On a warm early March Sunday at 9:30am, over 50 vehicles of a mixture of ages from the 1920s to 1990 appeared outside our Clubrooms for the 48th Mystery Ramble, organized by Joan Paul and Colin Lyon.

With many a cup of tea to be had, and instruction sheet handed out, a briefing was had, and all were soon away. For myself, this was a navigation spot, with Don Cameron in his 1980 Mini 1275GT.
No sooner had we left the clubrooms were we on a scenic trip through Timaru through areas as diverse as the Botanic Gardens and Hunter Hills Drive subdivision – Joan’s instructions being well detailed complete with informative histories of areas travelled through.
Leaving Timaru, it was out through Rosewill and Levels Valleys to reach the Pleasant Point Apiaries – a producer of Honey that certainly deserves to be tried.
As it was, we were lucky to get inside the plant, being that they do not normally do tours. When inside we got the works – a detailed run-down of the process by beekeeper Paul Bartrum, and scenes of honey production in action. With around 3000 hives within the operation, thousands of litres of honey, and tonnes of bees wax, and many more thousands of bees present, a few of us did have to be weary of being stung – a couple of members staying outside in the vast paddock at pack, admiring the vehicles parked within.

For our second venue, it was a scenic cross country trip across Waitohi and the Seven Sisters road, and through Geraldine to reach Stover Farm, a historic property owned by the Mackenzie Family over several generations. The expansive park-like grounds proved within this property proved an ideal location for a summer’s day lunch stop, particularly when there was no shortage of shade under trees to be had for vehicles, and much time could be had exploring the garden, a host to local weddings, and the annual Geraldine Summer Fete. A familiar touch out the front was the presence of  Russell and Joan Paul’s old Hupmobile, now in residence at Stover Farm.
Further exploration was soon made by members beyond the gardens reach, most notably beyond the harvesters, where a number of older vehicles were encountered  – Eddie Gould remembering a number of the parked-up vehicles present from the days when they were running on the Geraldine area roads.

Once everyone reconvened in the garden, Dave Mackenzie gave a great talk about the property, the homestead – clad with Orari River stones – and the garden. Thankyou for organizing Joan and Colin – we eagerly await the 49th.

Shannon Stevenson