IT had nothing to do with motors — but a five-legged lamb became a key attraction in Orford yesterday.
Decades have passed since the last footy match was played at Orford’s recreation reserve.
As people moved into town and blue gums swallowed up farms the district’s population fell.
But on a weekend each January, the picturesque oval circled by gum trees is packed, but the cricket pitch is empty and no one’s kicking a ball.
Instead farmers and self-taught engineers have come from around the corner and afar for a motor mecca.
It was an anxious week for organisers of Orford’s 25th vintage motor rally. Unbearable heat would have killed crowd numbers and total fire bans can trigger event cancellations. It’s not impossible for the old time motors to send the sparks flying.
Entrants and competitors who camped at the oval for the weekend were happy enough to breathe in the fumes.
Chuckling motors powered everything from showers to shearing clippers — although the five-legged lamb, with the extra limb on its back, was spared from any demonstration.
Appreciation of the old motor’s place on the farm is a drawcard, organiser Terry Rowbottom explained.
“Some of it has come down from generation to generation,” Mr Rowbottom said.
“We’re really happy with how it’s gone. If it had been hot there would have been a lot less (people here).”
The rally had humbler beginnings, committee member John Goodland said.
“The rally originally started at the late Colin Young’s farm,” he said.
Largely a get-together for locals, some travel from as far as South Australia, but it’s not exactly the hot rod equivalent for farmers.
“You can’t polish rust,” Mr Goodland said.
Shane Kenny had to load a sizable 1948 tractor on to a truck from his home in Hamilton to compete in a tractor pull.
“It’s just a lot of fun and entertainment,” he said.
“I do earthworks in Hamilton so I’ve been around machines all my life.”