STEAM SCENE. inspection of the collection. made

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "STEAM SCENE. inspection of the collection. made"


1 State Heritage Listing for Tram Yes, at long last, it has finally happened the steam tram collection is to become listed on the State s Heritage Register. The Minister for Heritage, Mark Speakman, signed the order on September 23, A copy of the Minister s Order will appear shortly in the Government Gazette. Presumably, the nuts and bolts of what we can and can t do with collection, will be spelt out later. Importantly, accessibility to funding for future maintenance etc. will be a lot easier. The items included in the listing are: the tram motor 103A, trailer car 93B and trailer car 72B. Unfortunately, the double-decker car (99DD) was not included, as it is a replica and not an original item. Seeing it is over 60 years old, it may come into its own some day. STEAM SCENE Newsletter and Journal of the Steam Tram and Railway Preservation (Co-Op) Society Ltd. t/a Valley Heights Steam Tramway. Proudly associated with the NSW Rail Transport Museum ( Blue Mountains Division). Affiliated with the Council of Tramway Museums of Australasia and Rail Heritage Australia (NSW). Vale John Meredith Stanley 8th-September, th August 2016 The whole process has taken a considerable amount of time with the original application being lodged in March During the intervening period, various clarifications have been made and an on-site inspection of the collection made The listing of the collection will ensure its preservation into the future whether or not, the Society remains in existence to be its custodian. The whole process has taken a considerable amount of time with the original application being lodged in March During the intervening period, various clarifications have been made and an onsite inspection of the collection made by assessors. The listing of the collection will ensure its preservation into the future whether or not, the Society remains in existence to be its custodian. Preserving the past, enriching the future Volume 13 Issue 5 October 2016 (Above Lt) 103A and trailer 93B at the signal box terminus. (Above Top) The tram at the Museum terminus (Above) It may be just a skeleton but 102B is also on the Heritage Listing. Valley Heights Museum esteemed member John Stanley, passed away on August 30, 2016 after a brief illness. Those of you who came across John at Valley Heights, will recall him as a knowledgeable, quietly spoken, affable man. Few ever saw him in a temper, he always going about his work in a quiet, conscientious and efficient manner. John had a remarkable capacity for standing back and quietly assessing a problem and shortly coming up with a solution. John spent his working life with the Railways becoming a mechanical engineer. He was renowned throughout the department and beyond for his abilities designing and planning signalling and track infrastructure. What John didn t know about track design and geometry wasn t worth knowing. He was still engaged in periodic track work consultancy roles at the time of his passing. John was a loyal member of the Winmalee Bush Fire Brigade where his talents as a motor and mechanical maintenance guru proved invaluable. It was here he met Terry Matchett who in turn, introduced him to the Valley Heights Depot in John s work at the Museum with track maintenance and re-instatement work in particular, testified to his superior knowledge and experience in this field. He will be sorely missed in projects underway at the Museum at the time of his passing. John s funeral service was held at the old St. Paul s Chapel in Castle Hill on The society was well represented as was the Museum by our colleagues from Valley Heights. John s former work associates and members of the RFS were also present in substantial numbers. Although John was not one of our members, never-the-less, as with all our friends within the museum, we had a close working relationship with him. We held him in the highest regard and sincerely enjoyed fellowship with him. To John s family, his friends and colleagues, we extend our sincere sympathy. We will truly miss him also, both for the work that he did but more so, for the man that he was.

