IT USUALLY takes something bad to happen to bring out the good in people, and this scenario hits home with a lot more impact when it affects a small community. This was the case recently when a group of low-life scum decided it would be a buzz to torch the Gatton Girl Guides hut.
It took three short months for the locals to band together and organise a huge fund raiser—and what better way to raise funds than to stage a bike and car show? I know what your thinking! Girl Guides, hotrods and motorcycles, what a strange mix! But let me tell you, the show went over really well and all involved were more than happy with the outcome.
The show was held at the Gatton Showgrounds, home of the famous Gatton swapmeet and a venue I have visited many times to watch speedway racing, classic motorcycle displays, and where my brother pulled on his boots for the last time to play in the district QAFL Grand Final. Which team won on the day? Like I said, a lot of fond memories at this historic site.
I caught up with Vikki Carsburg, the district leader of the Gatton Girl Guides for 11 years. She told me the Guides hut was totally guttered during the arson attack and that the replacement cost was going to be up around the $40,000 mark. Not cheap, but to their credit a new site has already been chosen and plans are in place for the new kitchen to be purchased. The bike and car show is just one of many fundraisers underway with lots more to come. Vikki went on to offer a special thanks to the Life and Death Motorcycle Club for its invaluable support towards the organisation of the show.
All the right ingredients were there for a successful show: food and trade stalls, rides for the kids, lots of raffles with some U-beaut prizes, and of course, some shit hot machinery for the masses to check out. The local car clubs pitched in with some excellent displays of their beloved street-fighting V8’s, as well as the wild hotrods and a speedway exhibit.
The majority of bikes entered looked like your ‘ridden daily’ variety of customs, and there was a large number of classy old British iron. I reckon, when it comes to those Bourbon legends of Farmer Joe having an old ‘motorsickle’ stashed away in the disused hay shed, the Gatton and surrounding Downs region has its fair share of tarp covered treasures snapped up by the odd lucky bastard who was in the right place at the right time. But that’s another story…
All the trophies were kindly donated by the Toowoomba Trophy Centre, except for the trophy for Best Bike which was supplied and presented by ‘Old Man’ from Life and Death MC. It was a huge, lethal looking sword in a display case that would have made Excalibur look like a butter knife. The lucky winner was Bill McKee for his immaculately restored Ariel Square Four (Betcha Bill got his fair share of raised eyebrows from passing motorists getting that little baby home!)
All in all it turned out a great day for young and old. I don’t know how much money was raised in the end but every bit helps. Thanks go to the Commercial Hotel, Lockyer Valley Security Services, RD and RA Engineering Works, The God Squad MC, Bandidos MC, and special thanks to the Life and Death MC. Well done, fellas, and to the people of Gatton for making the day a success—cheers.
words & pics by Chuck U Farley