When I think of steam trains I think of ladies wearing long dresses and holding parasols, boys in knickerbockers, men wearing suits, ties and Fedora hats. No way do I think I belong, “in the picture” but I remember Steam Trains. Mum and Dad owned some shops and flats at Henley Beach, just next to the Ramsgate Hotel and I’d often go and keep Dad company when he was doing maintenance there. The property was built on a sand dune, the shops fronted onto Seaview Road with the flats above and behind, the dune sloped down to Military Road at the back.
I remember being on the sand dune which was planted with Pigface, looking down to a scooped out section where Dad parked his car and across the road to the station. Trains would come in from Grange, drop off the passengers then slowly continue along to the water tank. They’d fill up then come back because Henley Beach was the end of the line. When I think about it now I can’t imagine how the engine got to be at the front again, there certainly wasn’t a big turning loop. In 1957 the station was closed and the terminus was at Grange. Now, at Henley, there is a Police Station instead of a railway station and a big block of flats where the water tank was.
Every Christmas holidays I used to go and stay with Aunty Mavis in Port Pirie. Once Jayne and I both went in a plane but every other time it was by train. It’s amazing to me now that I went alone when I wasn’t even a teenager but someone put me on the train at Adeaide Railway Station and Aunty Mavis met me in Pirie. The train stopped at Bowmans Station so people could go and buy snacks and drinks. There was always a crush of people at the counter and I was frightened that if I got off the train it would leave without me.
You didn’t know that about Nana did you?