It was originally built for the Red Cross and used for many years as a fundraising and information tent at events around Lismore and the Northern Rivers area of NSW. Armed with scones, Anzac biscuits, and other second hand goods many thousands of dollars was raised under this roof for people in need all over the world. (Sorry what’s that dear, oh yes, and second hand goods-sorry the scones and biscuits weren’t second hand, what a ghastly thought)
We luckily purchased it from their Lismore office in 2010 (after a tip-off from Barry at the now closed Second Hand Sports Store on Woodlark St who had overheard a conversation at the greengrocer earlier that day about them having a tent they wanted to sell, and he told us while we perusing some old badminton sets that had fallen of the back of a truck on Bangalow rd, we went straight round there and bought the thing for all the money we had on us at the time) ...... and it wasn’t until 2014 that we decided to convert it into the gorgeous miniature vintage styled big-top you are now so lucky to be seated in today. Part 2. The sewing part renovation was completed with the aid of a 1914 Singer K6 132 walking foot industrial sewing machine, 60 meters of 680 GsM UV stabilised & FR treated Tarpex PVC Fabric, 30 meters of red seat belt webbing, 7354 meters of polyester thread, 3kgs of coffee, 7 cases of beer and after that 19 band-aids.
The 4m truss and 6m king poles that supports our lights and aerial equipment (disclaimer-may not be used in actual performance) are made from structural steel and was built by myself and brother in-law Pitt who is a skilled boiler maker and completes all the welding operations with skill, ease and precision as long as he has his mig in one hand and a jack daniels in the other.
All the steelwork was actually completed working underneath the actual original lifesaving tent which we had set-up as a makeshift engineering workshop in the sub tropical backyard of our house in Barkers Vale N.S.W. The truss is built on sliders and slips up the king poles on pulleys pulled up by hand with ropes after the tent is erected. Steel pins hold it safely in place at the very top of the canopy. Usually.
We sourced local hardwood saplings to use as side poles, several species including Tallowwood, Silver Stringy Bark and Iron Bark were stripped back, planed, varnished, end-dipped in hot bees wax, before end pins and stainless steel bands were screwed to each end. We are very happy with the warm olden days feeling they give to our venue and we find they only give splinters to people we don’t like anyway.
It is a cosy little venue and seating a maximum to 100 people it is also suitable for music or other performances.