Excursion to McClelland, Arthur's Seat and Hickingbotham Winery Dromana April 2023

We all met up at the Shed and caught the Stonnington Community Bus down to the magnificent McClelland art gallary, starting with their delicious scones with cream and raspberry jam. A wander around the property followed, then up to Arthur's Seat and a ride on the "Eagle".

After a light lunch on the Dromana foreshore, we were driven to the Hickingbotham Winery and some of us even sneaked a taste of the sweet grapes on the vine.

Back at 3.30 after a very relaxing day among friends.

Excursion to Williamstown and Altona on December 8th 2022

After a coffee at a local cafe, another very interesting adventure. We found out many, many facts about the Willianstown and Altona foreshores which are not obvious from a casual visit. Too many to mention here though. Then a visit to the Hobson's Bay Men's Shed. Incredible organisation - over 300 members, every conceivable interest group catered for (see the pictures). Lunch and more coffees at the Rockabye Cafe in Altona.

Excursion to Werribee and Wyndham Vale Oct 28th 2022

Ten of us gathered at the Shed early morning and headed off to the Wyndham Park Community Shed where we were warmly welcomed. They had separate areas for woodwork, jewellery making, mosaics, electronics, bike repairs,3D printing, metal work and gardening. A terrific setup.

Then to the Racecourse Hotel for lunch - real food at real prices.

Finally, we continued on to the World War 2 B-24 Liberator Bomber restoration project which has been active for over 30 years.

Thank you Gregor for organising the field day. A very interesting one again.


The visit to the Shrine of Remembrance and the MCG July 2022


On Thursday 28 July, 8 Men’s Shed members had a very enjoyable and informative visit to the Shrine of Remembrance and the MCG. We began our outing at the Shrine of Remembrance, where we were hosted by our guide who gave us a very comprehensive tour of it. The emphasis in the Shrine is, naturally, on the first and second World Wars, but the Vietnam War is also covered. The tour also included the very impressive new basement museum..

Some of us made the steep climb to the balcony, where we had a fantastic view of the surrounding gardens and of the vista up St Kilda Road. It is apparent from that, how brilliant the selection of the Shrine site was.

We then moved on to the MCG where our Shed member Gregor Howie, who is an accredited MCG guide, gave us a tour of the ground and its facilities. We inspected the hallowed turf, but were not allowed to walk on it. Nevertheless, several feet managed to find their way under the rope sufficiently to touch the grass. No subsequent fines have been issued!

We also explored the Members’ section of the ground including the players’ change rooms in the basement. We then had lunch at the café and proceeded to the MCG Museum which contained a wonderful collection of sporting memorabilia and related paraphernalia. We saw the bell which was used to ring the quarter and half time breaks at the footy up to 1956! We also saw the Shane Warne hologram which was excellent. Thoroughly recommended.

Our Big Day Out to the Docklands 30th June 2022

A group of 9 of us met at our Shed at 9.30am and in 2 cars we took off to the Docklands.

Our first stop was a tour to inspect the Alma Doepel. The oldest wooden three masted tall ship built in 1903 and is now being totally restored by volunteers in a massive shed at the Docklands. Wiikepedia has some fascinating reading and history of this amazing ship.

Back to our cars and off to Queens Warehouse Docklands which was nearby to see the Lindsay Fox Car Museum. We were all fascinated with the unbelievable collection of rare and prestigious cars. There were dozens of cars – Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche and other dream cars. We enjoyed the guided tour and left the Museum wishing we could own one of the Classics.

We walked across the road to a food court for lunch and then back to the Shed after a great day out.

Walking Tour South Geelong Thursday 28th April 2022

Our group met at Southern Cross Station and we chatted, laughed and enjoyed the very interesting scenery on our way to Geelong South. After a very short walk we came to the massive GMHBA Stadium where the GEELONG CATS have their home.

While there we met up with Geelong's CEO Steve Hocking and had great coffee & delicious scones for morning tea.

We then walked about 1 km to the White Rabbit Brewery and Barrel Hall.  Their set up is really educational and we learnt a lot about the brewing process. 
After tasting some of their produce we had a light lunch and headed to the city where we came upon a very large and impressive blue stone wall which was in fact the disused Geelong Gaol (now a tourist attraction).

By arrangement we had a very interesting & educational tour of it and saw how it operated, who some of the inmates were and the conditions they lived under.

Finally, a downhill walk back to Geelong South station and back to Melbourne around 5.00pm.

A great day.

Excursion to Mont de Lancey 29th April 2021

Mont de Lancey is a historic homestead in the Yarra Valley (Wandin North), an hour's drive from Melbourne. It was our good fortune to be able to wander up, have a stroll and picnic. What a fabulous place. The old cottage was resplendent with it's authentic fixtures, fittings and furniture. If you are in to C1880 Flemish Bond brickwork enhanced by fabulous tuckpointing, your reward will be even greater.


