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Monday, 23 March 2015

ScooterBob goes train-spotting!!

Following the last post about ScooterBob's history, his arrival in Coromandel and meeting our close friends, it was time for SB to go exploring.  Before our friends Peter and Jane Miller returned to the UK, we wanted to show them a local attraction, Driving Creek Railway .  Of course, it would be rude not to invite cherished guest SB along too.

The narrow gauge railway was built by a (very) eccentric potter, Barry Brickell; to collect both clay and firewood for the kilns from the hills on his property. An increasing overdraft saw his bank manager suggest that the railway might be used for fare-paying passengers as well.  You can read about Barry's incredible transformation of the railway by using the link above but it's an amazing construction winding through the hills.  It's not just a rail journey, the old and often bizarre equipment and kilns used to produce all sorts of pottery are an attraction in themselves.  It's not only pottery which is made there but glass objects, paintings and the occasional bit of ironwork too.  Pottery and glass objects are tucked into all sorts of nooks and crannies in the buildings and up the track waiting to delight the people who stumble on them.

ScooterBob arriving at Driving Creek Railway

Do we drive on the left or right??

Introducing himself to the train driver, Pete Sephton

All aboard!

As mentioned earlier, there are all sorts of treasures tucked into recesses and by the track on the way up into the hills.  Here are a few examples.

Gorgeous glassware made on site

Discarded glass vases in one of the workshops

Bizarre pottery along the track

Yet more pottery

Wonderful rustic workshop

As the train slowly worked its way up into the hills, we chatted with SB and he appeared to really enjoy all the sights.  There are several tunnels on the track and one with a decorative terracotta entrance, all made on site.

Terracotta entrance to the tunnel

One of the items on the tunnel entrance wall is a pottery plaque.  It's a poem by TS Eliot and is a moving reminder to take our opportunities while we can.

A reminder to us all....

At the top of the track, there is a viewing structure appropriately called the Eyefull Tower which gives magnificent views over Coromandel Harbour.  ScooterBob took time during the climb up the spiral staircase to catch his breath and look down on the train.

Climbing up the Eyefull Tower 

Taking in the great views

After returning to the station, it was time for SB to have a last look at the buildings and some garden pottery before a quick peek into the relatively recently-opened art gallery on site.

One last look....

SB in the pottery garden

A forged iron chandelier in the gallery lit with LED's

Part of a forged iron garden art structure

Scooterbob had a pretty full time of it and as we had to take Peter and Jane to the airport for the trip back to the UK, he elected to stay in Coromandel and recharge his battery whilst Peter, Jane, Jennie and I headed north to Auckland airport .

Saying goodbye to his new-found friends Peter and Jane

Next time: ScooterBob goes out on the Triumph Street Triple and other petrol-head adventures!

10 comments:

  1. Wow I never knew there was a small gage train near your place. Beautiful scenery in your neck of the woods mate. Sb is on one great big adventure. I can't wait to see what he gets up to on the Triple, god help us all.....

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    1. Hi Steve,
      The train is great fun. Paul, the guy with the Nortons in the last post drives one of the trains just for the fun of it!

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  2. Great stuff Geoff. I love all the bright colors, especially the entrance to the tunnel.

    Bobskoot would have loved this adventure.

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    1. Thanks Brandy,
      That tunnel entrance is terrific. There are just so many interesting things embedded in the wall. The potter who built it all is a national treasure.

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  3. Geoff, again with the beautiful. What a view. SB really get to see the best of all. Next time visiting you need to take me there, too... ;-)

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  4. Hi Sonja,

    Would love to take you there. Last time you were here, I seem to remember you were rather busy riding a Street Triple and driving Jennie's MX5! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Ah, well... sweet memories. I will make sure to bring more time next time around ;-)

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  5. Absolutely - lots for you and Roland to discover!

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  6. GORGEOUS art - what a treat :-)

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  7. Hi Sue, the Coromandel Peninsula is chokka with artists and artisans of all kinds. I feel completely out of place, but certainly appreciate good art!

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