Royal Rumble brings Brits to Cardwell Markets

Cardwell Community Event Brings on the Royal Rumble with Brit cars Harvey & Kay Williams, Glenn and Jacine Martin, Raoul and Janine Cook, Front: Royal Rumble organiser Klaassen, Derek Hadcraft and Holly the dogPhoto by Fiona Croft

The Cardwell Community News Cadetship training course by Fiona Croft, Photographer and Journalist, is sponsored by a Cassowary Coast Regional Council RADF grant. 


ROLLING on from the success of the Cardwell Community Events, Annual Volks Fest hosted the British reply: The Royal Rumble at the Cardwell Jetty Markets on Sunday, September 12, 2021. 


Jags, Stags, real MG’s, and vintage Morries were amongst the historic automotive triumphs, not forgetting the Triumphs with a capital ‘T’.


The marques represented evoked a Britain emerging from an era sound-tracked by the wind up of a long stroke, and interiors as cloying as your great aunt’s sitting room.  Moving into overdrive past British Motor Corporation’s (BMC’s) cookie-cutter rationalisation and the endless debate on Lucas to set the pace of the Swingin’ Sixties and Stylin’ Seventies.


You could have believed you were in Blighty under the slate grey skies with just a slight mizzle, were the temperature in Cardwell not four times what it would have been in Britain. But the rain held off and the burbling British beauties took centre stage along with trio Attori’s sweet dream sounds of the Eighties.


Mission Beach resident Ron Byrnes’ MG 1100 sedan looks for all the world like a ‘back then’ common garden-variety Morris with a snazzy two–tone finish and swish red leather interior….because that’s what it is. An example of the BMC’s cookie-cutter ‘badge engineering’, but an immaculate one. Unlike the Morris Minor, produced from 1948 to1971, this car was not a common sight in Australia, a very rare car on our shores even back then.


Some came for the food, and lingering tourists found the markets by chance.


“I’m just here for the donuts, but I do like the blue and white one,” said Alessero Riggotti, a regular market goer, referring to the most unassuming Morris.


Rebuilt from the floor up by Ron himself, with love from an auto affair that began when he bought to life his first wreck, a 1929 Austin Seven.


“I bought it with money from my paper round – at age twelve,” Mr Byrne said. 


We’re in the realm of the obsessed here!


Mr Harvey’s opalescent Blue MK ll Jaguar cruised down from the Tablelands for the Royal Rumble, its now superb finish bearing no evidence of 12 years in a shed. 


There is the promise of more hidden treasured autos to be revealed next year from garages and sheds across the nation.


Derek Hadraft’s Townsville pre-war stoic Morris Z, with wooden tray Ute, was working hard to sit on 80 km’s per hour all the way from Cairns. 


Winner of the Most Popular Car on the day was North Queensland Jaguar Car Club President Nigel Miller’s Jaguar XJS. Nigel, from Townsville, powered his ‘daily drive’, up to Innisfail after the parade.


“Just because I could,” Mr Miller said.


Fierce but friendly competition


Friendly rival and owner of the immaculate Triumph GT6 Mk lll, Mr Raoul Cook, took a win in the yellow GT6 Triumph owned by Nigel Miller – Cairns President of FNQ Car Restorers. Raoul beat Nigel into second place in the precision parking competition after they drew when Nigel challenged Raoul to swap cars for the decider. Maybe stick with the power steering in a parking comp next time Nigel and all the best of British to you all.


The Cardwell Lions Club’s egg and bacon rolls were in demand, along with the fruit and veggies, juices, Jane’s Healthy Options, and Troppo’s Pickles and Marinades rounded out the new and regular fabulous Jetty Markets’ many attractions.


A great backdrop to get up close to these sleek and solid four-wheeled machines from a glorious past. Back when, for class and innovation, Britannia ruled the roads.


Royal Rumble and Volks Fest organizer Michael Klaassen from Cairns said that there has been great interest for this newly formed event for British cars in Queensland.


Mr Klaassen drove down from Cairns in his TR7 Triumph, (formerly raced by seven-time Bathurst Race winner Jim Richards). In 1980 and 1981, it was raced in the Pro car series at Amaroo by legends such as Jack Brabham, Dick Johnson, Colin Bond, and Bob Morris.


“This inaugural event – the Royal Rumble will become a club event next year in Cardwell. It really showcases the area and the facilities, and the club presidents and members of Cairns and Townsville Car Clubs look forward to next year’s bigger and better event.”


Community punching above its weight


“For a small community, the Cardwell Community Events team are really punching way above their weight in Far North Queensland and these events in Cardwell are just going to develop over the years into the future.”


Cardwell Community Events organizer, Thea Ormonde said these British cars from a bygone era are becoming a rarity and the Cardwell foreshore displayed the vehicles in all their ‘hope and glory’. 


“This is our first year for the British cars, and the last themed Cardwell Jetty Market for the year. A successful but challenging year for our volunteers, with knowledge under their belt for facilitating events during a pandemic,” Ms Ormonde said.


“It’s reassuring that the community is behind us – it’s evident in the attendance numbers,” she stated.


“By continuing to put on markets, we’ve been able to have quality stalls and it’s a great community connector where people who are hidden away can come out for the day,” she advised.


“It’s wonderful that a volunteer community organisation can bring social and economic benefit to the town of Cardwell and the surrounding region,” Ms Ormonde said.

With the last market finished, the Cardwell Community Events Volunteers are all taking a well-earned break, but first there will be a brainstorm for 2022. Look out for the date and, if you wish to volunteer, please contact cardwellcommunityevents@gmail.com

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