Old-time railway guards and their kits

@JudyEv (222369)
Bunbury, Australia
September 13, 2020 9:20pm CST
I grew up on a farm in Western Australia and our nearest town was Narrogin. It was a centre for a number of railway tracks and the railways played a huge role in the area, carting all manner of goods to towns further out and in every direction. We received boxes of apples or oranges in season; also boxes of day-old chicks, and any horses we bought or sold also travelled by rail. Vince’s father was a guard in the railways and I’m reading a book written by the son of a fellow guardsman, Ernie. Ernie also played in the brass band that Vin and I were both part of at one point. The book lists the items that had to be in a guard’s kitbox. They often spent nights away from home in the course of their duties. One of the items listed was ‘detonators’. This surprised me but it was explained in the next paragraph. When a railway gang were working on a line doing repairs, a detonator would be set on the track some distance down the line. The loud report if and when it went off would warn the gang of an approaching train. There was telephone communication between stations but otherwise, flags and whistles were used as signals for the men. Photo is of our brass band. We combined with a pipe band and played at Kambalda, which, at the time, was a new mining town. I’m on the left of the few women and Ernie is next but one to me.
17 people like this
16 responses
@xFiacre (7991)
• Ireland
14 Sep
@judyev human ingenuity is quite something. We really do manage so well at organising ourselves, forging our way through life, sorting problems and enjoying ourselves, all hard work and brass bands.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
Mobile phones, etc, really have changed the way the world works. Maybe everyone thinks their childhood days were the best.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (18830)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
14 Sep
I can see why it took that big truck to haul all the band members.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
We all had to climb up that big ladder to get into the truck!
3 people like this
@Adie04 (10219)
14 Sep
I like to see this type of photos. Although I'm not there, somehow I can feel the old times
2 people like this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
We enjoyed our tour of the mine site. I'm glad you like the photo.
1 person likes this
@Adie04 (10219)
14 Sep
1 person likes this
@jayanth_77 (7321)
• India
14 Sep
The railways did play an important role in the development of cities and towns in remote places by transporting goods and services . What were those huge trucks used for? Are their any mines nearby?
2 people like this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
Yes, Kambalda is a mining town and the trucks are used for carting ore. They only operate on the mining sites, not on the open roads.
2 people like this
@Ronrybs (10389)
• London, England
15 Sep
When I worked on London Underground we still used detonators. We weren't trained with live ones, but I do remember them
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Sep
Is that so? I've heard of workers, in thick fog, putting their ear to the rail to listen/feel any vibrations from an oncoming train. It's funny what we don't know about other occupations.
1 person likes this
@Ronrybs (10389)
• London, England
16 Sep
@JudyEv I wouldn't put my ear to a rail, probably hear the train a second before it get there!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Sep
@Ronrybs Good point! I didn't think of that.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (46767)
• United States
14 Sep
Great photo and a great story. Have a wonderful Monday.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
Uh oh! You've fallen behind again!! It's Tuesday morning here now.
1 person likes this
@LindaOHio (46767)
• United States
16 Sep
@JudyEv Whoops! Sorry! I forgot. Have a wonderful Thursday! :-)
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Sep
@LindaOHio Yay for you! You're back on track.
1 person likes this
@RebeccasFarm (10093)
• Denver, Colorado
14 Sep
Well I never Judy look at you..this is fabulous thank you for sharing with us
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
I'm actually wearing a skirt! It was probably my grey band uniform skirt.
1 person likes this
• Denver, Colorado
14 Sep
@JudyEv You looked lovely Judy but you are a lovely lady.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
@RebeccasFarm Thank you very much. What a kind thing to say.
• United States
14 Sep
brilliant ya've still that lovely photo! yepperz, back'n the day they needed some sorta warnin' system. i believe such 'twas used here'n the u.s., too. 'd need to do me some readin' 'bout such. could asks the son, since he works fer the railroad...nah, he'd prolly jest roll his eyes, lol. what wonderful memories to've, the friendships made'n towns ya made smile with y'all's beautiful music.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
Vin's eldest brother became a station-master and is besotted with trains. He even has a vinyl LP of the whistles that different trains had. lol
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Sep
@JudyEv really, that's wonderful! i bet listenin' to such's purty interestin', e'en more so with him there to identify? the son 'tis a master welder, so makes certain the tracks're tip-top shape. prolly not real keen'n the diff'rent whistles, but i could be'n err, lol.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (192133)
• United States
14 Sep
I see you and Ernie. Very interesting life you led back then.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
I suppose it was but many people have wonderful 'stories' if you can get them to open up about their lives.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (192133)
• United States
15 Sep
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (97851)
• United States
16 Sep
Railroads have a long and varied history for sure.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Sep
Are they still used just as much in the US or has road transport taken over to some extent?
@CarolDM (94465)
• United States
14 Sep
Great photo memories. Look at you!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
Proof that I was young once! lol
1 person likes this
@BloggerDi (2426)
• United States
14 Sep
I always enjoy your interesting history lessons! What a great photo too.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
I find the 'old ways' of doing things quite fascinating. I'm glad you enjoy reading about them.
1 person likes this
@Janet357 (58378)
14 Sep
It is very interesting to.learn.these things from your generation. Thanks for sharing this with us.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
I find the old ways very interesting. Things were so different back then.
@sallypup (40496)
• Moses Lake, Washington
14 Sep
What a fascinating account. That must have been an interesting time.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
Just about everything went by rail. Such a different time back then.
@happylife1 (12370)
• Karachi, Pakistan
14 Sep
Cool and sweet past memories
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
I'm glad I have photos of these times.
@1creekgirl (22427)
• United States
14 Sep
Cool photo and a very interesting account!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (222369)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Sep
The book is especially interesting to us as it deals with our home town and also because Vin's people were well involved in the railways.
2 people like this