Bob The Railway Dog - Peterborough South Australia
Posted by: froghoppin
S 32° 58.396 E 138° 50.356
54H E 298072 N 6349603
Quick Description: Bob statue is on display in front of the information centre in the railway town of Peterborough South Australia
Location: South Australia, Australia
Date Posted: 2/5/2012 12:58:46 AM
Waymark Code: WMDNCR
Bob was originally owned by the publican of the Macclesfield Hotel, but when he was a young dog, he became friendly with the railway workers who were building the railway near Strathalbyn. At the age of 9 months he disappeared, and re-appeared on the scene when he was consigned from Adelaide with 50 other dogs to Quorn to exterminate rabbits near Carrieton. It seems in 1884 he was swapped for another dog, and ended up with William Ferry, who was at the time working as a Special Guard at Petersburg (Peterborough).
The year after , William was promoted to Assistant Station Manager, and by this time Bob was well used to travelling on trains. He often sat in the front of the coal space in the locomotive tender, and the Petersburg Times reported "His favourite place on a Yankee engine, the big whistle and belching smokestack seemed to have an irresistible attraction for him….he lived on the fat of the land, and was not particular from whom he accepted his dinner"
He did not like the cramped cabs of suburban engines, but was known to clear out third class compartments for his sole use by "vigorously barking at all stations, usually succeeding in convincing intending passengers that the coach had been reserved of his special benefit". "His bark was robust and often caused strangers to believe that he was being aggressive when he really intended to be friendly" (The Advertiser 5 Feb 1935).
Bob's career was not without accidents. It took him a while to refine his skills when jumping up onto or from one loco to another, even when it was moving. On one occasion when travelling between Manoora and Saddleworth he fell from an engine, and managed to walk with an injured leg 2 miles to Saddleworth. Other mishaps include getting his tail jammed, losing an inch off his tail after slipping off, and his coat catching fire. One story reports that during one of his visits to Port Augusta he caught a steamship to Port Pirie, confusing the ship’s whistle with that of a locomotive.
The Advertiser newspaper reported that Bob died on 29 July 1895, aged 17, however this age differs to that recorded on his statue. He had retired to Adelaide where he was known to dine regularly at a butchers shop in Hindley Street. It seems that after his afternoon tea, he barked at a passing dog and with a pitiful howl, dropped dead.
Other records indicate that Bob lived out his days on the Silverton Tramway Company which connected Broken Hill to the SA Railways and Petersburg.
After his death, his body was preserved and displayed at the Exchange Hotel in Adelaide. His collar (which had been provided by a commercial traveller who had taken a fancy to him) was initially given to the Lord Mayor of Adelaide but was later passed on to the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen. It is now displayed at the National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide
Information sourced from Matmobs geocache Bob GC2WVHF
Type of Memorial: statue
Type of Animal: service, work animal
Proof of visit is required. The easiest proof is a gps photo of the memorial. GPS photos will always be acceptable proof. Individual waymarks may ask for an alternative type of proof of visit.