2 Page 2 STEAM SCENE 1958 The new year started with a meeting on 6th January. Correspondence was tabled from Clyde Engineering Co. that... they wished to withdraw from any understandings re 74B. The company had in effect withdrawn its assistance in its storage. A motion was put and passed... that delivery be taken as soon as possible. The saga of motor 100 was laid to rest with the reference... that money loaned (by members) for the transport of 100A and which item was now sold, be returned. The physical investigation and inspection of car 115B was discussed and concluded that... on the examination of car 115 it was considered unworthy of preservation. The secretary since the society s inception... Mr. Macdonald tendered his resignation from the post of secretary as from the next meeting. Railway excursions promoted by the society had in the past were popular with members and others. However it was recorded... that there was no reply from Brown Collieries. The suggestion was that a The suggestion was that a trip to Gosford could be arranged but the secretary pointed out... that considering the tours organised by similar societies at that time we would have to disregard passengers from those sources. This meant that each member of this society would have to guarantee to bring eight passengers. Notations in the minutes of 27 th February indicate that the society had yet to begin regular exhibition steaming of the tram motor as a mention was made that... permission STARPS the first ten years of sixty plus (Part Five) (By Peter Stock) Continuing the story of the trials and tribulations that beset our infant society in the early years. This time we cover the years 1958 to the beginning of (Above) Some members of the society stand on the front apron of 103A. They are justifiably proud of their achievement. (L to R) Frank Millier,?, Arthur Stell, Bud Lay?, Mal Baker. (Ground Level L to R) Neil Campbell, Roy Naunton. This may well have been the exhibition organized for March 30, was granted by the meeting to move the motor, when convenient, to make room for 74B. In another minute the restoration of 74B was then broached, and it was ruled... that negotiations be made with Clyde engineering Company with a view to them painting and renovating the car. Even in those far off days the society kept up with trying to enlist outside (now referred to as grant moneys) help with the Parramatta Park project. On a more worrying note, mention was again made about member participation in the physical side of the project. This member... spoke at length on the dormant state of activities at Parramatta Park. He also reported on... the need for repairs to the shed... and stated that... white ants had been found in the shed timbers. It was resolved... that a special meeting be called for the 13th March to discuss the future of this society. As for the white ants, they remained as "members" until we left Parramatta Park and could be depended on to thwart progress at all turns, either in the shed or the sleepers! They even had a section of the tramway named after them, viz Termite Hill. Correspondence was received... from Monitor, station 2GB, stating their desire to make an actuality broadcast concerning our Parramatta Park Project.. Apart from the society publications and steam train excursions being further developed, the subject of social events was put forward, with a suggestion to approach the Vacuum Oil Co. for a possible film evening. The Special Meeting of the 13th March was held, but only the matter of the society's future was discussed. Quoting from those minutes... Should the Parramatta Park Project be abandoned and the Society sent into dissolution? This was discussed immediately. Each member present at the meeting then gave his opinion, which resulted in a unanimous decision to continue with the scheme (as the Parramatta Park project was also known). From the After the main concern was dealt with, discussions centred on how to re-vitalise the society. Also regular working bees should be spread over the whole weekend be instituted and held once a month. An extra commercial concept was started whereby the society sold post-card size prints (of the steam tram?) for 3/- (30c). Finally, it was decided to hold a tramway exhibition on Sunday, 30th March at Parramatta Park. A final point was minuted, but as to what that was is not known... That there was a correction to the minutes concerning 74B and this was attended to. The next meeting on the 24th April it was reported... on the exhibition of the 31st March, including the Monitor broadcast. A net profit... on that day 3s.9d. (37c) from the sale of 3 photos taken at the park. There was the sale of 14 books. It was not recorded whether the motor or Davenport were in steam that day. On other fronts... no replies had been received from either the Clyde Engineering Co. or the Vacuum Oil Co. One enduring decision emerged from the meeting and the subject of establishing regular working bees. Working bees were discussed and it was resolved that... the third Sunday of each month be allotted to this purpose; commencing on the 18th May. (Above) A work party at Port Kembla retrieving rails for the Parramatta Park project, Peter Stock, extreme right. There appeared a motion from the secretary... that the Railway Dept. be approached with regards to obtaining a

