Kernewek Lowender 2005
Report with pictures by Michele and David Coatsworth

Kernewek Lowender is a Cornish festival in the "Copper Coast" (formerly "Copper Triangle") towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo – at the top of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.
This biennial event comemorates the Cornish copper miners of the 1850s.  There are dozens of events spanning an entire week, although the main ones are scheduled for the final 2 days (a weekend), when most people attend.  Of special interest to us on Sunday is the Cavalcade of Cars and Motorcycles – over a thousand veteran, vintage and classic vehicles travelling between the various towns on a journey of more than an hour.  Some participants get involved in the whole festival; others make a special journey from Adelaide (and other places) for this event.

This article appeared in the May 2005 edition of the club’s magazine “Hillman News” – with black & white photos of course.

Cover photo:  It’s “all go” at Kadina Oval as a group of Hillman owners relax after the Cavalcade of Cars run, at the Kernewek Lowender on Sunday 15th May.

On Sunday 15th May, we had the Cavalcade of Cars run at Wallaroo, Moonta & Kadina.  After a late night at Cirque Du Soleil in Adelaide, we were up at 5:15am on the Sunday morning, in preparation for the day.  We threw the picnic basket & chairs in the Imp, prepared lunch, and then waited for our friend Trevor to roll up in his 1968 Monaro GTS 327.  Sure enough, smack on 6:15am, we heard the lovely rumble of Trevor’s V8 coming down the street.  A quick “good morning” to each other, fire up the Imp, and we were off at 6:20am, heading for Port Wakefield to meet up with those that had stopped at the Port Wakefield Motel overnight.  It was a beautiful morning, crisp clear blue skies, and the day was looking perfect.  That was until about 5 kilometres south of Balaklava when we hit quite thick fog.  Suddenly we were doing 50 Kph instead of 110 Kph.  We crept our way through Balaklava and to about 4 kilometres the other side when the fog cleared.  Once again, we were zooming along at the speed limit (?).  Until about 10 kilometres out of Port Wakefield when we disappeared, yet again in fog.  Unfortunately, with no heater in the Imp, the inside of the windscreen would keep misting up, and on the outside it was like rain.  We were only about ½ kilometre out of Port Wakefield when my mobile phone rang.  We guessed that it would be either Barry Hall or Russell Gill calling to see where we were, as we had said that we would be at the Motel at 7:15 to meet them and have a quick cup of coffee.  Sure enough, it was Barry Hall calling, and I gathered by Michele’s conversation that Barry was asking how far away we were.  Well by this time, we were pulling up at the intersection at Port Wakefield Road, with the Motel on the opposite side of the street.  As we stopped, we looked across to the Motel car park, and there was Barry on his mobile.  We both pulled into the car park and said our good mornings to everyone.  It was exactly 7:15am.  Not bad, 92 kilometres in an hour.  Beverley Gill appeared, asking if we all wanted a coffee.  There were three resounding replies of “yes.”  The coffee went down a treat.  Along with us in the car park were Ian & Brenda Kitto, Ross & Marlene Kemp, Joyce Hall and of course Russell & Beverley Gill.
It was an opportune time to give the Imp a quick wipe over with the chamois (no pun intended) to get rid of all the rubbish the wet roads had thrown over her.  Barry, Russell, Ian & Ross were simply wiping off the very heavy overnight dew from their cars.  It was about 7:35am when we all hit the road heading for Wallaroo.  Ian suggested that we all meet outside the gates of the grain terminal at the starting point, so that we could all be in line.  We all agreed, and set off.  Ian led off, and we all followed up Port Wakefield Road and turned off heading for Kadina and Wallaroo.  It was only a short distance up the road that we came to an overtaking lane, and we did.  The Imp, followed by the beautiful bright yellow Monaro quickly passed Ian & Brenda, and Ross and Marlene.  Michele and I commented on the fact that there seemed to be a lot less traffic, i.e. classic cars on the road this time.  From memory, we only overtook one other car on the way to Kadina, when in previous years there has been a large number of classics heading that way.  Anyway, we decided to top up with petrol at Kadina, so that we didn’t have to muck around on the way home.  Trevor followed us over the railway crossing into the BP service station and we put just over 10 litres into the Imp.  Back out onto the road heading for Wallaroo, and still no sign of a lot of traffic until about 2 kilometres out of Wallaroo, just before the turn off into the marshalling point.  We followed an Austin Cambridge and a 1957 Vauxhall to the entrance gates.  There were a couple of Trevor’s mates in their Monaros parked on one side of the road, and so he pulled in to join them.  We pulled up on the other side of the road, called out to Trevor to enjoy his day, and waited for the rest of our gang to arrive.  We probably hadn’t waited 2 minutes when Ian & Brenda pulled into view, and Ian kindly let us in, in front of him, to lead a group of Hillmans into the starting point.  We were in the 3rd row of cars, about ½ way down the line.  We locked up our cars and headed for the registration tent.  This out of the way, it was time for breakfast and another cup of coffee.  The “double” sausage sandwich was lovely, washed down by another cup of hot coffee.  What a way to start the day!!!!   At one point while a group of us were standing around having our breakfast, the commentator who was walking around chatting to people walked over to say hello to us.

