Mount Morgan welcomed Melba

Mount Morgan east of Rockhampton turned on a royal style welcome when Melba and her concert party and friends took the train to their town.

Unlike most other concerts the party arrived in the late afternoon, did the concert and returned back to Rockhampton afterwards.

Melba would have experienced one of Mount Morgan’s most famous features – the use of an Abt rack engine to handle the train up and down the Razorback Range which had a 1:16.5 gradient. It would have been more than a little scary going down in the dark.

At the School of Arts, the party was welcomed by hundreds of people and also the local band. Thanks to the local historical society and Rhonda from the Mount Morgan Railway Museum, a descendant of the band master at that time has sent me some wonderful images for use … later.

The crowd outside who couldn’t get tickets waiting and listened to the concert.

Mount Morgan, famous for its gold mine which was established in the 1880s and worked by hundreds of people from all parts of the world.

Mount Morgan mine. 2016.
Mount Morgan mine. 2016.

The former railway station is now a wonderful museum and visitor information centre and armed with brochures we gained the history of the town from the many interpretive boards. We also took a guided tour of the mine which gave us access to the site which is closed to the public. Our guide was a “mine of information”. The Mount Morgan Historical Society houses a great local collection which tells the human story of the town.

Mount Morgan Railway Station now a museum and visitor informatio
Mount Morgan Railway Station now a museum and visitor information centre. 2016

After the bus tour it was lunch time so we headed to the Grand Hotel for a meal and drink.

Work is underway assessing the viability of re-opening the mine by processing the tailings which still hold a lot of gold. Let’s hope it happens and breathes some new life into the town which is now largely the dormitory town for Rockhampton.

 

 

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nellie melba museum

A journalist and historian, for many years I have studied Dame Nellie Melba and written articles, books, and given talks about her. I established the first website int he world dedicated to Melba and still maintain it today as a virtual museum.

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