Jul 18

Billy cart builders prepare

Coniston resident Harry Neilson with the billy cart he raced in Port Kembla in 1941. Picture: ROBERT PEETWOLLONGONG ADVERTISER

Port Kembla Billy Cart Derby entrants are performing last-minute tweaks before sending their carts thundering down Wentworth Street on November 15.

Derby veteran Harry Neilson, whose vintage kerosene and steam-powered farm machinery will be on display at the event, recently unveiled the wooden cart he raced during the 1940s.

The 79-year-old’s first billy cart derby, known then as the Spitfire Run, was in 1942 as a seven-year-old and despite a few races, he never finished an event, laying the blame on his cart’s steel wheels.

“The steel wheels on the concrete would send us straight into the barriers and I never made the finish line,” Mr Neilson said.

The 2014 event has strict safety provisions – carts have to comply to race specifications, including a restricted turning circle to stop carts heading into the barriers.

The derby will feature soapbox, weird and wacky, junior and senior special and industrial and commercial races on Wentworth Street from 8am.

Entertainment includes the Big Sounds program on Allan Street, featuring Wollongong Harmony Chorus, which has been rehearsing each week.

Information: Port Kembla Billy Cart Derby on Facebook

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