The doors of the Gippsland Vehicle Collection and Model World Maffra might have been closed over the lockdown period, but our volunteers were far from idle.
We have been back to our usual opening hours of 10am to 4pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday for just over a month, and when our regular visitors walk through the doors it is immediately clear that a lot of work has been going on.
“We have re-designed the entire entryway and retail area at the front of the Museum, partly to accommodate new social distancing and sanitising requirements and partly to complete a refresh that had been planned for a while,” GVC vice-president Peter Quennell, said.
“The front counter and some shelves have been moved to provide sufficient room for people to wait for service, and the layout for the retail area has been changed to create much more open space for people to move around in.
“In line with the times we are living in, a screen has been installed at the counter and there are areas where hand sanitisers are provided.”
Outside, our rail project continued with the restoration of the Guard’s Van. Built in 1956 it is the first of 40 of its kind and was used on the Maffra line when it was in service. Once completed, it will be mounted on tracks at our existing railway platform, a relic from the building’s days as a dehydrated vegetable factory during the WWII years. Along with a fuel tanker and goods carriage, the van will form the basis for a new rail memorabilia display.
Work has also been underway on a new feature – a photographic montage of every vehicle manufactured or assembled in Australia, which will be a significant addition to our permanent collection.
“At this point, we can have about 20 visitors at the Museum at one time and it is unusual for anyone to have to wait before they come through,” Peter said.
“Like everyone, we are finding our way under new operating circumstances and the well-being of our volunteers and patrons is of paramount importance to us. But the size of the building, the way it is set out, and the nature of the Museum means that we are quite well equipped to get on with things.”
Peter added that there would not be any events held at the site in the next couple of months, but the Executive Committee is planning for a changeover and display day in November. At that point, the current Marvels of Maffra exhibition will make way for Racers (Competition Cars).
In the meantime, our members are invited to participate in a Bushfire Rally to support the communities of Bruthen, Buchan and Orbost on Sunday, 11 October, 2020.
The Gippsland Vehicle Collection and Model World Maffra is located at 1A Sale Rd, Maffra and is open 10am to 4pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, plus every day in the school holidays. For more infomation, find us at www.facebook.com/gippslandvehiclecollection.