Monday, January 26, 2015

life in Australia 50 years ago

A 1950s Vauxhall, a Commer van, and of course a Chrysler Valiant taxi.  The director also deliberately framed the two metal rubbish bins - standard in A/NZ at the time - in this shot...
The movie They're a Weird Mob, based on a best selling book by an Italian immigrant, was made in 1965 and provides a good time capsule of life in Sydney in those days, the character of which has since changed a lot; the most notable thing when watching it now is that faces then were almost totally European, and 'wogs' were a reference primarily to Greeks and Italians (not heard in this movie; Italians are referred to as 'dagos' and 'eyeteyes').

From an historic transport viewpoint, you get to see quite a few street scenes, as you would expect, where British vehicles were plentiful though not quite as dominant as they were in NZ, as well as a trip on a harbour ferry and a brief scene of a red single deck electric train at Punchbowl station.

26 January - Australia Day

So here is a theme of Kings: King Street in Sydney, 1929, King Street in Melbourne circa 1960 with two generations of electric trains - Tait and Harris (see the book Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand) - and trams on King William Street in Adelaide in the early 20th century.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1968 Plymouth Barracuda

Dutch 1000 class electric locomotive poster, 1948

"Greater speed, more comfort" - for the passengers, one assumes. This was a class of 10 units which had an unusual (1A)'+Bo+(A1)' axle configuration, and the one depicted is now preserved.

boat people - an Australian headache for nearly four decades

The phenomenon of boat loads of asylum seekers on tightly packed, unseaworthy vessels from Indonesia and Malaysia (in particular) arriving on Australia's coast began after the end of the Vietnam war. At the time the majority of Australians were tolerant of them, but as the numbers since the late 1980s have never shown any sign of diminishing and their origin has expanded to include countries that are predominately Muslim, the vast majority of Australians now just want them sent back to where they come from. In the 2013 general election, Tony Abbot made stopping them a prime election issue, including by the use of drones. According to what the government claims, only one such boat reached the Australian mainland last year.

And what do these Muslims do when they are granted immigrant status?  Well, it seems a significant number spend their time complaining about the absence of the repression in Australia that led them to seek 'asylum' from where they came... On Saturday about 800 of them rallied in Lakemba, Sydney, against free speech in Australia. 

NSW CPH gasoline rail motor from 1923

Another of the delightfully quaint items of Australian motive power was this rail motor class which had wood bodies and roof mounted radiators. A total of 37 were built and 22 of them still exist.

"As built, the normal seating capacity was 45, 21 in 1st class and 24 in 2nd (or economy) class. A further seven could be accommodated on the flap seats provided in the guard's compartment. An additional feature of these cars were the prized seats either side of the driver (the drivers cab being centrally located in the middle of the carriage, there was one passenger seat located either side of the cab, looking directly ahead)." More

'Put the laptop away, I've found you a transpress nz book'

New York's 3rd Avenue elevated railway at 9th Street, 1942

See earlier posts. (