Model tractor collecting makes Phillip Morris a model citizen

Wellington 2820
ABC Western Plains

By Jessie Davies


July 03, 2018 06:57:19

Model tractor collector Phillip Morris holds a tractor from his vast collection. (ABC Western Plains: Jessie Davies)
“I never realised the models would become so expensive. As Christmas rolled around each year he would visit local tractor dealerships and buy a few more.Today his collection spans the full rainbow of tractor manufacturers including John Deere, Ford, Versatile, Fiat, Massey Harris, Massey Ferguson, Allis-Chalmers, Baldwin, Cockshutt, Minneapolis-Moline Oliver and White Farm Equipment.”It’s taken a lot of collecting to get to where I am today. (ABC Western Plains: Jessie Davies)
A priceless collectionMr Morris’s most cherished model tractor is his International 7488, a model also known as ‘Snoopy’.”I’d hate to tell you the price, but it’s a very rare model.”It’s one of the most expensive tractors in my cabinets,” he said.Collecting model tractors as a hobby flourished in popularity in the United States and Australia in the 1970s.Today’s models are made out of plastic, however the originals were made of metal and are now highly valuable.”I have sold models that I had two of, but other than that I do not trade my collection because once I trade a model it’s gone and can be very expensive to get back.”You would have to have a lot of money put aside to start a collection like mine from scratch.”Most toy tractor hobbyists, including Mr Morris, collect 1/16 scale models meaning the model measures 1 inch for every 16 inches (40.64 centimetres) of a real tractor.Mr Morris keeps his vast collection tucked away in a purpose-built, dust-proof room.A walk into the room reveals a kaleidoscope of colours and tractors of all shapes and sizes, as well as other model farm implements.Mr Morris said while they are safe in their glass cabinets, the models require little tinkering but frequent marvelling.”I had them all inside the house but I got told I had to get them out.”I specially built a room for the models out of 50 millimetre insulated cool-room material. In fact, I don’t buy them anymore because they are too expensive,” Mr Morris said. “I knew the fellow that bought it new and when he died I conducted the clearing sale and bought the tractor for a fellow in Sydney. “The room keeps a constant temperature and is airtight to keep out the dust.”

Phil Morris owns a model of the 1944 Case LA tractor he bought a few years ago. (ABC Western Plains: Jessie Davies)
“My model collection began in 1979 when I was in International Harvester in Dubbo just after my father died. Photo:
Phillip Morris houses his cherished model tractor collection in a series of glass cabinets in a purpose-built cool-room. “I had come home to help with harvest on our Wongarbon property and when I went into the store to buy spare parts I saw models sitting on the shelf,” he said.”It was close to Christmas that year and I thought to myself ‘these might be worth something one day’, so I started buying them.”The first tractor model that Mr Morris purchased was an International Harvester 766.He later purchased a model International Harvester 966, and went on to buy the 886 and 106 versions. (ABC Western Plains: Jessie Davies)
The real deal While Mr Morris is a devoted model man, he also dabbles in genuine tractors.He is the proud owner of a 1944 Case LA tractor, which of course he has a model version to match.Mr Morris also boasts a 1968 Chamberlain 306 tractor, which he keeps in his garage.”My Chamberlain was sold new in Dubbo in 1968 at the Post Office Garage which was on Macquarie Street. “He had it sitting in his garage for 18 years and never used it so I tormented him until I bought it off him.”Mr Morris also enjoys historic cars and on weekends drives his 1950 Bentley Mark VI. Photo:
Phil Morris has collected hundreds of model tractors including many from the Case International series. As a stock and station agent in Wellington in the Great Western Plains of New South Wales, Phillip Morris has no need for a tractor, but that has not stopped him acquiring more than 300 of the machines over the past 30 years.”My collection is such that if you went to create it today it would nearly be impossible,” Mr Morris said.Very few know people know it, but Mr Morris has a colourful collection of tractors spanning models from the 1920s through to the 1980s.So where does he store his vast assortment of tractors?The answer is a cool room as Mr Morris is a toy tractor collector.

