BIG AND SMALL: The Allora Heritage Weekend on Australia Day weekend, January 24–25.
BIG AND SMALL: The Allora Heritage Weekend on Australia Day weekend, January 24–25. Contributed

Jam-packed month to kick off busy new year

JANUARY promises to be a big start to 2016, with plenty of events filling up the calendar.

Australia Day is coming up fast, and alongside Warwick's Leslie Park celebrations and cricket carnival is the Allora Heritage Weekend.

The internationally acclaimed event, held annually at the Allora Showgrounds since 1995, swells Allora's population by thousands for the Australia Day weekend.

The event attracts enthusiasts from across the country and has suffered weather interruptions in recent years.

Veteran and Vintage Vehicle Club president Peter Stacy said this year would be bigger and better than ever as the festival celebrates 20 years.

"As long as the weather stays on our side this year we will get in excess of 5000 people on the Saturday and again on the Sunday," he said.

"It's a huge weekend - it takes the whole day just to get around and see everything on display."

Mr Stacy said this year would see some special guests attend.

"This year will be our 20th anniversary and to celebrate we have invited a few special guests," he said.

"One of the guests of honour will be Legume's single-man sawmill, Ralf Affleck.

"He's a remarkable man and he'll be bringing his own machine called a log skidder."

The 'log skidder' is two tractors bolted together with a homemade mechanism in the middle and has three gearboxes.

When aged in his 50s, Mr Affleck faced retirement from the sawmill where he worked, but was determined to continue working.

Mr Affleck's solution was to build his very own sawmill that can be operated by a single person.

Mr Stacy said he had never seen anything like it before.

"He's now in his 80s but still works three days every week at the sawmill he built," he said.

"The log skidder he will be bringing will lead the grand parade.

"It's an interesting piece of machinery and it will be great to see it on display."

Yangan's Mick Bradford is expected to make an appearance with his team of heavy horses.

"I can just see him wondering into Allora all the way from Yangan," Mr Stacy said.

"Hopefully we will have him pulling his cart around the showgrounds."

The event is a celebration of rural history and heritage and the landscape is a maze of vintage and veteran cars and trucks, antiques, historical machinery, motorcycles and horse-drawn machinery, along with bush poets, country music and more.

Patrons can forage at a massive swap meet on both Saturday and Sunday, and a feature of the weekend is a cent sale held in aid of the Warwick Disability Support Group.

Mr Stacy said the cent sale had raised more than $8000 for the support group.

For more information about the event, phone Peter Stacy on 0408 674 634 or Ted Woodrow on 0418 875 469.



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