Home' Journeys : Feb Mar 2016 Contents Alistair MacLennan of
Tunbridge, though originally
Scottish, was an RACQ member
for nine years after arriving in
Australia and has been an RACT
member for most of the six years he has
lived here. Now retired, the former chef of Zep’s in
Campbell Town has been able to pursue his hobby of
restoring interesting cars.
What are you working on
at the moment?
I’ve just finished a very unusual
car – a Morris Marshal.
They were built in Australia
between 1957 and 1960, but
only about 1500 were built
altogether. It was based on the
British Austin Westminster
and it had a 3-litre six-cylinder engine. A good many of these
engines have been used to revive ailing Austin-Healey 3000s,
which makes them even rarer than they were.
How did you come by the car?
I saw it out of the corner of my eye on the way through St
Marys. The St Marys ‘Cranks and Tinkerers’ had it and I was
able to get them to part with it. It was on four wheels, but
only just – it was sitting on wooden blocks instead of springs
and just about every other part of the car was in half-a-dozen
How long did it take?
Three years to get it running. I completely reconditioned
the engine, so it’s basically brand-new. Fitting the engine
is interesting – you lower the car onto the engine/subframe
assembly instead of the other way around. And everything is
correct, right down to the boomerang on the grill. It’s still in
its original paint, too.
Is it a Tasmanian car?
Yes, it was bought new in Launceston and before St Marys it
was at Kings Meadows High School, donated by a Launceston
RACT member as a possible mascot. It was built in the same
year the school was.
You’ve restored a few cars. Anything special?
I restored the Standard Twenty that Craig McLachlan drives
in The Dr Blake Mysteries on ABC TV. That car, by the way,
has a Holden 202 motor in it!
The Morris Marshal has just sold to the UK (where it will be
unique), so I can move on to my next project – a pair of Morris
1100s. One of them I’m going to convert to an MG!
Interview: Philip Blake
its special status as a pristine place, with negative effects for our
tourism and primary industries.
We are already doing so much to protect our natural environment.
Our biologists are carefully monitoring the pests and pathogens,
we have extensive weed eradication programs in place and our
quarantine procedures are second to none. But it only takes one
careless act, one person in the wrong place, even one drop of water,
to bring all our efforts to nothing.
The sole of a walking boot, a dirty vehicle chassis or a contaminated
pair of waders can carry one of these harmful hitchhikers
somewhere it just shouldn’t be.
So we need your help. In the same way that you wipe your feet
before you enter a house or wash your hands before you eat, we
need you to consider your ‘environmental hygiene’ when you’re
out and about. It’s actually very easy to do the right thing, but
it depends a little on the kind of activity you’re doing, whether
that’s fishing, bushwalking, four-wheel driving or kayaking. The
right approach is summed up in our slogan, CHECK CLEAN
(DISINFECT) DRY. Check for any source of contamination (soil,
water, plant material), clean your gear and dry it thoroughly to
deprive the nasties of the moisture they need to survive. Drying
is often tricky in Tasmania – especially with gear like neoprene
waders – which is why we’ve included the ‘disinfect’ step. If there’s
any doubt, we ask that you treat your gear with F10, a non-toxic
veterinary disinfectant available from NRM South.
Protection is also a simple matter of planning where you go, so that
you’re not unintentionally spreading nasties from ‘dirty’ areas into
clean ones. If you’ve been to a high-risk area, don’t go somewhere
else until you’ve taken precautions.
The more people who do the right thing, the lower the risk of a
damaging incursion of a pest, weed or pathogen. And if a problem
does arise, if it isn’t too widespread it will be easier to manage.
Check out www.nrmsouth.org.au/biosecurity for more
information on how to Check Clean (Disinfect) Dry for
the activities you have planned for your next Tasmanian
holiday. This project is supported by NRM South and the
Tasmanian Biosecurity Network, through funding from the
Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Having a field hygiene kit in your vehicle enables you to clean your
gear on the move
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 Journeys 9
IN OUR COMMUNITY
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