From the Newsroom

Wings and Wheels takes off for 2024

Emma Pritchard

Thousands of people were welcomed through the gates of the South Grafton Aerodrome on June 16 as the Grafton Aero Club hosted its popular annual attraction Wings and Wheels for 2024.
With plenty of warm winter sunshine and an abundance of enthusiasm in the air, the historic line up of classic and touring cars, hot rods, motorcycles, go-karts, tractors, and vintage engines, with a collection of aircraft including helicopters, gyros, and warbirds, which attracted plenty of admiration from members of the public.

It was an emotional occasion for Southern NSW visitors Bruce Newstead and Naomi Freelyn as they reminisced about a vehicle which once belonged to their grandfather while viewing a 1926 Austin 7 Chummy.

“Our Grandad was a big-time car enthusiast,” Mr Newstead explained. “He owned a late 1920s Austin Chummy, and it was his pride and joy.” “Unfortunately, he ended up selling it in the 1940s, but he used to tell us stories about how much he loved it and how proud he felt when he drove it,” Ms Freelyn added. “He had a photo of it right up until he passed away.

“We love coming to events like Wings and Wheels because we think it’s wonderful to see a lot of the older vehicles which have been preserved.” Event Organiser Kevin Wilson said the crowd on Sunday was similar to 2023 when an estimated 6000 people attended Wings and Wheels. Speaking with the Clarence Valley Independent earlier this week, he said the South Grafton Aerodrome was “packed at one point.” “It was really pleasing to see so many people come out and support the event again,” he said. “It’s an annual event we host to raise money for a local charity, it highlights the South Grafton Aerodrome, and it allows the Grafton Aero Club to get involved with and give something back to our local community.”

Mr Wilson was especially pleased to see the sun shining on the weekend.
“In April and May, we thought we might have to cancel Wings and Wheels this year because we’d had so much rain and the ground was so wet,” he said.
“But thankfully, it dried up in time.”

In 2023, Wings and Wheels raised $3000 which was donated to the Grafton Base Hospital (GBH) Oncology Unit.
Mr Wilson confirmed proceeds raised from the event this year will again be donated to assist local cancer patients.

“A lot of members of the Grafton Aero Club have been affected by cancer, so we feel it’s a very worthy cause to support,” he said.
At the time of publication, the total amount raised from Wings and Wheels this year was still being counted.

The Clarence Valley Independent will publish the full amount raised in an upcoming edition.