Our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held at 10:00 on SATURDAY 30 NOVEMBER at the museum. We cordially invite all members to attend, mingle and check some of the year’s achievements and progress.
This is a mini edition of “Depot Diary”. Yes, we are well overdue so we hope that this mini edition keeps you up to date.
It includes a news summary, list of future events and a ’call to arms’ which will keep you all going until our next more comprehensive issue!
We apologise for the infrequent nature of D/D, but rest assured that your publicity team has been working on many fronts to deliver exciting events to the Museum, as you can read below!
A private function was held at the museum on Saturday 30 March and despite early rain, the day was a great success, involving over 50 members of four different car clubs with 23 cars. Our guests enjoyed tram rides and a sausage sizzle lunch, tastily prepared by Serge Sequen and Ross Stenning. Guided tours were skilfully run by Ted Dickson, Jeff Russell and Bruce Coxon, and a special mention also for Eileen Ward and Debbie who ran the shop and served lunchtime drinks. The visitors included a large group from the Veteran Car Club, with many vehicles around 100 years old, that later headed to Katoomba for an overnight stay. We were also pleased to see members of the Hudson/AMC, RAC and Daimler clubs, making up an great mix of marques, eras and designs.
On Sunday 28 April the Museum commemorated the 30th anniversary of the last ‘whistle-out’ of a 46 class electric loco (4610), in service, from the Depot. This event was widely publicised and featured attendance by a large group of veteran railwaymen who had worked in or around the Depot, or had strong connections with it, in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. This provided a marvellous opportunity for them to catch up with former mates and also to chat to the public and our volunteers about ‘The Good Old Days’! There were many experiences and recollections of the era shared and some great tales rolled out. Steve Corrigan was especially excited to gain further insights on the ‘tricks of the trade’ as he has been spending many months on developing a ‘Driver Simulator’ experience for visitors to have a go at ‘driving’ the loco on our Open Days.
Our class leader 4601 was cleaned during the week prior and partly pulled out on the day for cab inspections, facilitated by entrance and exit steps (the latter temporally relocated from steam loco 3214). Mike Pensini’s team worked hard on creating interpretive panels (as in use at Thirlmere) and these were displayed on heavy metal bases around the loco while a large banner ‘GONE...BUT NOT FORGOTTEN’ was suspended on one side. Our thanks go to all who worked on this great looking project, a wonderful foretaste of what we can achieve when we all pull together.
Sunday 19 May saw the return of our popular Teddy Bears’ Day Out. As in previous years, visitor numbers were high and great fun was had by all. We were fortunate to attract two new recruits as ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’ Bear and they performed their duties admirably on a warm, fine day! ‘Gummi Bears’ were handed out to excited children as they retrieved their teddies after a short ‘bears only’ ride on the ‘Teddy Bear Express’.
We again held a ‘Spot the Teddies Challenge’ that added an extra activity for families on the day and also had local business ‘BUILD-A-MIND’ on site providing a Lego® and building display, with hands-on participation for the young ones. Thanks to owner, Kerry Pyle, we were able to demonstrate the special significance of the Museum to S.T.E.A.M. creative learning!
Thursday 20 June saw the visit of two primary schools. In the morning we hosted nearly 40 children and teachers from Korowal School at Hazelbrook. Despite detailed planning, their late departure plus the delayed arrival of our afternoon group of 60 from Mount Riverview, meant that the seamless transition from one to the other, with a smooth overlap, didn’t happen and some ad hoc re-scheduling was needed! However, a great day was had by all and written feedback included: “Thank you for a very valuable experience today.”
Our special thanks go to those who assisted with the event (in alphabetical order): Ray Beharrell, Bruce Coxon, Ted Dickson, Wayne Flicker, Debbie Inwood, Bruce Irwin, David Lewis, Grant Robinson, and Mick Tanner who very capably stood in for Henk in the model room.
On Sunday 28 July we celebrated National Tree Day, and with sponsorship (thanks to Sonya and Sandy at Bunnings, Valley Heights), dozens of children planted a seedling, and marked the spot with their name tag. Personalised certificates were also handed out and plenty of family photo opportunities were created. Great efforts were put in by David Hunt, Dave Wainwright, Dennis Brown, Luke Tolhurst and Roslyn Reynolds in the planning & preparation of the event, on the day and in the ongoing upkeep and our thanks go to them for their contribution.
