It was my big honour yesterday to launch John Wilson’s book The Riesling Railway at the National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide. It was such a special and fun day, with more than 200 people gathering to celebrate the publication of Dr Wilson’s lively social and political history of the Riverton to Clare railway line. My late father Steve was Clare’s last stationmaster, in the post for 35 years, and it means so much to my family that John dedicated a chapter to Dad.
As part of the day’s celebrations, John arranged for me to take the controls of the Peronne steam train AND an old Bluebird Kestrel country passenger train, complete with carriages filled with brave passengers! I also had the great pleasure of meeting 11-year-old Emily Nordhausen-Bradley of St Joseph’s Clare, winner of the ‘Railways’ themed short story competition, who read her brilliant story aloud to the gathering. I was also given a very special gift, a framed copy of an original Train Order form that my Dad had filled out in 1953, in his beautiful handwriting, which I will treasure.
My warmest thanks to John and Pat Wilson and their family; to Bob Hampson, David Burnett, Gabby, Dale, Stephen, Lucas and Peter of the National Railway Museum, and to the many Facebook friends, family friends, McInerney cousins and also former colleagues of my Dad who joined us all. It was also great to meet up again with Paula and Angela of the Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre, showcasing the fine wine, food, arts and crafts of the Valley.
You can read more about the National Railway Museum here.