Pre­par­ing for cen­te­nary of Amiens rail­way line

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

THE site of the old rail­way ter­mi­nus – a piece of land that is cur­rently be­ing re­de­vel­oped by the Amiens His­tory As­so­ci­a­tion and is the re­cip­i­ent of a coun­cil grant an­nounced last week — was also the spot where Ed­ward, Prince of Wales, fa­mously opened the rail­way line on June 7, 1920.

Alec Harslett, vice-pres­i­dent of the Amiens His­tory As­so­ci­a­tion, said the in­fa­mous story about the his­toric and re­gal open­ing be­gins with the Prince, as he pre­pares to start his for­mal, rail­way-open­ing speech.

Mr Harslett said the Prince was a chain smoker, and, as he read­ied him­self for his speech, he threw a half-smoked cig­a­rette on the ground.

“Some lady, a lo­cal wo­man, picked it up and fin­ished smok­ing it. At the end of the cer­e­mony, the Prince felt sorry for her, and gave her a new cig­a­rette.”

The Prince, whom Mr Harslett said “must have been a bit of a char­ac­ter”, was also pre­sented with a stuffed koala.

The grand open­ing of the ter­mi­nus will be re-en­acted do­ing cel­e­bra­tions to mark its 100-year an­niver­sary in 2020 at what is now the Amiens Legacy Site.

Amiens was named af­ter the First World War bat­tle­field in north­ern France, and con­struc­tion of the Amiens rail­way line be­gan in 1919.

Mr Harslett said the Pass­chen­daele Forestry shed has been re­lo­cated to the site as part of its re­de­vel­op­ment, and the South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil grant of $945 would be used to buy and in­stall a wa­ter tank.

“We re­lo­cated the shed which is in place, and we’d like to cap­ture the wa­ter off the roof, which the wa­ter tank in­stal­la­tion will help do. We’re in a lo­ca­tion that has no fa­cil­i­ties so we had to sort our­selves out for wa­ter and power.”

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the rail­way ter­mi­nus, off Goldfields Rd, will also in­volve the re­lo­ca­tion to the site of a 1909 rail­way car­riage which is be­ing ren­o­vated.

Mr Harslett said the rail­way car­riage had been pas­sen­ger car­riage, and in the Sec­ond World War was con­verted to a hos­pi­tal car­riage for the Townsville to Bris­bane route. The car­riage has also acted as ‘tent wagon’ ac­com­mo­da­tion for rail­way work­ers and a trav­el­ling Queens­land Arts fa­cil­ity.

“The branch line was opened in 1920, from Cot­ton­vale to Amiens, and there was a lot of lit­tle towns along the way named af­ter WW1 bat­tle­fields, in­clud­ing Amiens,” Mr Harslett said.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the rail­way ter­mi­nus, off Goldfields Rd, will also in­volve the re­lo­ca­tion to the site of a 1909 rail­way car­riage which is be­ing ren­o­vated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.