Grandson tests out pop’s billy cart

Jake Wynn ready to try out his grandfather’s billy cart in the Gresford derby on Saturday.Ross Kirby has built many a billy cart in his day, taking advantage of the hills around his Sydney home to test their speed and agility.
Nanjing Night Net

The grandfather was hoping to make last year’s Gresford Billy Cart Derby, an event traditionally held on Easter Saturday in the village’s main street.

“I had plans to move up to Vacy but was in the process of selling my Sydney home and didn’t make it. But when I finally got here last September I vowed I would have one built for this year’s event.”

The streamlined cart has been duly constructed and has been road tested by Ross’s grandson Jake Wynn at his Wyee home.

“It’s very light, constructed of steel with pneumatic tyres and very fast,” he said. “It’s the fastest I’ve ever built.

“I took it down to Wyee a couple of weeks ago so Jake could test it and feel comfortable. We made an adjustment to the brakes and he is very happy with it.

“I believe the record for the course is 21 seconds which is pretty fast and hopefully we can match or break that, especially for Jake’s sake.”

Three generations of the family will steer the cart down the Park Street course – Ross, son Jason and grandson Jake.

“I heard there are some good carts heading for the event but we are pretty positive about our prospects too,” Ross said.

The derby and Easter Fair will start at 9am in East Gresford with racing to continue through until lunchtime.

Spokesperson for the committee Ken Chandler said the competition is often fierce and sometimes farce as the inventiveness of the cart designers is put to the test.

“Drivers can be as young as eight or as old as granddad,” he said. “Some race for the fun and some for the trophies.

“The carts can range from the classy to the kooky but regardless of style and motivation this year there’s an extra condition – safety. The design specifications for carts have been updated and for competitors the rule will be ‘no safety gear – no ride’.

“Two carts, the Pink Pig and the Cow have an ancient rivalry and it’s rumoured this year the Widow Maker will enter the grueling tag team race.

“Last year crowds topped 2000 and 37 carts registered with more than 91 entries – a lot of the carts being used in multiple races by different family members.”

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