Excursion to Geelong 22nd March 2021

Hooray - for the first time since Covid, we were able to get away for another excellent excursion organised by Gregor.

We met up at Southern Cross Station before 9.10 (well, all except John who caught up with us later). The train highlight was being able to see the new estates spring up everywhere, sights you miss travelling on the Geelong Rd. A surprise was that the train didn't pass through Werribee but through Tarneit and Wyndenvale which are to the north.

Disembarked at North Geelong Station and took a very pleasant walk down Victoria St which has lots of well kept Edwardian weatherboard cottages resplendent in their art nouveau windows and fretwork. Through Rippleside Park and a very educational stroll along the water front before stopping for a well deserved coffee (or milkshake as the case may be) at the Geelong Boathouse.

Another stroll and had lunch before heading back to the Geelong Station and back to Melbourne mid afternoon.


Excursion to Castlemaine and Newstead 11th February 2020

Once again, a good time was had by all at the excursion to Castlemaine.

Some members decided to head up there by train, others by car.

First stop was the Paddock Eco Village, about 1.5 km from the centre. The intention is to create a beautiful place to live for people who enjoy a green lifestyle. Architect-designed highly efficient homes will be made from timber and some recycled brick, will range in size from 2 to 4 bedrooms, occupying sites between 84 to 120 square metres including a private front and back garden.

Then the group visited the Newstead Men's Shed, about 15km out of town. They gave us a very tasty BBQ lunch and we headed back to the Castlemaine Men's Shed where we were made very welcome before leaving to return to Melbourne.


Werribee and Westgate Park  8th October 2019

A fabulous excursion down to Envision in Werribee and then a BBQ lunch and guided tour around Westgate Park (where the pink lake is just below the bridge.)

Envision have a warehouse where they engage in all sorts of recycling activities. One area has a "machine", for making rope out of used drink pottles, another area is for dismantling used coffee machines and sending the components to other organisations for more value adding. And of course there's the prosthetic limb section which uses plastic bottle tops as its raw material.

Westgate Park was a pleasant surprise. Over the years it's been transformed into a true native garden with native plants and birds. In the water there are even turtles and yabbies.


Sale and Traralgon  8th October 2019

A group of us met at 8.30 at Caulfield Station and headed off to Sale via Traralgon. Not quite a fast train but much more relaxing than driving there.

By midday we were having a coffee at the Sale Men's Shed, a great $18 counter lunch (including a beer or soft drink) before a heritage cruise along the Thompson River to the historic Swing Bridge. A great day.

Thanks Gregor.

Outing to Dingley, Moorabbin and Cheltenham 15th August 2019.

The excursion to the Dingley Men’s Shed, Australian National Aviation Museum and Motor Cycle Café was organised by Gregor Howie and as expected, it was extremely worthwhile and enjoyable. 

The Men’s Shed has 180+ members and is extremely well set up in two large sheds, one housing the machinery and the other, the kitchen and the community areas.

David Alsop showed us around the Aircraft Museum which was fascinating.  A very wide range of aircraft and historical artefacts were on display and we were able to get up close to all of them.

The Naked Racer Bar Café was a memorabilia lover’s delight.  It was full of over 250  Indian and other historical Motorcycles.


Activities Day July 4th 2019.

On Thursday 4th July 2019, ten members and friends travelled by Stonnington Council's bus to Victoria's largest desalination plant at Wonthaggi to experience how Victoria's water supply is being supplemented.

The plant has a guaranteed production capacity of 150 billion litres of water a year and the capability to expand to 200 billion litres a year - enough to fill 178 Olympic size swimming pools every single day.

Rosemary gave us an audio visual presentation and explined how the plant operates. She also conducted a site tour (in our bus) around the plant, indicating what activity occurred in the numerous buildings.

All agreed that the ninety minutes was well spent and we all had a much better idea of what benefit Victorians are receiving because of this facility.

Following this visit, at lunch time we feasted on fish and chips adjacent to the Phillip Island causeway and then proceeded to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum on the island. This was a fascinating place consisting of many outstandingly presented displays of Australia's involvement in that conflict. There were numerous static exhibits of aircraft, helicopters, vehicles and other equipment used in the war, each with their own story explained by our volunteer guide.

The museum is a working museum, meaning that volunteers continue to work on restoring existing and new exhibits.
Regrettably, our time there was too short (just about sixty minutes), but one could well spend at least a good half day there to do justice to the numerous presentations and stories that the volunteers have so carefully put together.

Further information available from www.aquasure.com.au for the desal plant and from www.vietnamvetsmuseum.org for the National Vietnam Veterans Museum.

Paul Rankin