Curling up with a good book in front of a roaring fire in winter is the obvious choice for many, but not Woodville's John Priest.

Instead, Priest, a steward in the children's section of the 135th Woodville Horticultural and Industrial Show on Saturday, put an old pile of junk to good use, building a pedal
car.

"I spent three months through winter by the fire in the lounge building," he said.

This beautifully crafted summer house by Dannevirke's Annette Finlay took out first prize in the handcraft section of the Woodville show.
This beautifully crafted summer house by Dannevirke's Annette Finlay took out first prize in the handcraft section of the Woodville show.

Priest isn't an engineer or a mechanic, but a psychologist and with help from a book he purchased at last year's Dannevirke Lions Club book sale, cleaned and reinvented pieces from a push mower, a dead motor mower and parts from a bike to build the pedal car which took second place in the handcraft section of the show.

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"I had to think smart, there's a $2 op-shop chair, a $10 hand drill and a $3 extinct water wheel, which became the exhaust," he said.

Some parts are instantly recognisable, like the lawn mower catcher which is part of the seat and the push mower handles, which have become the steering wheel. Others are so cleverly reinvented it's hard to guess their origin.

Priest's working plans are simply hand drawn, but this is a working pedal car, with the seat sliding back and forward on curtain rails and Priest said he's proud of his efforts, but hasn't made the car for any monetary gain - he'd just like to see it displayed somewhere.

"I'd create one problem, solve it and on I'd go," he said.

"I had my technical assistant on hand too because he loves to lie in front of the fire on a cold, winter's night."

That fluffy assistant is variously known as Flea Bags Full, or Fat Cat.

Taking out first place in the section was the stunning miniature summer house crafted by Dannevirke's Annette Finlay.

* Full coverage of the Woodville show in the Saturday edition of the Dannevirke News.

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