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More Goulburn ... We like Goulburn

Let's start at the Old Goulburn Brewery.

Goulburn Old Brewery

The Tour Director passing through the ivy-covered courtyard of the Old Brewery.
She doesn't need the stick for walking, she uses it to thwack me if I mention her height or girth.

Bar in the Old Brewery

This is the sampling bar in the brewery. That's Michael behind the bar.

On entering the bar, I was offered a free tasting of three beers and I had to state which was which. Nobody was more surprised than me when I got them right. One I particularly liked was Goulburn Black Traditional Mild Stout so Michael offered to sell me a 'stubby' of it. The stubby turned out to be ...

Michael's 'stubby'

... rather larger than I expected. It held three litres!

On a rather stupid impulse I bought it. Two things you have to watch carefully in a caravan - space and weight. This flagon is large and very heavy.

Michael's demonstration

Michael demonstrated how to drink from the - what would you call it, a flagon? Too big for a flagon, I think.

In the meantime, Pam was sitting at a table sipping a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The tour of the Goulburn Brewery complex was self conducted with the aid of a leaflet. We discovered that there was also a maltings, a steam powered flour mill, a cooperage, a tobacco curing kiln, as well as old stables and workers' cottages. Well, that's was what we thought we'd see. In the event we visited a lot of dirty rooms full of junk. A steam powered flour mill? The old beam type steam engine is available for inspection ... in the Sydney Powerhouse Museum.

The whole Brewery complex was designed as an integrated industrial complex by colonial architect Francis Greenway and as we went from room to room, much was made of Mr Greenway's theories and beliefs on posters hanging everywhere. I tried to read some of them but found them utterly boring. We'd come to see an old brewery but the nearest we came to that was some barrels and a 'bottling room'.

Bottling Room

At least the bottling room contained some relevant equipment. Want a closer look?
Sorry, no access beyond this point. Want a guide as to what you're seeing? So did we.

Having read what I've written above I thought perhaps I was being too critical so I asked Pam to give me her opinion; should I tone it down? She replied, It's pretty right as it is. It was very disappointing. So there you have it. On the credit side, the 'tour' only cost $5.50 per head and included the beer tasting.

Australia Day 2014

In honour of the occasion, the day before Australia Day we erected our flagpole and dug out our brand new flag which had come without eyelets. To accommodate just such a situation we have an eyelet kit including the necessary tool. I cut the first hole in the flag and assembled the two sides of the eyelet, positioned the tool on the concrete pad outside the caravan and whopped the assembly with our heavy lump hammer as per instruction: Hit Firmly With Hammer. Not firmly enough it turned out, so I clouted it a few more times until the two halves of the eyelet gripped the flag snuggly. Snuggly? The outer rim of the eyelet had cut neatly through the flag and the eyelet fell out leaving a large, circular hole in the flag.

When we returned from Woolworths with the 'Iron On Repair Patch' . . .

New Flag

On Australia Day the flag did us proud. We are proud to be Australian even though I'll never lose my Pommy accent.

The Tour Director had arranged a trip to Victoria Park in Goulburn centre where all the Australia Day formalities and festivities were being held. Naturally there were a lot of speeches and things were already underway when we arrived. We stood behind the assembled crowd and watched until a true gentleman sitting on the back row noticed Pam's stick and, assuming she is disabled, jumped up and offered his seat. Thank you, sir, whoever you are. You're a rarity these days. Pam sat down gratefully.

Senator Stephens Speaking

On her feet, local Senator Ursula Stephens. To the right, the Goulburn Flag, the National Flag and the Aboriginal Flag. Directly above the flags is a large Woolworths sign letting us all know that they proudly support the event.

With Pam safely taken care of I was free to slip away to where I'd spotted some beautiful vintage cars.

1924 Crossley

What wonderful restoration work! There was no front door on the right, the driver slides across from the left.

Behind the spare wheel on the running board is a brass device that resembles two parallel hydraulic jacks fastened down and joined at the top by a pipe. There is a rod attached to pump the device but it is probably too low to be operated comfortably from the driver's seat. There is no sign of any fluid outlet pipe unless it exits below and travels within the running board but that's seems unlikely. So, does a flexible tube (stowed elsewhere) attach to the threaded outlet at the top of the left cylinder to inflate the spare tyre? Or, if long enough, any tyre? If so, does it work on the 'compound' principle with the lower pistons feeding air at intermediate pressure to the upper (smaller diameter) cylinder for further compression?

Brass Cylinders for what?

Can anybody tell me what this contraption is for? Inset is a top view showing the words
Dead Easy. Pat May 2? 1917 moulded onto both top covers.

Although there were many well restored cars present it was this replica which next caught my eye. It's an 1896 Ford Quadricycle.

1896 Ford Quadricycle

I don't know how authentically this replica follows the original. I can accept the acetylene lamp but that bell?

Ford Placard

Ford Quadricycle Engine

The Quadricycle's engine. The exhaust valves are operated by a rocker arm attached to which is another arm,
the crude equivalent of a distributor. The inlet valves must operate by suction from the cylinders.

O.M.G., I left Pam listening to boring speeches and lost all track of time.

I arrived back to hear the Senator saying there was to be no citizenship ceremony. Two people had put their names forward but had later retracted. Perhaps the Navy turned back their boat? Pam had wondered where I was but was otherwise happy. Another lucky escape.

We wandered around the park listening to a Scottish pipe band and looking at stalls. We even bought a few things including a new flag as our older one is very frayed. Everyone was in a happy mood, even the dogs.

Flags on Dog's Collar

Happy? Did he say happy? Tell me, do I LOOK happy? How would he like to wear this contraption?

