THE volunteers behind an antique machinery club have been dealt a double blow with no insurance covering the damaged machinery hit by alleged offenders on an out-of-control rampage.
New England Antique Machinery shed co-ordinator Ian McLennan said while initial estimates suggest the bill is upwards of $12,000, no amount of money will repair the damage.
“It’s just hard to put a value on some of these parts because they are irreplaceable,” he told The Leader, of some of the damaged machinery.
“The volunteers are trying to find the component parts to fit but some of those might not be original.”
Mr McLennan said insurers don’t cover the antique machines for damage, rather only flood and fire – something that ultimately hits the volunteers who own the tractors and trucks and house them in the compound for others to enjoy. On a walk-through of the damaged club, it was hard to miss the damage after two boys, aged just 11 and 12, allegedly tore through the club on Friday night before they were captured by police.
“Anything to do with glass was damaged. A very early-model International truck was damaged when they broke the headlight glasses and tore the steering wheel off its frame,” he said.
Mr McLennan said two fire extinguishers were also set off.
“In my lifetime I have not seen such mindless violence,” he said.
Ironically two young boys stand charged, accused over the break-in – the very generation the club was preserving the historical items for.
“The club is trying to preserve this older equipment for younger generations and preserve the history so future generations can understand our older farming culture,” he said.
Volunteers have mopped up the damage as best they can while they try tosee what can be repaired.
Now the club is looking to beef up security and install external lighting in the hope it won’t happen again.