Tin Shed gifted Bally Hooley Steam Railway by John Morris


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Kym Rowley at Bally Hooley Railway station. Image: Howard Salkow.

Only days before its name is expected to be changed, The Port Douglas Combined Clubs, or The Tin Shed, has been presented with some of the town’s prized possessions.

Tin Shed General Manager Kym Rowley said today that Port Douglas icon John Morris and his family have decided to leave a legacy to the Douglas Shire and Community by ‘gifting’ the Bally Hooley Steam Railways to one of the Shire’s largest and respected ‘not-for-profit’ organizations.

There is an added bonus to this philanthropic gesture with The Tin Shed also taking over the popular Choo Choo’s Café at the Marina.

At this Sunday’s Tin Shed annual general meeting, the club is expected to be re-named the Douglas Community & Sports Club. 

“This is really exciting news for the club and when John approached us, he said he is getting on in life and he wanted to ensure his passion, the Bally Hooley, would continue to operate after he had departed the scene.

“He added that the reason he approached the Management of the Combined Clubs was due to its contribution and involvement within the community and the excellent Management structure,” said Mr Rowley.

Mr Rowley said the idea was put to the Management Committee to gauge their feelings and it was unanimously accepted. 

The proposal will see the Club taking ownership of the Bally Hooley assets, which includes not only the four locomotives – Nelson, Bundy, Speedy and the Mowbray – six carriages, and the Bally Hooley Depot and workshop.

“To assist with the running costs associated with the Bally Hooley, the Club will also take over the popular Choo Choo’s Café at the Marina,” said Mr Rowley, who will be running for one of the four Councillor positions in next March’s Local Government election.

This acquisition adds to the Tin Shed’s portfolio. The Mossman Golf Club is among their assets.

Mr Rowley said all staff will be retained from both properties which includes those who maintain the running of the train.

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