We recently acquired a 70 year old ‘O’ gauge model consisting of seven R-type carriages, representative of Caves Express set 108 of 1938.
It was donated by Mr John Wood of Carlingford, who constructed the model in 1948 as a hobby while in his final year of high school, having always been delighted by the sight of the Caves Express at Parramatta Station.
With a railway employee father, family holiday travel always undertaken by train and a clockwork train set as a child, Mr Wood developed an interest in trains from a young age.
A pharmacist by profession, he had an amateur interest in woodworking and in later life undertook a hobby class in metal working at Granville Technical College. He went on to build a total of 150 ‘O’, ‘HO’ and 5 inch models and has been an active member of the Hornsby Society of Model Engineers at Galston.
The model has been in his possession continuously since 1948 with only occasional showings at Hornsby Society events. Remarkably, he still has the original tin of paint which he used to paint the model: Balm-Dulux ‘Jenolan Blue’, selected as a result of his many childhood sightings.
The Museum gratefully acknowledges Mr. Wood’s generous donation and the assistance of his friend, Mr. Howard Armstrong. Thanks also go to mid-week volunteer, Bob Creasey for initiating the contact which led to the donation.
We plan to put the model on public display in 2020 and it will, of course, form an important supplement to the presentation of our 1:1 scale carriage, RBR 1049. With the operating ‘HO’ scale train running in the 1950s room, we will soon have all Caves Express bases covered – small, medium and large!
Our Fettlers' Shed is now almost full, with most of the finishing touches now in place. A great article, written by Large Exhibits Manager, Bruce Coxon, appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of “Roundhouse”, so THNSW members amongst you will have already read that. This link to the article will enable non-members to read it: https://www.thnsw.com.au/post/nsw-railways-1961-design-standard-gang-shed-is-built-and-stocked
The long awaited connection between the Arrival and Departure Roads opposite the shop/fire shed is virtually complete and should, subject to some final tweaking, be operational in the near future, after the necessary inspection ensures that it meets requirements. This will permit work to proceed on the re-timbering of the Arrival Road Ash Pit that we currently use for rides on Open Days. This exciting step forward, from an operational perspective, will not only permit relocation of rolling stock, but will also ultimately enable motive power to ‘run around’ a train and could lead to working demonstrations of traditional shunting practices on Open Days.
Mid-week events, although needing extra planning and volunteer support, are always welcome. Valley Heights is the perfect site for special interest groups and attractive rates can be negotiated for birthday parties, wedding photography, film shoots, and so on. Please contact Keith Ward at the Museum on (02) 4751 4638 (leave message) if you know anyone who might be interested.
As at 7 August, our membership numbers are:
New members at the Museum this year:
A warm welcome to you all—hope you enjoy all the activities and facilities at your Museum.
worked this year as reported to Committee meetings:
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Please share Museum news with friends, relatives, workmates and neighbours.
Close scrutiny of the calendar above shows that September will be a very busy month! With four Open Days we will be relying on some additional support from members who are infrequent visitors and/or rarely volunteer. If YOU are in that category, please consider lending a hand, even for just a few hours on at least one of those days. The roles are many and varied, and provide the opportunity to connect with our great visiting audience, so PLEASE be in touch with Membership Officer, Jeff Russell on email@example.com or 0414 764 178 to see how you can help share the load!
Member Roslyn Reynolds is holding another exhibition of the HO model layout at her Valley Heights home on Saturday 7 September. Whether you’ve been before or not, this huge display is well worth a visit as there’s always something new to gawk at. Admission is by gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to charity.
It's almost 3,000 kilometres on the famous Ghan rail journey between Adelaide & Darwin. Is there any point on that trip that is more than 1,000 kilometres from the Australian coastline?
Depot Diary 121 Trivia Quiz answer:
Improper use of the ‘Communication Cord’ (thus bringing the train to a halt) was criminalised in the Railway Act of 1868. The fine remained at 5 pounds until 1977!
Check the question at infobluemountains.net.au/ locodepot/ depot-diary
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