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Rail Plaques - Stories

Ray Bant was a proud railway man.

His trade was fitter & Turner machinist. He worked at the loco workshop in Bathurts for some fifty years.

He started on stream engines and his passion for them was well known.

Ray made many lasting mates during his time at loco workshop, his nickname was Benney.

When the NSW govt decided to downgrade the loco workshop at Bathurst and transfer majority of the jobs to lithgow, along with

Bill Hamilton they formed a committee to keep the work at Bathurst.

Ray & Bill had countless meetings with local MPS (Clive Osborne & Mick Clough) they fought a long hard and sometimes heated campaign, the govt announced not only the jobs kept but a new updated loco workshop would be built.

Ray was an alderman on Bathurst city council for some 27 years and was a proud resident of Bathurst, his beloved city.


The Begg Family moved to beautiful Restdown, on Eleven Mile Drive in 2015.

Peter, the eldest was 14 years old, Lucinda 12 years old and Rupert 8.

They had loved their home and time raising their family in the Blue Mountains when the idea of experiencing an authentic rural life in regional Australia became an irresistible possibility. Historic Restdown came on the market. A generous homestead, magnificent sheds and two run down farm cottages were offered for sale all on 65 acres of prime river flats.

It was like a big, deep collective breath was drawn by each member of the family as they moved in. Kangaroos bounded, cattle grazed, calves were born, chickens hatched, roosters crowed, rabbits hopped, snakes appeared and dogs and cats wrapped around the hearts, hands and day to day lives of the family. A wonderful time. Michael Begg was able to maintain his property valuation business based in Leura while expanding to include the Bathurst district. His long held dream of flying his own aircraft was fulfilled through the Bathurst Soaring Club.

Ann Begg soon had the farm cottages turned into comfortable and popular visitor accommodation indulging her background as a hotel manager. The property was regenerated with eucalyptus, casuarinas and soon the Saltram creek running through the land flourished once again.


Jim Conlan at Bathurst Loco 

Jim Conlan started work at the Bathurst Loco on 29th April 1946, as a cleaner.  Jim had just married Ruth Gunning who had grown up at 19 Russell St.  Her father, Ernie Gunning, could remember seeing the first train arrive at Bathurst when he was a small kid, with the sunlight glinting on the brass fittings on the engine.

Jim was born in Quirindi and met Ruth during his army training, at Bathurst.  After the war, they married and within weeks, he was living with Ruth in Bathurst just before he started at the Loco shed.  They soon moved to Brilliant St in South Bathurst, putting Jim within a few minutes walk to work.

Jim continued as a Fitter’s Assistant until he retired, at age 60 in late 1976.  He passed away, unexpectedly, in December 1988.  A large contingent of railway workmates attended his funeral.


William Leslie Humphrey 6th August 1917 – 29th October 1953

Clarice Enid Humphrey (nee Maisey) 18th March 1912 – 14th March 2007

Married 26th August 1944

William, (known as Les) worked at the Railway from when he left school at aged fifteen until his accidental death in a car accident aged thirty six.

Les worked as a shunter in both Bathurst and Lithgow Railway Yards; Les was employed as a switchboard operator at Bathurst Station at the time of his death.

Les and Clarice had four daughters, Kristine, Frances, Bronwyn (who pre-deceased him) and Elizabeth.

Les was a well-known Bathurst identity, having played football for Charleston’s Football Club and for his competitive swimming with the Bathurst club.

Clarice was known for her community involvement and charitable work.

They are both remembered with love and admiration by their descendants.


Stephen McKelvie

Bathurst Station Manager 1995-2016

CountryLink Travel Centre Manager 1990-2016

38 years’ Service 1979-2017

Joined the Railway at Lithgow in 1979 as a Station Assistant, working his way swiftly through multiple positions before moving to Bathurst as a 3rd Grade Relief Clerk in 1982. Passionate about maintaining the historical integrity of Bathurst Station, quality and customer service Stephen was in 1990 promoted to CountryLink Travel Centre Manager to establish the Domestic Travel Agency and oversee Bathurst Station & Forecourt renovations.

1995 position was enlarged to full control of Bathurst Station Management and shortly thereafter Blayney, Tarana & Rydal Stations.

2006 awarded RailCorp’s highest individual Customer Service award for Excellence in Customer Service in NSW.

His ability to integrate modern railway developments whilst maintaining the historical significance of Bathurst station and precinct over 3 decades of service was recognised with a National Trust Heritage Certificate in March 2016.


Douglas Vincent (Doug) Moore 

Born 30/1/1922 at Dubbo NSW, one of 5 sons of Charles and Linda Moore from Wongarbon. As a 16-year-old, in 1938, he moved to Sydney to take up a position as a Junior-Porter at the Sydney Telegraph Office.

In 1942, Doug served with the AIF in Borneo as a Signaller. After the war, he worked with the Railway at Strathfield, Lithgow and Bathurst in the ticketing office.

In 1961, Doug married Thelma Feebrey, a local widow with three sons, Harold, Ken and Mervyn (Milo).

Secretary-Treasurer and later Life Member of the Bathurst Railway Football Club, Doug helped, supported and encouraged young players from the far west to work and play football in Bathurst.

Doug retired after 44 years of service to the Railways on the 31/12/1982. He passed away on the 8th February 1999. His legacy includes 6 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren.


Robert Arthur (“Bob”) Walkington

Worked for the Railways from 1926 reaching the honour of the States number one driver retiring as “special class driver” in 1972 after 46 years of service.

In the early 1970s Bon and his fireman Daryl Garvey had the privilege of driving the first long freight train to pass through Bathurst.

The first Indian Pacific Passenger Service.

Drove the Royal Train carrying Queen Elizabeth 11 from Sydney to Newbridge.

Bob received the “Imperial Service Medal” in 1973 for outstanding service. Bob passed away in July 1987 and at the time was survived by his wife May and daughters Merle Pallot, Thema Ingersole and Janice Patterson.