When I started this blog abut 6 years ago I never figured I would stick it out for 165 posts or that I would reach 6 figures on visits. When the mob and I started snapping away over 60 years ago I guess the thought was that the photos would be seen by about 7 people. Technology is a wondrous thing.
This little milestone (a big one for this little rambler) has reminded me that when I kicked this blog off in 2011 my only alternative way of sharing photographs was to upload them into a file folder in the Ausloco chat group. Over the last 6 years I have created a Youtube account, a Flickr site and I now also contribute - albeit to varying degrees - to various Facebook groups. And now I lurk on Instagram,Pinterst etc.
This activity is now so much a part of my life it gets difficult to remember a time when it wasn't so all pervasive... like 50 years ago. Sunday mornings then were dominated by Sunday school (thanks Mum, a valiant effort always doomed to fail) and steam trains. Most tours to the Illawarra stopped in Wollongong for watering so it gave a good chance to catch anything once a whistle had been heard. Sometimes a RTM newsletter had given the advance notice but most times it was a mad rush to grab a camera, shove the kids in the back seat (me and my sister) and point the Cortina in the direction of Wollongong yard. Here's half a dozen results of those mad dashes.
First up is a back-lit shot of 5215 and 3802 on tour on 26 July 1964 - almost 52 years ago. It looks as cold and wintry as today.
Two years later we found 3322 taking water for a Moss Vale tour on 17 July 1966.
3644 made a number of tour trips to the Gong, such as this one.
Now to the 1970s and here is a shot to show that we weren't just fair weather photographers - like this one of 3214 from 1972.
Its 1970s partner in P class crime was 3203, and the weather looks only slightly better.
Looking back at these shots I am amazed by the detail that my mind has forgotten - the point rodding, the wooden railing off the end of the platform, the water column. But there is one thing I haven't forgotten, which is the sound of a loco whistle. The next photo of 5917 is captioned as having been taken in January 1979. But when I was sitting here about an hour ago watching Insiders I heard the same loco blow as it headed out along the East Hills line. The sound of a Sunday morning!