The mobile steam engine, soon to be going again at Peter Gerrard’s museum shed.
The mobile steam engine, soon to be going again at Peter Gerrard’s museum shed.

Pete’s Tardis in a shed

GYMPIE'S history in a shed.

From carbide lamps and cream separators to the Peter's Ice Cream signs ('The health food of a nation') from Fred Choy's still-remembered fruit shop - Peter Gerrard has the memories of a century preserved for posterity.

"Freddy made the best malted milks in Gympie," Mr Gerrard recalls.

"I just collect all this rubbish," he says of relics that include non-electronic computers (cash register adding machines from the 1960s), old furniture, a cell door from Ned Kelly's first jail at Beechworth in Victoria, a real 1950s ice chest and even a couple of side-saddles "for the ladies."

There is also a hand operated plunger washing machine, a clearly outdated sign proudly extolling the virtues of asbestos fibre cement, petrol pumps.

But pride of place will soon go to a real working low pressure mobile steam engine.

"It was a horse drawn steam engine. They would take it into the paddock to cut chaff, drive the thresher and it could also power a sawmill.

"It's a good one. You don't see a lot of these in good condition," he said.