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Edition 4, June 2020

Hangar crew is getting back to work

Work on restoring the DC-2 Uiver memorial aircraft resumes on Wednesday June 3 when the hangar reopens with the lifting of restrictions following the coronavirus lockdown. Although there will still be a need for some precautions, volunteers are being encouraged to return, with a fresh drive to restart the restoration of the aircraft after being suspended for almost three months.

Normal working hours will return, starting at 9am on Wednesdays and 8.30pm on Saturdays and as well as welcoming back the regular volunteers, project manager Russ Jacob is also looking to attract new faces to swell the ranks of the hangar crew with the restoration ramping up. The project has received a major boost with the arrival of $15,000 worth of aluminium extrusions, the stringers (pictured) that are a crucial component of the fuselage and will allow the vertical stabiliser to be completed. The drilling out of rivets to remove the skin of the fuselage has begun.

New aluminium extrusions. Picture: Russ Jacob. 

In another acquisition, the hangar now has a 1930s-designed English wheel, a machine used to create the various fairings, for instance between the wings and fuselage.
 

Our English wheel in action. Picture: Russ Jacob. 

 

In a separate development, the Uiver Memorial Community Trust is in discussions with the Albury Council about acquiring the series of 14 brass plaques that tell the Uiver story and once adorned the memorial wall that stood opposite the airport terminal with the DC-2 for 20 years. The plaques have has been in storage since the memorial was demolished.

Meanwhile, attention is also turning to the wing centre section, the next part of the aircraft to be restored. Once completed, the centre section and the fuselage can be put back together. At the same time, a display stand for the landing gear is almost complete. Work has also started on restoring the landing gear.

Want to help?
We need volunteers to help restore the DC-2 and create a museum to tell the story of the Uiver. You can be part of the project. Call Russ Jacob 0418 691 392.
Meet our 'tea lady' who is on a mission

JENNY Tanner provides a vital service for the hangar crew – she provides the sandwiches for morning tea – but there is a lot more to the Jenny Tanner story. The volunteers who tuck into those freshly made morsels can thank the Wagga-born girl’s farm upbringing. “On the farm, the workers need good food to keep going and we always made sure our contractors, the shearers, were well fed,” Jenny said. “The same goes for volunteers in the hangar.”. So when the volunteers return after the present restrictions are lifted, so will Jenny with her sandwiches and a sweet treat, cake and the Tim Tams. Jenny has been providing morning tea since the early days of the project when the plane was still parked in the mud off the airport’s southern apron and there was a race to move it into the Smartair hangar before reconstruction of the adjacent apron closed off access for many weeks.

Jenny, trained as a veterinarian nurse, moved to Albury in 1974 but left the profession in 1979 after suffering nurse burnout, and took up reception, payroll and clerical work at KG Sheetmetal Products, run by Graeme Robinson, a member of Rotary Club of Albury West, then involved in bringing a derelict DC-2 to Albury to create an Uiver memorial, thus began Jenny’s link with that project.

But the Rotary Club had another ambitious plan, to recreate Albury’s paddle steamer history in time for the 1988 Bicentenary celebrations and during 1984-85 launched the Cumberoona project, another local icon to which Jenny was attracted.

Attraction was also happening in Jenny’s personal life, meeting Volvo mechanic Stephen Tanner in 1978. They married two years later and have two sons, now living in Sydney and Adelaide. Jenny works fulltime at the couple’s business, Stephen Tanner Automotive Services in Drome Street, so they get to work together but “There’s no thought of retirement”.

The threat to the Cumberoona brought Jenny into the fray on Mothers Day 2010 when, responding to an advertisement in a shopping centre, she visited a display in Noreuil Park by The Friends of the Cumberoona. The Albury Council at that time was considering selling the paddle steamer and there were fears it would be gutted of its valuable steam engine and broken up. “What irked me was that the Cumberoona had been gifted to the city by the Rotary club to be preserved and maintained and now the city was planning to sell it,” Jenny said. “It seemed so wrong.” Many hours were spent in shopping centres and markets collecting names on a petition and canvassing support. Without the skills and resources to maintain the paddle steamer, The Friends of the Cumberoona could not keep the boat in Albury but supported its sale in 2015 to Robbie and Fraser Knowles who now operate it on Lake Mulwala.

Meanwhile, the Albury council was considering selling the DC-2 Uiver memorial aircraft, another gift from the Rotary Club of Albury West, so Jenny and The Friends of the Cumberoona turned their attention to the fight to not only keep the plane in Albury but create a permanent museum to the Uiver story. They threw their support behind Pieter and Ivo Mol’s plan to restore the aircraft which was ultimately accepted by the council in 2013. Jenny is now a member of the board of the Uiver Memorial Community Trust, as well as a member of the trust’s Community Engagement Committee.

She has also organised the “Uiver Ladies”, a group of six to eight women, mainly wives of the hangar volunteers, who help out with fundraising activities such as mini-fairs on open days or the dinners in the hangar.

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Uiver Memorial Community Trust · 7 Bristol Court · Albury, NSW 2640 · Australia

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