This afternoon we had a look at a long line of vintage cars at Johnstone Park near the library, mainly from the 20s and 30s, for the 80th celebration of the Great Ocean Road that goes from about Barwon Heads to Warrnambool. They certainly were different to today's cars! The project employed men who had been in the 1st World War and had no work so it was a massive task to build a road that winds around mountains all the way along the coast.
Today it is a tourist mecca, especially to towns such as Lorne, Apollo Bay and Port Campbell.
The drivers will follow this road over maybe five days and when they get near Lorne it will be interesting as the place is jumping with the Schoolies and very very busy. We talked with some of the owners and many had driven on the freeway from Melbourne going at about 40 or 50 k flat out. At the park there was a small ceremony with Colin Mockett dressed up as Mr Hitchcock who initiated many great projects in the Geelong region nearly a hundred years ago. The Hitchcock name is here, there and everywhere in Geelong!
notes from website about the RACV tour this week.
The Great Ocean Road was conceived by the Mayor of Geelong, Howard Hitchcock during the First World War as a need to link the coastal townships from Barwon Heads to Warrnambool. The Great Ocean Road Trust was formed, and began seeking donations for the Road’s construction. With an employment shortage at the time, upon return from their duties, soldiers from WWI gained employment on the construction of the Great Ocean Road. They carved their way into the cliffs with nothing more than pick-axle & shovel for thirteen years, before the Great Ocean Road was officially opened in Lorne on 26th November 1932. The Great Ocean Road has become recognised as the World’s Longest War Memorial, and in 2011 was given the honour of National Heritage status.