6 June 2023

Snowy Museum gears up to welcome another truckload of mechanical history

| Gail Eastaway
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old truck and a ute

A Scammell Mountaineer 4WD truck, used on the construction of the Snowy Scheme, will soon be relocated to Adaminaby’s Snowy Scheme Museum. Photo: Tim Corkhill.

One of the Snowy Mountains region’s most popular tourist attractions, the Snowy Scheme Museum, is to receive another important part of engineering history.

Museum chairman Tim Corkhill has announced the museum will soon receive a Scammell Mountaineer 4WD truck that was used on the Snowy Scheme.

One of 10 Mountaineers used by the scheme, it was found on a Hunter Valley property where it was lying unused in a paddock for several years.

Leed, one of the partners in the Future Generation Joint Venture, which is constructing Snowy 2.0, has offered to transport the vehicle to Adaminaby, where it will be placed on the museum grounds.

Mr Corkhill said the museum was pleased to accept the vehicle. Once in Adaminaby, it will receive some TLC before being put on display.

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It will join many other impressive vehicles and pieces of equipment in the museum’s collections.

Adaminaby’s Snowy Scheme Museum is a unique collection of memories, equipment and vehicles related to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, completed between 1949 and 1974.

It was officially opened by former Governor General Quentin Bryce AD CVO in 2011.

The museum came to be when an opportunity arose to acquire significant equipment used in the Snowy project.

On April 6, 2002, a unique collection of machinery and vehicles used to run an earthmoving business by the Kennedy brothers (Max and Cliff) was offered at auction.

The brothers had been contractors on the scheme, buying some of the machinery and vehicles to support their locally based operation after 1974.

Interested people came from all over Australia to form part of the 2000-strong crowd, with 600 registered bidders attending the auction. The event drew media attention and was featured on ABC TV’s 7.30 Report.

A month before the auction, a group of local residents formed a committee to retain as much as possible of this history in Adaminaby.

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Frantic activity before the auction saw the committee raise $40,000 from interested individuals and organisations, which allowed the purchase of eight of the ten items identified as the most historically important.

These eight items were the beginning of a unique collection and the formation of an association known as the Adaminaby Snowy Scheme Collection. The idea for a museum was born.

The Adaminaby Snowy Scheme Collection was incorporated in October 2003.

It comprises three collections:

Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme Historical Collection

This is the museum’s core collection, representing material relating to the design, construction and operation of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. It is both representative and selective.

Museum Collection

This part of the collection contains material of historical importance, but it does not meet the higher-level criteria required for inclusion in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme Historical Collection.

Archive Collection

The Archive Collection comprises historically important documents, photographs and/or material that supports and assists in the interpretation of material in all other parts of the collection.

The museum is managed by an elected seven-person committee in accordance with the provisions of the association’s constitution.

The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm and by appointment.

Bookings can be made by phoning (02) 6454 1643.

The museum is on the Snowy Mountains Highway, Adaminaby, virtually opposite the town’s other tourist icon, the Big Trout.

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