Sunday, April 5, 2009

Emus and Trains-Part 1

Time to continue on and meet the other side of the family. This time it's my grandmother's parents. Sometime ago my mother's cousin who passed away, traced the family history and discovered ... wait for it...convicts! Oh yeah, always knew there was something funny about some of us, now it all makes sense hahahahaha! Apparently both of my Grandmothers parents have Tasmanian convicts as predecessors. Weeeell, how interesting. I have actually been online and checked out the facts and it's all true enough. Tasmania has a wonderful website where they have digitised many of the records from this time and you can view them online. Yes there they were for all to see, my heritage. Apparently stealing a dress wasn't a good idea in the mid 1800's. Gave you a one way all expences paid ,definitely not first class, ticket out of town. Want to go to sea and see the world type affair. Makes one reconsider todays penalties really and leads the mind to wonder if this was what you got for stealing a dress imagine what penalties would have been dished out to really hardened criminals such as a few of the characters currently favouring a little popular tv show known as Underbelly. The mind boggles, and I digress. We will return to these thoughts later.
So, here's the next page in this ever growing tome. An emu. Fabulous you say, so what? Well my great grandparents settled in what was then known as Emu Bay, currently going by the fabulous moniker of Burnie. (Think I like Emu Bay better, a bit more character, yes?) Anyhoo, my great grandfather on this side of the family was an engine driver for the Emu Bay Railway Company. The company was in existence for over 100 years and only closed down a few years ago. Hence the emu on the front of the page.

At the beginning of this page a little glimpse of the railways history, as my great grandfather spent so much of his life there. I remember the trains driving past his yard and I would wave to the drivers who all tooted as they passed. The railway line was at the back of the property and my Great grandfather would nod his head in recognition of the toot as they went past. On reflection they, the drivers obviously knew him, but in my childhood way I just thought they were tooting at my waving. Below is the next section which shows the company logo and a photo of one of the trains of a type that my great grandfather would have driven after first joining the company. This is actually one of the trains on the Burnie line.

The next section is ticket stubbs from a train trip to Burnie and another of their trains at the actual Burnie platform. This train would have been one of the last models he would have driven before retirement. Bit of a change from the last one I think!

The last section shows one of the company's more modern logo's and the pocket contains copies of some of the blueprints for the actual engines. When my Great Grandfather actually began his career on the railway the drivers would go down into the pits to service and carry out maintenance on the engines. Can't see that happening today. Life is more complex and specialised now. It would have been freezing there in the early mornings. Can't say I envy him that job.

More to come with this page of course this is just the first part of this post.

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1 comment:

jill said...

What a wonderful story- about Emu, your great grandfather and the history of the trains. You can really get a flavor for the time and the rich details you discovered- also love all of the ephemera you were able to capture. Just super!