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John Bell, Martin Beal and Stephen Fox relive boyhood memories while preparing for the inaugural Hills Billy Cart Festival In Mt Helena. Picture: CLAIRE OTTAVIANO

Community spirit drives billy cart fun

COMMUNITY, nostalgia and old fashion fun embody the spirit of the inaugural Hills Billy Cart Festival coming to the streets of Mount Helena on October 28.

Well-known community members John Bell, Martin Beal and Stephen Fox, are reliving boyhood memories to start creating the event’s first billy carts.

Mount Helena resident and event organiser John Bell is encouraging the community to put on their creative thinking caps and start building vintage inspired billy carts and dress up in period costume for the day. 

“All in all it’s a community and family event,” he said.

“We’re also encouraging people to come up from the flats and for businesses to get on board and help sponsor some billy carts made by the Mundaring Community Men’s Shed and our young entrants.”

The Men’s Shed along with the locality’s historical society, arts centre, business association and the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre are pulling together for an all-inclusive day of fun for all ages.

Men’s Shed member Martin Beal is modelling his billy cart on a classic 1930’s Bugatti.

“Being involved in community events is what the Mundaring Men’s Shed is all about,” he said.

Mr Beal said community projects, like making billy carts, were at the heart of the shed’s intention to involve male members in the community, who at times could experience feelings of loneliness and disconnection with the community around them.

With a background in motorsport engineering, Wooroloo resident Stephen Fox, who is also a Mundaring Shire councillor, said the request to make billy cart frames and have a special role in the event attracted him to the project.

“I have a strong background in automotive engineering as well as caravans and electrical trade experience, and this opportunity gave me the ability to engaged and contribute to what’s going on in the community,” he said.

Mr Fox has started work on his first billy cart frame that a community member can then adapt and style as their own.

The race is designed to be safe for all ages and entrants can enter individually or as a business or even as competing school groups.

For more information visit www.hillsbillycartfestival.com

By Claire Ottaviano


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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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