfast. Welcome to Kevin and Ann Wruck on their first run. Although the outdoor terrace is very pleasant, this was an indoors meal with the threat of rain.
After a good catch up over the large breakfast, we headed off on a run south of Toowoomba to see how the recent rains had transformed the valleys and rolling hills of the area from a barren and brown outlook just weeks previous, to the almost luminous greens and black soils of the area. The smaller villages of Wyreema, Nobby, Greenmount and Clifton saw our convoy add even more colour to their surrounds.
There was some light rain as we ventured into the lower lands on our way west to Pittsworth. What was obvious were the areas where recent flooding had cut off the roads, but no trouble for us today, despite the drizzle. Surprising was the fact that the combination of cool, wet weather and a few miles still didn’t see any participants taking advantage of a quick toilet break at Clifton.
Centenary Park in the middle of Pittsworth is the ideal location for morning tea, with a large shelter from the rain (or sun), surrounded by the well managed rose gardens. The local press noticed our entry to town, which meant photos and commentary for the paper.
Afterwards, all made their way home following an enjoyable morning out.
Glen and Bev Hadfield, Ron and Judy Gillis, Gaye Hawkshaw and friend Debbie, Helen Goodfellow and Del Jensen, Ian and Jenny Roberts, Brian and June Phillips, Michael and Marilyn Keating, Rob Fraser, Kevin Wruck, Andrew and Susan Willensden, Phil and Marilyn O’Brien and Cheryl Francis.
DARLING DOWNS CHAPTER NEWSLETTER
Lunch Run - 11 September, 2019
The Meringandan Hotel was once again a wonderful destination for the monthly lunch get together of Darling Downs Chapter members. Six couples and one loner headed for Meringandan, a popular spot because of the large servings and quality of food and atmosphere.
It was great to welcome back Dennis and Imelda Logan from their 10 weeks away and Lauren & Steve Ingerson in their MGA. Plenty of time for relaxed catch up, including discussions about the upcoming overnight run to Canungra in October.
Phil & Marilyn O’Brien Toyota GT 86
Rob & Narelle Fraser Toyota
Ron & Judy Gillis MGB
Gary Lawrence MGB GT V8
Lauren & Steve Ingerson MGA
Dennis & Imelda Mercedes
Gene & Faye Lucas MGTD
Monthly Run, 29 September, 2019
A fine, almost clear day greeted 10 shiny examples of English motoring for our monthly Sunday run, organised by Marilyn and Phil O’Brien. After weeks of dust and smoke, it was nice to see some light showers work to clear the air. We were joined along the way by Greg Newey in his MGBGT.
Warwick & Toowoomba members met at Apex Park in Allora. After greetings & Koala spotting, we left the highway for interesting and quiet back roads. This allowed for close up viewing of Scottish Highland cattle and wallabies (a bit too close) as they grazed unperturbed on the verges of the road as we motored by.
Crossing the New England highway, we passed through the sleepy villages of Hendon, Wheatvale & Sandy Creek, arriving at Lesley Dam for fresh scones, jam & cream prepared by Marilyn earlier that morning. Suitably refreshed, a short walk to the dam wall revealed what 5% capacity really look like … not much.
Cycle events saw us re-outed to go unimpeded via Warwick outskirts and Junabee to Killarneys watering hole. Passing the Warwick airstrip keen navigators spotted several gliders struggling to gain elevation. In fact one must have had engine failure as he was being towed.
Killarney Hotel supplied reasonable priced generous portioned meals. Surprisingly members had not exhausted conversation over morning tea and much more banter continued over lunch. The return trip was not via Yangan due to possible road closures (bikes) but straight to Warwick, where members departed the convoy for home.
Phil & Marilyn O’Brien Triumph TR7
Graham Hickson MGB GT
Gary & Janis Lawrence MGB GT
Brian & June Phillips MGB GT
Greg Newey MGB GT
Ian & Jennifer Roberts MGB
Denis & Imelda Logan MGB
Cheryl Francis & Frank MGB
Delia Morey & Alesha MGB
Ron & Judy Gillis MGB
Gene & Faye Lucas MGTD
Canungra Overnight Run - 15 to 18 October, 2019
Canungra, located in the foothills of the Lamington Plateau at the base of Mount Tamborine, was the destination for our overnight run in October. It is a couple of years now since the Darling Downs Chapter embarked on an overnight run so 2019 became the year for us to get back to our extended tours.
Local participants, Ron and Judy Gillis, Denis and Imelda Logan, Rob and Narelle Fraser, Gene and Faye Lucas, Brian and June Phillips together with Gary and Janis Lawrence met at the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre for a 0830 departure.
Traversing rural roads through Gatton, Laidley and Grandchester into Rosewood we enjoyed our first morning tea at Johnstone Park where Barry Lutwyche and Jan Burke joined us for the tour. One of the attractions of our Rosewood stop was a Pie Van, which, as it turned out, was the purveyor of wonderful pies with mushy peas; all I can say is yum yum!
