One of the more impressive historic buildings in Peterborough, South Australia, is Saint Cecilia Mansion, shown in today’s photos. I must admit that I have never been inside, or taken a tour and not even participated in one of the renowned Murder Mystery Banquets. Such an over sight on my part.
The local council tourist site states:
Saint Cecilia is the former Bishop John Norton’s mansion, a heritage listed ‘Edwardian-style’ building dating back to 1912. It was also the convent for the Order of Nuns and boarding school for the St. Joseph’s Catholic girls up until 1973. Today visitors can enjoy a Bed & Breakfast stay in any of the beautiful themed rooms and groups can enjoy Murder Mystery nights along with selected banquet themes. Tours are available every day between 11am – 3pm.
On my most recent visit to family in Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia I took the photo above of an old locomotive on display in the main street. I can’t tell you any details of the loco – but I am sure that my brother-in-law could tell me plenty about it – and how to drive it. He cut his teeth driving a range of locomotives over many years.
I have managed to find the following information from the council website:
“On display in the centre of town, adjacent to the public toilets, is an 1880’s Y Class Steam Locomotive. She was one of the first Steam locomotives operating between Silverton, Petersburg and Port Pirie hauling iron ore to the smelter and wharf for export.” (Petersburg was the pre-WW1 name for Peterborough.)
What caught my interest in particular this time, however, was the memorial plaque in front of the locomotive, show in the photo below (click to enlarge). I’ve probably seen this memorial many times in recent years but have never taken the time to peruse the inscription.
The memorial celebrates the contribution of a large number of local railway workers who died in the course of duty on the railways. I am sure that there must be other memorials like this in other parts of the world, but I know of none, nor have I seen any in my travels. Very sad, but quite fitting to pay tribute to those workers.
The wonderful story of Bob the Railway Dog is one of those quirky stories you come across frequently throughout Australia. This statue of Bob stands outside the Visitor Centre in Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. Back in the late 1800s Bob was a frequent traveller on the old steam trains travelling between Peterborough and other towns along the various lines leading out from Peterborough.
Bob has been recorded as travelling to Adelaide, Broken Hill and Port Pirie and other towns on the railway lines on many occasions. There is some thought that he even made it as far as Kalgoorlie in Western Australia on one adventure, and this site claims he ventured even further afield. He was also the friend of many local people and more than once had amazing adventures. The Visitor Centre sells a very interesting and readable book about Bob (or it can be bought online).
Over the last 40 years I have visited Peterborough in the mid north of South Australia on many occasions. My wife grew up there and we still have family living there. We try to visit them often. Up until recently I haven’t really bothered taking many photos of the town.
Peterborough is a very historic town and was settled in the early years of our state’s development. It became a very important railway centre for many years and this is still celebrated throughout the town. Over recent weeks I have featured some photos of railway related items around town. On several occasions I have mentioned the local museum known as Steamtown. Outside the museum stands a beautiful old steam locomotive which I have featured in today’s photos.
Please note that in the final photo, the loco is NOT pulling a caravan. It is just that a tourist has parked right behind the coal tender. If you look carefully you can see the 4WD which is attached to the caravan.
This is the final post in a series of four about the model trains featured on the four main entrances to Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. (Look back through previous posts to see the others, or go to the archives.) This particular train is at the south eastern entrance to town on the road leading from Burra and Terowie.
I think that these are a wonderful introduction to visitors to the town. The people of Peterborough have made a great effort to feature model trains in this way seeing that the town has very strong ties to the historic development of railways, not only in this state, but also in the whole of Australia. The local railway museum adds to that interest as well.