: Clifton and District Progress Association members Alice McKenzie, left, Rhonda Glare and great granddaughter Kaleah Berardi, association president Graham Kemp and Robert Gibson are all eager for the Clifton Railway celebrations.
: Clifton and District Progress Association members Alice McKenzie, left, Rhonda Glare and great granddaughter Kaleah Berardi, association president Graham Kemp and Robert Gibson are all eager for the Clifton Railway celebrations. Tom Aschilles TRC

On track to celebrate at Clifton

CLIFTON has a busy six weeks ahead for Seniors and their families, with the Clifton Show, the railway station's 150th anniversary and the annual fly-in.

Sheep dog trials make their return to the 108th show on February 15-17, after being cancelled for some years due to the tough farm conditions.

Other attractions include livestock judging (cattle, sheep and goats), horse events (including showjumping), a dog show, ute show, rodeo, pavilion exhibits (including farm produce, flowers, cooking, school work, arts and crafts), the Queensland Whipcracking Championships, trade shows and, of course, all the usual entertainment and show 'must-haves' including sideshow alley, showbags and fireworks.

There's no gate charge on Friday, and it's just $10 ($6 pensioners) on the weekend.

Then, on Saturday, March 9, it's time to celebrate 150 years of Clifton Railway Station with markets, music and entertainment, the town crier, model trains and historical railway displays, as well as arts and crafts, food and vintage vehicles.

Markets will start from 8am, Southern Downs Steam Railway's steam train will arrive from Warwick about 10am in time for the official ribbon-cutting by Mayor Paul Antonio at 10.30am, with the train making its return trip at 2pm.

And of course, said Clifton and District Progress Association secretary and one of the organisers, Alice McKenzie, "you can't have a birthday without cake!"

As a bonus, O'Shanley's Irish Hotel is holding its annual Finnegan's Wake parade (complete with hearse and 'mourners'), followed by lots of Irish music and dancing from 12pm.

Clifton was one of the first stations on Queensland's southern line, officially opened on March 11, 1869, and it is now the state's second-oldest station on a working rail line.

At one time it was a regular stop-off for passengers travelling between Brisbane and Sydney and, according to the records, the diversity of famous names to have walked the platform include King George VI (then the Duke of York), Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Dame Nellie Melba and actor Richard Chamberlain.

The station is now leased by the Clifton & District Progress Association and used as a Visitor Information Centre, manned by volunteers Friday to Monday 9am to 2pm.

Alice said they hoped many people would "make a day of it" and perhaps stay over for the annual Clifton Fly-in the next day, which attracts all sorts of aircraft from recreational to home builds, ultralights, sports and vintage aircraft, warbirds and beyond, with lots of activities throughout the day.

To find out more, go to cliftonshowsociety.com, cliftonpa.org or phone 0402 032 502, or call Trevor Bange about the fly-in on 0429 378 370.


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