Yesterday was the (?) annual Big Things in Store event held at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) annex at Mitchell, ACT. The Mitchell site houses the AWM collection that will not fit at the Memorial and is not normally open to the public.
My husband had been hanging out for this event ever since moving to Canberra, so we very excitedly took the trip out to Mitchell. Upon arriving we were confronted with a queue that went around one corner, and then another. Phew! Luckily a radion station arrived to hand out not-so-cold cans of softdrink.
After queuing for just over 30 minutes and a gold coin donation we were in! I had never seen so much 'junk' in my life. Across two huge storage facilities were spare aeroplanes, tanks, cars, trucks, cannons, carriages, helicopters, navigational equipment, motorbikes, engines, and a whole heap of stuff that makes stuff like this go. The staff seemed to be enjoying being bailed up for questioning/lecturing by enthusiastic visitors. There were plenty of kids along for the ride too, and not a tantrum in sight.
Outside we were entertained by a brass/woodwind band that played wartime ditties, effectively setting the mood. A small marching band amused the queuing crowds with lots of rat-a-tat-tatting and tossing of drumsticks.
There was also a sausage sizzle and some craft activities for children, however mine preferred close inspections of the porta-loos.
The AWM is on Facebook if you are interested in finding out about upcoming events. The AWM website can be found at http://www.awm.gov.au/