3 Volume 13 Issue 5 Page 3 brake pump for 103A, his view being, that with the large number of smaller engines being scrapped, there may be a pump readily available and that the treasurer be asked to interview Mr. Cardew on this matter. The new secretary sought permission to write to the press at suitable times to gain a little free publicity on future exhibitions as he thought that this action may boost the number of sight-seers to the park. There appeared a motion from the secretary... that the Railway Dept. be approached with regards to obtaining a suitable Members thought that exhibiting at the project was worthwhile as the minutes of 29th May recorded that... discussions took place regarding the next exhibition, the date being fixed for Sunday, 8th June. It was also agreed to... purchase 4 bags of coal for the occasion whilst The secretary... gave notice of his intention to write to "The Advertiser" in an endeavour to get some free publicity. One member suggested that a notice be placed in the park s Little Coogee kiosk and... the member suggesting this was given the task. On a serious note the... ownership of the motor was discussed and on a motion it was decided to adopt a slightly different version of the original. (Above) The dedication plaque at All Saints Church Ainslie A.C.T. acknowledging the society s gift. Unfortunately the minutes for the next meeting on the 26th June are incomplete and there is no record of the success or otherwise of the exhibition on the 18 th May. But there appears a reference to "The Advertiser" and the cost of advertising in that newspaper. Terms must have been acceptable as the meeting empowered the secretary to advise the newspaper of our... intention to use same at an appropriate time. Insurances then, as now, were an important consideration. At the 24th July meeting correspondence was received from Harvey Trinder's offering the society a fifty thousand pound ($100,000) cover on a thirty pound ($60) premium for the project. In relation to the insurance problems of the 2000's, this was an easy matter with which to deal. The society was promoting a rail excursion to Hawkesbury River. To further publicise the society it was resolved to provide a suitable headboard for photographic purposes. This board was usually displayed above the buffer beam of the locomotive, but from photographs of these excursions only appeared on day only excursions for some reason. This board was eventually affixed over the shed doors but it perished in the fire of A report was made on... the transfer of No. 1 Mortuary Station to Ainslie, A.C.T., where it would be re-built as The Church of England Railway Memorial Church. A bell from a Shay locomotive (Wolgan Valley) was donated in the society's name. (Subsequently the society arranged a steam excursion to Canberra to coincide with the church dedication in November, 1959). The secretary was pleased to report to the 28th August meeting that the society's activities were now covered by adequate insurance. But he also recorded... that money had been stolen from the shed at Parramatta. After discussion it was decided... to place a rope across the doorway and affix a suitable notice in an attempt to keep strangers out with one member to be in constant attendance when the doors are open. In addition a leaflet describing the society's activities and membership will be produced. Sadly, another crisis was manifesting itself once again. Records of the 23rd October meeting indicated a lack of a quorum, the fourth occasion in ten months. Those members present pressed on without recourse to motions, etc. It is recorded in the following quote... The view taken by those present was the impasse created by this lack of interest has placed a strangle-hold on the activities of the society. It had defeated the purpose of the working bees and had brought the society to an identical situation as that of 12 months ago. After more laments about the situation the minutes go on to record... the meeting came to the decision that it would be in the best interests of all concerned to offer the opportunity of resigning to anyone who felt he was incapable of justifying his membership in the society. The Secretary was empowered to prepare and despatch the necessary letters on the subject. A copy of the letter is attached to the minutes. This correspondence when received may well have caused a ripple through the membership. For in the minutes of the next meeting on 4th December one member... raised the question of the letter which was circularized among members after the previous meeting. After obtaining legal opinion he stated the letter was out of order. Never-the-less, this one member resigned. Despite this comment society business continued. The tramcar 74B, which had been in store at the Clyde Engineering Co. since 1957, was of concern to members. Accordingly two members would... visit Clyde to determine the exact Above) A tinted postcard of Little Coogee Parramatta c The original kiosk can be seen on the right. Swimming was still happening in the 1950 s when the tramway was being established. The kiosk proprietors provided tea and sandwiches for society members (at a cost) at one time. state of affairs of the car. The re-print of Book 3 was also discussed and the preface of the original edition was questioned as were certain aspects of the location of the Sans Souci line. The revised text was accepted for the re-print. The purchase of a watering hose continued. A motion was passed... allowing the member who raised the matter permission to spend up to three pounds ($6) to purchase same. Over the previous years the content of the society's membership rules were always at the forefront. A new proposal that amendment be made to the rules limiting the numbers of members to 20, was again discussed but no final decision was made The first meeting of the new year was held on the 22nd January. The previous discussion re the alterations to Book 3 continued further... and certain accommodation to a tramway historian was made. A boiler inspection was recorded, presumably for 103A, for a fee of eight pounds and four shillings ($16.40). It would seem that the general letter to members in the previous October was having effect. An amended version of a long passage notes... that two resignations were tendered to the meeting and a third one was cancelled. One member who resigned at the last meeting had changed his mind, whilst another resignation was put before the meeting, but was decided that the secretary should write requesting the member's consideration of the resignation. Another member verbally tendered his resignation but was asked to leave his final decision to the next meeting. (To be continued).