A superb Ford GT40 (replica) one of three that lead the parade.

I was wearing our HCC jacket, and noticing all the Hillman badges on it, he casually asked me if there was any Imps in our club.  Yes, was my reply, we own one.  Turns out, he was quite a fan of Imps, and so we spent 10 minutes chatting about old racing Imps, and their drivers.  He even remembered the old V8 powered Imp driven by Harry Le Foe in the late ‘60’s early ‘70’s.  He even told us of an “all ladies” race at Melbourne’s Calder many years ago, all driving Imps.  That would have been something to see J

He we all are, lined up ready for the start.

It wasn’t long before he was called away to carry out some official business and so we carried on finishing our breakfast.  After about ½ hour of milling around the registration area, we all went our separate ways to start looking at some of the vehicles entered.  There was a magnificent array of cars.  You name it, and it was probably there.

A 1948 Commer truck, owned by a couple from Wallaroo.

We spent the next hour walking up and down the lines of cars, and often chatting to the owners.  It wasn’t long until we heard the commentator say that it was time to start your engines ready for the parade to begin.  It was about 9:55am when the first car pulled away to start the run.  The first row of cars slowly started to disappear heading for the starting line, to be flagged away by the ever popular Glen Dix.

Chalk & Cheese.  A magnificent Ferrari, followed by a Lightburn Zeta.  You can just see some Hillmans behind the Ferrari.

The 3 times we have been in this run, we have always ended up in the 3rd (very long) row of cars.  I remember that in 2003 it was about 11:15am before we actually started.  I don’t know whether it was better organisation this year, but at 10:40am, we were away.  Michele was now in charge of our video camera, and she was busy filming as we went past the start line.  We heard the commentator describing our Imp, and the in front of us was Glen Dix madly waving us across the line.  We were travelling behind a very large Hudson Wasp, I guess about a late 1940’s model.  Watching it roll and lurch around the corners was quite entertaining.  We travelled about a kilometre out of the starting point and we had just turned right to travel along the Wallaroo foreshore, which was looking fabulous on the day, when I heard Michele say “Oh bugger”.  You guessed it; the video camera battery had gone flat.  Bit strange really, it is supposed to be good for about 45 minutes filming, but we had only done 17 minutes.  Time to spend up big and look for a 4-hour battery.  So the video camera was put back into the bag and replaced with the still camera.  Even at this early stage of the parade, we could see the terrific amount of spectators lining the streets.

The Hudson Wasp in front of us as we pass under the grain conveyor that feeds onto the Wallaroo Jetty.

We made our way around the streets of Wallaroo, and once again remarked about the large crowds that line the street.  At the end of the street that leads onto the jetty, an entire “fun fair” is set up, and here the crowds are huge.  We travel past the new Marina that has been made over the past few years, noticing the magnificent houses and the masts of many large yachts berthed in the canals below them.  We eventually turn into the main street of Wallaroo to once again find it jammed packed with people.  At the end of the street we turn left over the old railway lines and I hear a yell from someone in the crowd.  It turned out to be the mechanic who services all of our fork lifts at work.  We start to head out of Wallaroo heading for Moonta.  The crowds are still amazing, with just about every youngster holding up some sort of hand written sign.  It was usually either “honk your horn” or “do a burnout” or when it was a line of about 8–10 kids, it was a series of scorecards giving you a score out of 10.  Luckily our scores remained fairly high, and we did see several 10’s.
The streets of Moonta were still jammed packed with people and with all of the intersections being controlled by Police, the run was non-stop.  The day had turned out perfectly and we were driving along with all the windows open.  We could hear all the usual comments about Hillman Imps.  It is amazing how much trouble some groups of people go to, to have themselves set up for the day.  One lot were set up on the back of a 20 foot table top truck, complete with bar facilities which was obviously being put to good use.  Everybody was enjoying themselves.

Here we are overtaking what we believe was the 1908(?) Humberette (actually, it’s a 1903 model – Ed.), with the Hudson Wasp still ahead of us.

After doing the rounds of Moonta, it was onto Port Hughes.  Here you travel along a bit of the waterfront, and the sea was absolutely sparkling on this glorious day.  It was interesting to see quite a number of the double storey sea front homes for sale.  Probably cashing in on the recent real estate boom.  Many of these places selling for $80,000 only 5 years ago are now going for $400,000.  Lucky we didn’t have our cheque book with us.J  Port Hughes is a very pretty spot, and even the visitors in the caravan park set up along the fence for an enjoyable day, and who could blame them.  We also noted a huge new “estate” out the back of Port Hughes, where 2 years ago it was basically just wasteland.  There were already several very luxurious houses built on the estate.  Hate to imagine what the blocks and house are costing.