Leaving Rosewood, we travelled through rolling countryside passing some interesting historical attractions such the Dixon Baseline survey marker and the well-known Harrisville Pub to our Canungra our home for the next three nights.
The obligatory happy Hour was soon upon us and of course we had to honour the tradition before heading to the Canungra Hotel for dinner.
Day two was a short run to O’Riellys Resort on the Lamington Plateau. 37 Km of winding, narrow, uphill road with a number of hairpin turns, a MG drivers delight of course, and a very rough section close to the resort soon convinced us that short in distance does not necessarily equate to short in time.
Canungra Overnight Run (cont.)
Fortunately, we arrived intact with only a couple of minor issues. Thanks to the rough section, the speedo in Gary & Janis’ recently acquired BGT V8 stopped working and Brian Phillips suffered the ignominy of finding his horn in his lap, or at least the button from it anyway.
O’Riellys Resort, steeped in the history of its founder Bernard O’Rielly who in 1937 discovered the crash site of the Airlines of Australia Stinson aircraft, now appears very tired and in need of refurbishment. That said the treetop walk with its suspension bridges is certainly worth visiting.
Happy Hour (again!!) and a self-catered barbeque at the Motel rounded out the day.
Day three we headed up the ‘Goat Track’, another section of steep winding road with wonderful MG curves, to North Tamborine for breakfast at the Mountain Brew Café; Following a wander around Gallery Walk and its many art and craft type shops, well shall we say the ladies wandered while the men found a shady spot to sit and wait, we headed to Beechmont through the Guanaba Valley and Maudsland. Yes, and we encountered more steep and winding roads (no complaints from the drivers!!) with some stunning views back over the Gold Coast skyline and Advancetown Dam.
We stopped at Rosins Lookout for smoko only to discover we had a couple of mechanical issues. Brian and June in the GT had a flat battery and Rob and Narelle’s Mini Copper S was heading to the same place with the generator light glowing brightly, an obvious no charge situation. Both made it back to Canungra where both issues were rectified, Brian with a new battery and Rob with a borrowed charger breathing extra life into the cells. I do have a recollection of Rob and Narelle quietly chanting, I hope it gets us home tomorrow, I hope it gets us home tomorrow!!
The drive through Beechmont highlighted the intensity of the recent bushfires in the rugged country around Canungra. The burnt out remains of Binna Burra Lodge were clearly visible from Roisins Lookout along with the brown scarring in the tree lines, indicative of the path of the fire.
Day four and it was time to head home. We basically retraced our forward route stopping at Johnstone Park in Rosewood for smoko and to farewell Barry Jan for their run to Brisbane while the rest of the group headed for Toowoomba.
And yes, the Pie Van was there again and yes some did indulge in pies and mushy peas!
Apparently, Rob and Narelle’s chanting paid dividends as the Mini made a successful return to Toowoomba without a functioning generator; Gary has since repaired the speedo in his BGT V8 the problem being nothing more serious than a loose connection; however, the current fate of Brian’s horn is unknown.
Monthly Run, 27 October, 2019
A weather forecast of 35 degrees for the Lockyer Valley on Sunday, didn’t deter 11 members gathering at Mt Kynoch for the September run. This run, organised by Michael & Marilyn Keating, would take us down the range to Esk via Lake Perseverence. Our first stop was at the Eastern Spillway, where we were able to see some water, at least, in the Lake. It is such a shame that the very dry conditions that are being experienced at present, was evident on the hill sides where many of the native trees had died. It was soon time to move on and head for Esk, through the back roads to connect with the Esk Hampton Road. This road is an MG Owner’s delight, perfect for trying out the cornering manoeuvres on the downhill run. After an hour and a quarter, we arrived in Esk where we had a planned morning tea stop. Although some members had a problem distinguishing their right side from their left, we were soon gathered under the picnic shelters enjoying a much-needed cuppa.
Lunch was beckoning, so it was off again along the Gatton Esk Road, then turning off to follow more quieter roads through the township of Coominya and the small village of Mt Tarampa before arriving at the Tarampa Hotel for lunch. By this time, the effects of the heat were well and truly showing, so a visit to the bar for a cold drink was the first thought on everyone’s mind.
Gene and Faye Lucas were unable to participate in the morning run to lunch, but joined us at the Hotel. Unfortunately, there was some problem with the air conditioning so we had to make do with a gentle breeze from the fans. After an enjoyable lunch, lots of chit chat and trying to solve the world’s problems, members returned home at their own convenience. A good day was had by all.
Participants included Glen & Bev Hadfield, Michael & Marilyn Keating, Gaye Hawkshaw and friend Liz, Darryl & Yvonne Bell, Owen Douglas and mate Ken, Ron & Judy Gillis, Glen & Liz McKone, Cheryl & Frank Francis, Brian & June Phillips, Danny & Toni Gillis, Gary & Janis Lawrence, Gene & Faye Lucas.