4 Page 4 Steam Scene Rookery - The Scourge of Train Travel in 1910 In the early 1900 s, it was not unusual for a male NSW train traveller, especially coming from the country, to be accosted by a train rooker and fleeced of his ready cash. What exactly was this scourge of train rookery? (Above) The original Lithgow Station c It was from this station that rookers would join a Sydney bound country train, look for a potential mug, then proceed to play cards whereby the traveller invariably lost his money. (Above) The trains the rookers worked would not have been dissimilar to that which is depicted here. It was a term used to describe travelling cardsharps who would invite unsuspecting travellers into a card game where the deck was stacked against them. Train travel in the times of which we speak, was a much slower business than we are currently used to. Taking into account the double-banking that was then necessary on the Cowan Bank and the Blue Mountains, together with the slower speed of steam locomotion, it is easy to understand why. This all made for a tiring journey and any opportunity for a diversion, was quickly availed of. What better for a man than to join a game of cards convivially offered by some fellow travellers? By 1910, train rooking had become something of an epidemic with organised gangs at work. The Railway Commissioners had become so concerned about it that they sought the assistance of the Inspector-General of Police to take action. Plain clothes police and detectives were brought into play however they were severely hampered in securing prosecutions. Basically this was because it was difficult to determine what was a fair game of chance and what was one of fraud. Additionally, in many instances, it was an embarrassing admission to make by the person that had been duped. The Superintenden t of Detectives a Mr. Roche, informed a reporter that a large gang was currently operating out of Sydney Station. He said that it was the result of a clampdown on confidence tricksters who now turned to the easy pickings of card-sharping. Another leading detective described how the rooker operated. I ll tell you how the mugs (unknowing train travellers) are caught. The rookers firstly armed themselves with a seasons ticket and set out from Central Station. The gang currently abroad, comprised three sections, each of four men, working the tourist lines North, South and West. The reporter queried, If they are so well known, why are they not apprehended? The detective replied, We can catch them easy as smoke, but probably couldn t secure a conviction. We prefer to be certain and as some magistrates hold the view that railway-poker is a fair game, it is difficult to matter to convict them Sometimes in the absence of sufficient evidence of rooking the offender would be charged with vagrancy which attracted a maximum term of 6 months imprisonment. The detective went on to describe how the rooking was done. It would appear that most of the card-sharping was done on country trains coming into Sydney. The sub-gang would catch a train to say Lithgow and there transfer to a country train en route to Sydney. As soon as the train rookers are sure of their man, the three start a little innocent game of cut-throat euchre. Then the fellow passenger is invited or elects to join in to pass the time. A game of poker is then introduced, with the usual result. The bite or mug is taken down. The police are generally informed indirectly, say by an onlooker, the victim being too ashamed having been so easily fooled. The detective went on to cite particular instances. A young man was about to enjoy his holidays at Mulgoa and was en route for Penrith. Normally the rookers did nor concern themselves with outward bound passengers but in this case, they couldn t resist the temptation of duping a callow youth. Considering himself fairly smart, the young fellow took a hand of poker. After a couple of hands, he secured four aces. Knowing something about poker but little about the rookers, he increased the stakes without further incentive. Confident of his hand, the stakes increased in leaps and bounds but eventually he called a halt. Then the impossible happened the one sequence that could beat his own was put down a routine flush. Becoming Five Pounds the poorer, his holiday was cut short considerably. Another instance cited concerned a fisherman. Travelling by train, he fell in with a friendly card game but found himself losing. The game changed to poker and following on, he won a few shillings at the start. Being dealt four kings, he decided to recoup his losses in one swoop. Needless to say he was topped by four aces. Depending on their previous guise in the confidence trickster game, the gang members posed sometimes as country farmers, perhaps travelling salesmen or even country bumpkins, depending on the gullibility of the mug at hand. Sometimes a confidence trick of the old trade was brought into play whereby a station manager would borrow a sum of money from the mug after they had left the train, to allegedly purchase station supplies. In this ruse the station manager claimed the suppliers would not accept his cheque and that if the mug would lend him the money, he would cash the cheque at a nearby bank. Of course, the trickster did a bunk as soon as he got the mug s money. During the course of the interview, the detective gave the reporter detailed descriptions of six men in the hope that in the publishing thereof, it would put the train travelling public on the alert. (To page 6)