Mystery solved; thank you bro.

Dead easy tyre pump

Despite having Googled the 'Dead Easy' object I photographed on the 1924 Crossley car (above) I drew a blank. However, my brother Mike - who was always smarter than me - not only found out what it was but sent a picture of one in action.

As you can see, it is indeed a tyre pump though the one shown on the right looks in need of a drop of Brasso and some elbow grease.

The Governor's Hill Carapark in Goulburn.

How many caravan parks do you know with a band playing outside the reception office all day long? That's what we found at the Governor's Hill Carapark in Goulburn. And not just any old band, this was an ant band dressed up in their Australia Day hats (with dangling corks, naturally) and sun glasses.

The Ant Band

The Governor's Hill Ant Band in their Australia Day outfits. Music plays from hidden speakers all day long.

The carapark (haven't seen that abbreviation before) is run by a very nice couple called Peter and Karen with whom we got along very well. Karen dresses the ants in their appropriate outfits. A week or two after Australia Day there was a Blues Festival in Goulburn and the hats and sunglasses were replaced with large, colouful neckties; the music took on a blues flavour.

This park has another unique attraction. Many years ago it was owned or managed by model railway enthusiasts. They built a large 'G scale' layout next to the office with three separate tracks on different levels. They laid out green artificial turf around the tracks and the sleepers rested on gravel ballast. There were stations with lights along the platforms, points leading to loop lines or sidings, cars, people, farm animals, buildings, tunnels and a pool in the centre. A submerged water pump carries the water up to the top of a hill where it became a stream tumbling down the hill, back to the pool. Trains ran through a tunnel beneath the hill; it must have been magnificent. And then ... the enthusiasts left.

Station Scene

One of the stations with waiting passengers. Looks like the train is late again.
Imagine this scene when the layout was new, the colours bright and no leaf litter.

I believe attempts were made to maintain the railway by different people but, by and large, it lay in rain and scorching sunshine for fifteen years, slowly deteriorating. When Karen and Peter took over the park about fifteen months ago they put in a huge effort to improve, not only the whole park, but its garden railway too. They enlisted the help of a local train enthusiast who began to update the layout's wiring but unfortunately died, leaving things in an unknown state.

Garage Scene

What imagination went into this scene. The mechanic has the front wheel off the car.

One day I saw Karen with a pan scrub on a stick, cleaning the rails on the main track. There was one loco which still ran but the rails were so oxidised that it often couldn't pick up the current. When I showed an interest Karen was overjoyed, so having plenty of time I started investigating. Two of the three tracks were dead and the three locomotives were desperately in need of some T.L.C.

Locomotive 9311

Light engine 9311 on the down track as a freight train passes the other way on the intermediate level.

I received a surprise when cleaning out a dense mass of spider's web from the footplate of a 'steam' loco. I don't like spiders. There were two grey balls of what I guessed were spider's eggs so, using a twig, I dragged them out. Suddenly a very large and very angry redback spider appeared from somewhere and raced around the cab attacking my twig, only to disappear again when my twig retaliated. Redbacks are very venomous and I'd been working on that loco, not knowing what it contained. Since I couldn't see it anywhere it was a job for a Mortein aerosol spray. That livened Mrs. Redback up considerably and gave her something else to think about while I dislodged her with my twig. She fell to the ground and started running for cover but ... not fast enough.


Water cascading back to the pool. Note the bear near the top? He's spotted the goat nearby but the goat is unaware.

Renovating the railway was a lot of fun and Peter and Karen were delighted. How successful it will be in the long term I can't say. It's rather like an old, neglected, worn out car – you fix one thing and something else ‘falls over’. However, at the time of writing we have three working locos on three servicable tracks. I get a huge kick out of watching the faces of children - and their parents - as the 'steam' loco passes hauling freight cars with the amazingly realistic 'chuffing' sound that it makes.

Mixed Freight Train

Saddle Tank steam loco Casey hauling mixed freight. Just before this was taken the wagon axles had been oiled and oil got on the track causing Casey to slip. Diesel shunter Li'l Critter on the back offered to help out with a push.

If, like me, you had an electric train set as a kid, you might be amazed at the advances in technology. In the old days you increased the voltage to the track and the train went faster; you reversed the polarity and the train ran backwards. Today locomotives can have their own miniature computer on board and the power to the track is an A.C. square wave. The locos rectify that to D.C. to drive the motor BUT every third pulse on the track contains an encoded signal. Each loco has its own digital address and its computer only responds when it receives that address. It's rather like your mobile phone; somebody calls you and out of all the thousands of phones 'listening', only your phone responds. The mobile phone of a person standing right next to you is hearing the same transmission but because its address is different, it remains dormant.

In this way multiple locos on the same track will have unique addresses and can be controlled separately. The power to the track is constant; how each locomotive uses it depends on encoded instructions sent through the rails by you, the controller. One engine can go backwards while another goes forward, a third can run slowly while a fourth runs fast. A fifth may be stationary. Likewise, a loco may be commanded to give sound effects such as chuffing (if it's a steam engine), whistling or ringing its bell. It can turn its lights on or off or even emit smoke! It can begin moving gradually, just as real trains do, and the sound matches the speed. Points are changed in a similar fashion without the need for a separate wire from the control room to each set of points. Uncouplers on the track can be commanded to disconnect an engine from rolling stock in a siding. Signals change, level crossing barriers open or close. The magic of digital technology!

I must stress that the railway I worked on was not computerised. I learned about the latest model technology - called Digital Command Control (or DCC) - while researching the locos and controllers which make up the Governor's Hill railway.

On the next page we start off on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra then watch Question Time in Parliament House.

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