The centrepiece of the Crooked Carrot esplanade are the beautifully restored Melbourne trams,
now surrounded by a wooden deck and ready to host special events.
The first tram, a dilapidated 1927 streetcar, took a local handyman nearly a year to restore, which included refitting the leaking roof,
replacing and reviving the wood floor and interior, and removing rust that had spread through much of the iron frame. A final coat of paint, in classic Melburnian yellow and green, brought the aging grande dame back to her former glory. It was installed at the cafe in 2018.
Rebirth of Two Aging Trams
Interpretive panel placed near tram:
Our Second Tram
The second Melbourne tram, an SW6 built in 1939, came to the cafe in late 2020. Sonia initially responded to an announcement in the local newspaper in 2018 that VicTrack was giving away retired trams and anyone could lodge an expression-of-interest in receiving a tram, which she did. Unfortunately it wasn't successful as preference was given to Victoria-based educational and community groups. It was a bit of a let-down, but she got over it.
Then, out of the blue, Sonia received an email in May 2020 asking if she was still interested in receiving a retired tram as one had become available. Yes! She purchased it straight away (for $1000), but wasn't able to remove it from storage in Newport, Victoria for transport (another few thousand $$) until December 2020, when it came to rest behind the first tram in a straight line resembling the streets of Melbourne in a bygone age.
The second tram received a fresh coat of paint in early 2021, along with some much-needed TLC after its sojourn in storage. Sonia aims to keep the tram in its original state, with small drop-down tables for cosy groups of 2-4 people to sit and enjoy a drink in the tram once the cafe gets licensed to serve alcohol (coming soon!). It will also be available to hire for adult functions.
Our Vintage Tractors & Cars
Most of our vintage tractors at the café were purchased from J&P Metals, where they were bound for scrap metal overseas. We got them lined up in a stately fashion on the boundary between the café and one of our fields. One day, an elderly gent came to the café and took great interest in our line-up. He paused at one particular tractor, originally from the wheatbelt, with great interest. This, he swore, was his brother’s tractor! He knew this because he himself had welded some modifications to the drawbar at the back of the tractor. After checking it out with his brother, he returned one day to boast with great pride that indeed it was in his brother’s old tractor. We've been told that some of the other tractors belonged to the Pailthorpe family in Benger.