The Semi-Retired Foamer has been a railfan since he was around 5 years old, a very young age when one really should avoid being involved with the gunzel community to any great extent.
After a few decades of train chasing, one decided to break with protocol and get married, thus leading to a severe cut in railfan activity.
Subsequent dealings with social misfits, lunatics, mental defectives and self-appointed experts lead to an even greater decrease in my hobby participation.
However things have changed thanks to our small group of trusted mate, interest has returned, and now I have become a bit more involved yet again. Having learned to laugh, with others, at all the more 'Moronic Foamers'.
.Oh the irony that lays behind that group name and the person who set it up..
We occasionally publish information on the locomotives, and rollingstock, from railways in Australia and the Philippines.
All are available for

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

FAREWELL: To A Real Railfan!


At 11am today a group of around 25 friends and family gathered at the South Chaple of Woronora Cemetery to farewell Bruce Cook.
A nice little service followed which included a speech by Bruce's brother Les giving some interesting looks into areas of Bruce's interests that I had no idea of of. This was followed by a railfan friend (name escapes me) who talked of Bruce's rail and bus interests, in a railfan language that likely baffled his family Smile

Following the service much time was spent catching up with some old friends, a couple haven't seen for over a decade and sharing stories about Bruce.
It was so great to see these people again - sadly it took this sort of thing to achieve it.
As expected, many of my own memories were returned, including one in particular where we chased SMR22 to Stockrington in her final months of operation.

Following this, about 15 people proceeded to the 'United Club' opposite Sutherland station for some lunch, a few drinks, and many more stories from back in the days when the hobby was far more enjoyable and friendly than it seems today.
It forced one to sit and reflect on these old days, seeing those faces that were once so regular, all of whom, like myself, have aged over the years. Well except for John Bartlett who never seems to get older (don't know what he drinks). Smile

As if organised by Bruce himself, as we departed the cemetery for the club 8216 8230 G520 8253 rolled by on a loaded coal train. 8216 is my favourite in the class, while I once remember checking out a damaged G520 with Bruce.

If he was able, I am sure Bruce would like to thank all those who attended, including railfans 'Inspector', Glenn Ryan, David Kirkland, Peter Neve, Chris Sim, John Bartlett and Andrew Haviland. Many others there I know by sight, but not by name.


Brad Peadon

Besides trains, buses were his other greatest passion. 18 years ago a much younger Bruce (at the wheel) and Brad (obviously at the right) stand outside M/O3364 just before it departs on the last 303 from Caringbah station to the city.
I wonder if Bruce still had the hand made sign from the front?

Contrary to popular belief and what Bruce used to tell people, 4806 was not named after him. It did seem to unofficially become that way after a while.
Despite numerous attempts, I never got more than a blurred shot of Bruce standing in front of her. Haven't even been able to locate that.

The last of the Bruce organized trips that ever got to travel on. Here it stands at Ben Bullen station during a photo stop. It was soon on its way to its destination of Charbon Colliery.
Those with a keen eye will be able to pick Bruce out in this shot.

Another Bruce tour, though the man himself was next to me
during this shot at Bondi Junction.

The return saw us become the first passenger train to stop at and alight passengers (for photos) at Woollahra station, something I don't think has happened since!

If it wasn't for Bruce's influence I doubt I would have half the photos of old single deck electrics, buses and other passenger transport modes that I've taken.
While going through the endless shots from this period, I came across this one I took at Carlingford station one night. I wasn't going to go, but he insisted that three car single decks would not be around much longer.
He was right!!


Mike said...

Hi Brad,
In the photo at the top (the bus pic) who is the Gent standing in the left of the shot?

Steve Kaiser?


alcogoodwin said...

He was the bus driver on the night, but I have no idea who he was.
Could ask another mate of mine who was there, at least I think he was, someone must have been holding the camera at the time :-)