|Port Milang Railway Museum was the birth place of the Yesterdays Power Rally in 1996 as a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Massey- Harris and Massey- Ferguson companies. This brand of tractor has dominated world markets in agricultural tractors and machinery.
Allan McInnes, the first President of the Railway Museum, thought that a display of these tractors may hold an excitement for visitors and locals. Along with other stationary engines and machines, this display was so successful that the committee of the Railway Museum repeated the event yearly and expanded as they offered competitions for engine enthusiasts of all varieties.Each year a different set of feature engines, motor cycles, tractors were included as special entries to be judged.Although it was developed as not for profit, any extra money enabled the Railway Museum to do small restoration projects however each year the event grew to the stage that it no longer fitted into the space of the Milang Township. Although the road was closed for one year as an experiment it was clear that even more land was needed. In 2008 the Railway museum committee attempted to operate in the grounds of the beautiful Milang Oval. The event was again successful but the committee was exhausted. Donations have been made to other Milang Clubs and the CFS when money is available.As the work increased a decision was made to form a separate club to run the Yesterday Power Rally, and the Milang Vintage Machinery Club was incorporated and agreed to take over the task. In 2009, the club began with fourteen members and this has now grown almost fifty, who either have an interest in historical power, or are willing to assist others to enjoy their hobby however the committee and volunteers during the event in January is still small because many members enter the competitions.The displays and entries have included Vintage Engines and Machinery along with Fire Engines, Tractors, Trucks, Motor Vehicles, Motor Cycles & Military Vehicles, displays of General Interest items such as Old power and tool items, and in 2014 Junior Entries were added.Grants from Alexandrina Council and sponsorships from local businesses for trophy winners have enabled the Yesterdays Power Rally to improve safety aspects. Continuous support for the Rally has enabled the inclusion of the Tractor Pull, which is now hosted by the Milang Historical Society. All of the Sporting Clubs in Milang are involved with the Rally. The Football club allow the use of their club rooms for the Model Railway experience for enthusiasts, and has a food outlet during the weekend. The Cricket Club supplies security and the Bowling club will be hosting our Saturday night meal this year.
Each year more and more people have discovered the delights of the hard work of the committee organisers and the efforts put in by the entrants who have their old engines, stationary, or moving and machinery polished and oiled in perfect working condition and seems bigger on every occasion. The entrants not only come from Adelaide and the surrounding Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula but from the North and South of SA, Victoria and New South Wales.
Eighteen to twenty one Judges, working in groups of three, many of whom are qualified or retired mechanics or enthusiasts look at approximately 350 entries on the Sunday. This takes about four hours and the winners are announced in the afternoon. Trade tables add to the colourful atmosphere. Local businesses help with trophy donations.