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Midweek Gallivant to the Helensville Pioneer Museum

We’re MG Car Club event virgins. (May 4 2010) Having bought our 1998 metallic purple MGF on a whim last Easter, we’ve been along to a couple of club meetings, but that’s it. So we decided it was about time we showed our faces (and car) at a real event. ‘Let’s try something small and quiet’ said Art, ‘that Mid-week Gallivant to Helensville looks just the thing…..’
The meeting point was in Mills Lane, Albany ‘opposite the Mitre 10 Mega’. Only one problem here – being reasonably new to Auckland we’d seen the one at Tristram Avenue, and thought that was Albany! So a short panic later (when we couldn’t find Mill Lane or a single MG) we drove a tad further on up the motorway and, with three minutes to spare, found the right Mitre 10. Plus 15 MG’s. So much for a small event!

Everyone was great and very welcoming – it was so nice to be met by such a friendly group. We were provided with very detailed instructions on how to get to Helensville via a lovely country route, and of a walk along the river that we could do after lunch. I decided that I’d navigate, and Art would drive, mainly because his idea of navigating is ‘follow that car’! As it so happens, that’s exactly what we did – following the red TF in front all the way - but that’s not the point! I followed those instructions to the letter.
We arrived at the Helensville Pioneer Museum at about 11:30 am, and were directed onto the field by the museum. It was quite a sight – 15 MG’s gleaming in the autumn sunlight in front of three lovely original New Zealand buildings. One of the volunteers gave us an overview of Helensville’s history, including why it’s called Helensville. Apparently John McLeod was one of the original town members. He had a wife called Helen – and she had a villa. Hence ‘Helen’s Villa’!

The museum is small, but has some lovely items in it. The middle house has been renovated to as it would have been in the 1910’s – even to the bloomers hanging in front of the fire. At the end is the Court House, with the original judge’s chair, defendants dock, and witness stand.
Then it was off to the railway station, and the ‘Ginger Crunch Café’ for lunch. There’s a good selection, and each cup of coffee comes (of course!) with a small square of Ginger Crunch slice. This is where I have to apologise for my appalling memory for names. We had lunch with some very friendly members, including an NZ couple living in the UK who’d been delayed by the Icelandic volcano from returning. The conversation ranged from MG clubs in Europe, to hydroponic horticulture.
After lunch we took a very pleasant stroll along the railway line, then the river with another couple of members, taking in a few local art & antique shops along the way. It was a great day to a lovely venue, with perfect weather. As reasonably new members, we were made to feel very welcome. So just to say to the organizers and to everyone who attended, many thanks for making our first event such an enjoyable one.

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mg_trips/helensville.txt · Last modified: 2012/04/07 21:10 by art
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