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Friendship picks up where it left off five decades before

NO OLDER: Past Ipswich Railway Workshops workers Allan Harvey and Doug Simonds in their old work place at the reunion on Sunday.
NO OLDER: Past Ipswich Railway Workshops workers Allan Harvey and Doug Simonds in their old work place at the reunion on Sunday. Sarah Harvey

YOU have to forgive Allan Harvey for not recognising his former workmate of 12 years, Doug Simonds.

After all, it's been five decades since the retired Ipswich wood machinists saw each other.

The pair used to work together at the Ipswich Railway Workshops where they constructed and repaired all types of timber carriages and wagons.

Despite their years of separation though, the two men had no trouble catching up and joking like it was old times when they attended a Past Worker Reunion held at the North Ipswich site.

The event was a chance for former workers to come together to tour The Workshops Rail Museum and reminisce over a cuppa.

Mr Harvey said he'd hoped to see his good mate Doug at the event.

"When he was pointed out to me, I didn't recognise him," Mr Harvey, 77, said.

"I suppose you always see the men as you remember them in the 50s, they haven't got a day older in my mind."

After touring the venue, Mr Simonds, 90, said he was stunned at how much the workshops had changed over the years.

"When I worked here, the site used to contain up to 4000 workers," the great-grandfather said.

"It was hard work back in those days too - you didn't have equipment like overhead lifts to assist you, everything was manhandled."

Mr Simonds said visiting his old work place and seeing his former colleagues had conjured up a lot of fond memories.

Ipswich Railway Museum director Andrew Moritz said the day had people sharing lots of great stories about working at the site.

"Rather than the buildings themselves, it's what went on inside them that makes them interesting and come alive," he said.

"So we want to connect with these former workers, collect their stories and share them with other visitors to the museum to give the venue a sense of richness."

For updates about more reunions at The Workshops visit theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au or phone 3432 5100.

Topics:  reunion the workshops rail museum



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