Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We Never Knew What Friends We Had

To paraphrase a Billy Joel song (Leningrad), "we never knew what friends we had" is a very appropriate phrase for me at the moment.

Apart from some technology failure of late (my computer had a hard drive failure) it's usually my failure to keep up with things. I have a g-mail e-mail account which I think I needed to start this blog, but of course did I bother to check it occasionally? Well why would I, I didn't give it to anyone, so you could imagine my surprise when in checking it the other day there were quite a few e-mails in the inbox.

Obviously a few people read my blog, because in my inbox was an e-mail with a plan for the aforementioned E Wagon needed to build the bogie milk tanker BMT 1, and an offer to lend me some 35mm negatives from pictures taken at Hawkesbury River Station and surrounds in 1966.

Now the E Wagon plan was brilliant, and greatly appreciated, but the offer of a complete stranger to send me their forty three year old negatives for me to look at and get prints made up of if I wanted was quite humbling. These are things that cannot be replaced, and whilst not having great monetary value, are priceless in my eyes.

After getting sixty odd photos developed I was completely gobsmacked at the information I now had that would not likely have been available anywhere else. The station, refuge roads, water tank, level crossing, various sheds, sidings, and the coal stage that no longer exist to name but a few, in detail from many angles, some of which would have you prosecuted these days, all in beautiful black and white with crisp details, and showing things that no simple diagrams or plans could reveal. The picture of the warning sign on the coal stage is a classic example, and something I hope to duplicate when I build a model of it.

The thing is, that these things I asked for have come from people I've not yet met, and may not ever meet, who don't know me from a bar of soap, and yet through this wonderful hobby we share have felt compelled to share the information they have for no other reason than to help me try to realise my dream of recreating these things in miniature.

So while I have highlighted only two recent cases above, to anyone who has sent me anything, shared information, imparted wisdom or simply shared their opinions, thank you, friends.

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