Ian & Brenda Kitto had been following us from the start, but somewhere around the Port Hughes area, they disappeared.  After Port Hughes you travel away from the coast and head inland through farming country heading north towards Kadina.  We were still following the “wallowing Wasp” noting with interest the movements of the front suspension.  It appeared that on many occasions, if the steering wheel was pointing in the same direction as the front wheels, it was purely coincidental.  There were quite a few times when the driver had to back off and slow down to enable, especially the right front wheel, to catch up with the rest of the car.  Not far out of Port Hughes on a straight stretch of road, we noticed Ian & Brenda parked on the roadside.

As soon as Ian spotted us, there was a cloud of dust from the rear wheels as Ian “light it up” to get in front of us.  Unfortunately the “Wallowing Wasp”, whose driver probably wasn’t aware of what was happening, decided that a bit of (minor) evasive action was required, swung over the centreline to give Ian a bit more room.  It certainly was an entertaining few seconds from where we were watching, even if the manoeuvre was unwarranted.

Now we have the rear end of a different car to look at.

The run from Port Hughes is a good long one, and it is very easy to sit on the 100 Kph speed limit for many a kilometre.  Just about every entrance to farms has several 4WDs sitting there with a waving crowd of people sitting nearby.  It isn’t long before we reach the outskirts of Kadina.  Normally you can get held up here several kilometres out of the town.  This time though, we cruised into Kadina, generally just nipping along in 2nd gear.  At the major roundabout, just as you are about to cross over the railway lines into the main street of Kadina, Ian and the rest of us following were stopped by a policeman on duty, letting some traffic through heading for Wallaroo.  We sat at the roundabout for about a minute and were then given the go ahead to make our way into Kadina.  We crossed over the railway lines heading the main street.  Of course, because we had waited so long at the roundabout, we had lost sight of the cars in front, and so Ian turned left at the BP garage instead of going straight ahead.  This wasn’t a problem, as Ian simply took the first street on his right and was then going to make another right turn to bring us back onto the main street where the crowds were eagerly awaiting the passing of some Hillmans.  We were following Ian fairly closely, and Barry & Joyce Hall were behind us.
Ian obviously saw the first street on his right, thought to himself, “this will get me back to the main street” and swung the Minx hard right at the intersection.


There just happened to be “No Entry” signs on either side of the street.  This didn’t stop Ian, of course.  That was until he spotted 2 motor cycle police parked at the other end of the street blocking traffic from the main road.  Michele and I we now killing ourselves laughing at Ian’s misadventure, but we were glad that nothing had been coming the other way.  (the correct wayJ) As we drove past the end of the street, we saw Ian pulling into the kerb, obviously ready to do a U-turn to come back out the street the correct way.  We motored on the down the street and several hundred meters further on came to a stop sign, at which the cavalcade was coming from our right.  Thankfully a kind gentleman in his Hillman Gazelle (Ross & Marlene Kemp), let us back into the traffic.  It was only another few hundred metres up the road that we turned into the Kadina Oval.  We were directed onto the oval and we all made our way to just under the goal posts, and managed to park side by side making a nice display.

Side by side on the oval

Most of us made our way over to the Football Club Clubrooms either to find something for lunch or to find the toilets.  Once we made our way back to the cars, it was time to set up for lunch and so tables & chairs came out of the boots and we set up behind our cars.
It was quite a warm afternoon, and most of us were wishing for some sort of shelter.  Unfortunately, there is a rule that no tent pegs are supposed to be used while on the oval and so Barry Hall kept his shelter in the boot.  We were just eating lunch, when we heard a familiar voice saying Hello.  It was Margaret McKay, over from Melbourne.  (former HCC members) Husband Brian was busy parking their car when they had spotted us enter the oval.  So Margaret came over to catch up with us.  She was telling us of the eventful trip over in their newly acquired 1951 Hillman Minx.  Somewhere along the road, the distributor decided to seize, tearing distributor caps, rotor buttons etc from where they should be.  Fortunately, they were only about 20 kilometres from a small country (farming) town, (can’t remember which) and so the RAA trailered the now motionless car there.  I guess one advantage of breaking down in a Hillman in a farming area, is that everyone knows someone that still has cars and/or parts in the sheds.  According to Margaret, the RAA service man made a few phone calls, and overnight, parts came from everywhere.  The seized and broken distributor shaft had been sent somewhere to be welded and repaired and by the time they were back on the road heading for Adelaide, they even had a boot full of distributor parts and rotor buttons.
It wasn’t long before Brian appeared and stayed and chatted for about 10 minutes.  Brian & Margaret eventually headed off for their car, and lunch.

It was about 3:00pm when most of us decided to pack up and head for home, hoping that the traffic heading for Port Wakefield wouldn’t be to busy.  It took us s few minutes to make out way out of the oval, through Kadina and out onto the main Kadina - Port Wakefield road.  We were able to sit on the speed limit all the way, just slowing down for the last ½ kilometre before the major intersection a kilometre out of Port Wakefield.  We are lucky, as we turn off the highway here, and head for the Barossa Valley.  From Port Wakefield to home we didn’t see a single car, whereas Port Wakefield road heading for Adelaide would have been fairly busy.

It had been another terrific Cavalcade of Cars.  With a bit of luck, in 2 years time, we will be doing this run in the Husky.  If you haven’t done this run before, you should.  It is a great fun day out.

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