Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Williamstown Railway Museum

is, as you might imagine, located in Williamstown[^]. An interesting place and highly recommended for a visit if you're ever nearby!

The first time I went there was in 1964 or so, under the watchful eye of Mum and Misery Guts. Pig heaven for a kid already interested in the railways! All those steam locomotives to climb upon and within; along with historic carriages with real leather seats to lounge upon. Throw in access to a real signal box with levers taller than I was that you could move around and life was good!

I must have been a strange kid. Even when I was only 10 years old I was interested in history. I blame my fathers mother; she must have given me a feel for time. Whatever the source I remember that I felt a visit to this museum (or any other for that matter) was a step back in time. Those photographs of the workers at the Newport Railway Works taken in the late 1890's impressed me.

11 or so years later Heino, Gary, I and others from Turtle Video descended on the railway museum. I can't remember if this was before or after we moved from Pier Street Altona to Freyer Street Williamstown (and it hardly matters anyway) but we used those cameras as a badge that gave us free admission. I suspect we were playing on the hopes that if we had video cameras what we produced would be broadcast on TV and they'd get some free publicity out of it. If that was their reasoning then they were to be sorely disappointed! So far as I know, not one second of our footage has ever been broadcast!

We spent a fun day setting up various scenarios and shooting them; scenarios that would have failed to pass muster in the heyday of slapstick comedy and the Keystone Kops! Didn't seem to matter to us at the time; or to the custodians of the museum. They were more than happy to unlock the doors to carriages that were normally barred to the public. We, ignorant bastards in a gentler, more tolerant time, smoked our cigarettes and stubbed the butts out underfoot as we lined up camera angles and rehearsed impromptu slapstick!

We were long on chases; short on character development.

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