2012 Block contestant Andrew Jones taking part in this year’s Bangalow Billycart Derby.
2012 Block contestant Andrew Jones taking part in this year’s Bangalow Billycart Derby.

Billycarts in speed and spills saga

THEY were all in with a chance to win: the TV celebrity, the publican and the shire mayor, all tearing down Byron Street on home-made billy-carts in a bid to roll across the finishing line first.

Thuousands lined the road to cheer on Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham as she tore in front of Byron businessman Tom Mooney and celebrity renovator Andrew Jones at Bangalow Lions' Billycart Derby.

Event organiser and Byron Shire Councillor Tony Heeson said the Bangalow Lions' Club had registered the name of the event, which had 245 participants this year and 50 volunteers making the event a success.

"This is a totally inclusive event, that's what makes it so magic and successful," he said.

"It is very inclusive. Age, gender, social status, wealth, it all means nothing here. You can always participate if you want, everyone is welcome. And that is why we have so many people here racing, cheering and having a great time," he added.

More than 150 races were run during the day, with children, men and women participating in their own categories.

There were some minor bruises when the carts failed to break and ended up hitting the straw bales at the end of the improvised track, but there were no major incidents to record.

Northern Rivers renovator Andrew Jones is participating in Channel Nine's The Block with his brother Mike.

Mr Jones took time off his duties as a celebrity-TV star to take part on the Billycart Derby for the second time.

"It is all about having fun, making the kids happy and having a nice day all together as a community," he said.

The event began in 1994 in an attempt to attract publicity after Bangalow was bypassed when the new Pacific Highway opened.



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