Thai boys found in flooded cave ‘won’t be home soon’ as rescuers plan next move

Australians join effort to rescue Thai boys lost in cave
(ABC) Updated

July 03, 2018 17:25:00

The group is trapped deep inside a mountain in Thailand’s Chiang Rai.
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Thai soccer team found alive in cave nine days after they went missing
Mr Narongsak said fixing rope lines and deploying oxygen tanks along the route to the group had made things easier for rescue divers.”If you ask me now while we are still assessing all sides then I don’t think they will be home soon,” he said.We don’t know how the boys and their coach managed to survive nine days trapped inside the cave complex, which stretches 10km into a mountain near the border with Myanmar.The ABC’s Southeast Asia correspondent, Liam Cochrane, said the group was found almost 4km inside the mountain.”There could be still some more days left in this rescue operation, trying to get the boys out,” he said.The monsoonal rains that led to the group being trapped in the caves to begin with have hampered rescue efforts, and the bad weather isn’t over yet.The passageways that lead to the group are extremely narrow, making it difficult for divers and their gear to fit through. Photo:
Foreign divers have been a huge part of the multinational rescue effort. (Reuters: Soe Zeya Tun)
The Thai navy SEAL unit said on its Facebook page the boys had been given energy gel to eat.Chiang Rai provincial Governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said medical teams had also been sent inside the caves to assess the group’s health.”We categorised their health condition as red, yellow or green, red being the most severe injuries, yellow being mild and green being light. Thailand is celebrating after 12 boys and their assistant soccer coach were found alive in a cave complex nine days after they went missing.We know all of the group are “safe” with “signs of life” but now the massive international rescue effort has turned its attention to the next challenge — getting the group out of the cave.Here’s where the situation is at right now

Governor of Chiang Rai province Narongsak Osottanakorn,addresses journalists near the Tham Luang cave complex. External Link:

AFP tweet: These are our highly trained specialist officers entering the Tham Luan caves yesterday. Yesterday, unofficially, we assessed that most are in the green category,” said Mr Narongsak. They have got no visual reference,” he said. Video: 'All you will find is a brown glow in front of you': Cave expert says the boys will have to learn to dive

(ABC News)
Or they could avoid the water all togetherCochrane said thousands of soldiers were scouring the mountain looking for ventilation shafts that could provide a back door to the cave.”I believe that the Navy SEAL divers from Thailand are going to keep exploring around the area where the boys were found to see if there are other areas they could perhaps shelter in if the ground waters did rise again or perhaps some alternative ways to get out,” he said.Despite the scale of the operation, Mr Wolf was optimistic they could survive.”I think they’ve got a pretty good chance,” he said.”The biggest adversity they may face is rising water level inside the cave, and provided that doesn’t become an issue I think they can stay alive and hopefully be brought out safely once the water recedes.”But for now, the group will just have to wait until rescuers decide to make their next move.”The provincial Governor has cautioned the media, therefore the rest of the public watching this, that it could be a slow process,” Cochrane said. All you will find is a brown glow in front of you. Video: 'I thought he only had a 50pc chance of survival': Mother of a missing boy reacts to news he's been found

(ABC News)
One option is to wait for the water to subsideAccording to Cochrane, there has been a break in the rain for a few days, but more bad weather is forecast for Wednesday.He said pumps were running 24 hours a day in an effort to get the water level inside the caves down, but there had been no information if it was making enough of a difference for the group to get out.Anmar Mirza, a leading American cave rescue expert, said if the decision was made for the group to wait it out, it could be challenging to get enough supplies to them because of the narrow passageways in the cave.Another option is to teach the boys basic diving skillsBut Mr Mirza said that could be an even more dangerous option.The 4km trip back out of the mountain includes a dive through the freezing, muddy water that made life difficult for even the Thai navy SEAL divers.”Trying to take non-divers through a cave is one of the most dangerous situations possible, even if the dives are relatively easy,” he said.”That also begets the question: If the dives are difficult then supply will be difficult, but the risk of trying to dive them out is also exponentially greater.”Another expert, national director of the Cave Divers Association of Australia Peter Wolf, also said teaching the team to dive might not be realistic.”There’s probably only a handful of cave divers in the world that would have been able to find them … I don’t think teaching them [the boys] to dive is a viable option,” he said.Australian cave diver and engineer Ron Allum told ABC News the dive would be “quite scary”.”If they have got lights. (Reuters: Soe Zeya Tun)