5 Volume 13 Issue 5 Page 5 Camden A Trip Down Memory Line It is now 53 years since that quaint appurtenance to the Government Railways, the Camden Tram ceased operations. It is of course, still within living memory of several of our members and friends. Two days after the line was closed, Secretary, Peter Stock and Co. visited the line to take some final film before the line was eventually torn up. Your Editor did likewise some three months later. When a special train, chartered by the ARHS, passed over the Camden line on New Year s Day 1963, the story closed on a line that had been in operation continuously since 10th March Operations on the line have been well recorded, especially in the days leading up to and including its closing. Peter Stock and Co. visited the line two days after it closed and your editor, about three months later on. During the interval, station signs had been removed however the rest of the infrastructure appears intact, including the scales on Narellan platform! Nowadays, windows would have been smashed and everything covered in graffiti. How times have changed. Most of these sites are unrecognizable now such has been the extent of development over the years. (Above) From Left to Right sitting, Peter Stock, Len Manny, Lloyd Gerdes and Bob Innes. Mrs. Innes standing. A mini picnic chip-heater device sits mid-track boiling water for tea. (Photo. P.Stock) (Above) Camden Station could be just waiting for the next arrival. (Left) There always has to be a poser! Peter Stock does a keystone cops act at Elderslie, two days after the line closed. At least he hoped it had closed. (Photos from Peter Stock) (Left) Narellan Station. (Below) The coal stage at Narellan. The last coal from here was on September 12, (Right) Kenny Hill as it was. It was subsumed into road widening in later years. (Photos by B. Irwin)

6 Preserving the past, enriching the future Steam Tram & Railway Preservation (Co-Op) Society Ltd. t/a Valley Heights Steam Tramway ABN P.O. Box 571, Springwood NSW 2777 Web site: Works Report: Stepho:.103A Clean out smoke box. A end diaphragm replaced. 1022: Front draw hook and spring assembly fitted. 2 front buffers de-scaled primed and one installed Stepho: Re-tubing completed and new steam pipe installed. Latest News From Yesteryear s(1)smh. Wed (2) SMH. Wed Chairman and Works Manager, Craig Connelly Secretary and P.E.O. Peter Stock (02) Treasurer and Editor Steam Scene Bruce Irwin (02) Membership Secretary, David Lewis (02) The museum is located in Tusculum Road, Valley Heights. Ample parking is available. A train service is available to Valley Heights. Walk around to the Signal Box gate, opposite the station and our tram will pick you up from there from a.m. and regularly thereafter. Note; only basic access from here as yet. No disabled access from this point. The museum is open between 10 and 4 on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. Steam tram /train alternate days. Last but not least.. PERSONAL Our condolences to Valley heights Museum member, Dave Grove, on the passing of his wife Diane, on October 2. In Memoriam Please pause to remember the following members who have passed from our ken in years past. Ronald (Ron) Herbert Mills Life Member and Director, Obit September 20, 2013 A lot of what we know today about loco repairs, we owe to Ron. And Barry Kenneth Gerdes, long standing member and supporter. Obit, October 7, 2014 May they Rest in Peace and Rise to Glory (From page 4) In July 1910, two rookers Richard Bell and William Lee, were apprehended off a train at Gosford. They had been playing poker with a William Anthes. During the game, Anthes held four aces and as in the previous case cited, was trumped by a routine flush. Anthes lost Nine Pounds (over $ ) but was suspicious about the circumstances. The police had been prior informed that the two were card-sharping on the train. Whilst in police cells, they were identified by several persons, as the culprits for having cheated them at cards on the trains. The two were placed before the Gosford Petty Sessions on July, , and each received 6 months imprisonment. They subsequently appealed. During evidence, it was queried why they were consistent travellers travelling backwards all day seeing they were not commercial travellers or with similar employment. One of the appellants said, Well, I have a bad leg and I travel up and down the line in order to rest it in the train. His Honour said that he could not see his way to upset the conviction. The newspapers were silent about train rooking thereafter. Perhaps the 6 months gaol sentences were a salutary lesson for all concerned. By Bruce Irwin from a clue from David Lewis. Ref. Evening News. Thu SMH. Mon NEWS IN BRIEF Grant Application The society has lodged an application with the Royal Australian Historical, seeking $9,990 (dollar-for-dollar) grant to assist in the re-building of the body of our louvre van. If approved, we intend to get our favourite chippy Steve Allen back to carry out/supervise the re-build. Because the money (if granted) will need to be spent over the following 12 months, it has been deemed that to restore the sub frame and under body mechanicals as well during the time frame, could not be achieved, so this area was not included in the application. We should know whether we have been successful or not, during this month. Here s fingers crossed. ooo0ooo Boiler to Boree Creek As anyone who participated in SMUT s tour to Lake Cargellico will vouch, a splendid time was had by all. Rolling along in 1930 s carriages, windows wideopened, copious amounts of steam and smoke issuing from the 32 class loco heading up the consist it was all so memorable. With NO diesel loco bringing up the rear, it was indeed a treat as this is more often the case as not nowadays. The 2017 tour is scheduled for 1/2 April and the destination will be Boree Creek. A brochure accompanies if you receive SS by . We do urge you to come along, not only because you will have a great time but because you will be aiding your Society. Any profits from the tour will be divided between Yass Railway Museum, Crookwell Museum and your society, STARPS. This is what SMUT is all about giving practical help to railway preservation groups who are looking after the smaller heritage scene. SAFETY ZONE Just a couple reminders the turntable can only be operated by authorized, trained operators, so please resist to urge to help by giving advice from afar, helping to push or volunteering in any way to assist authorized operators. They know what they are doing and don t need to be distracted by unauthorized persons. Likewise when rolling stock is being coupled only authorized RSW s are permitted to carry out this operation and there is one person in charge of any movement. Please resist giving supplementary calls such as just a bit more and the like. Coupling rolling stock is a dangerous operation that needs every care without additional advice from the side-lines.