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Railway Institute gymnasium, Sydney

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CollectionsNational Union of Railwaymen of Australia
Date created: 1906
Photograph of ten men engaged in gymnastic activities in a timber and corrugated iron building. The equipment includes padded flooring, ropes with handles hanging from the beams and others for balancing on, metal bar structures, boxing gloves and weights. Five of the men work on the bars and ropes, two wrestle and another two box. From a newspaper group portrait that names thirteen male members of the gymnasium, it is possible to identify two of these gymnasts. The man at the back on the right is possibly W.Rush and the boxer on the left is probably William Ellis. Ellis was a Railway Institute Councillor and had strongly campaigned for the establishment of a gymnasium for the railway workers and their families. Receipts from the Railway Jubilee exhibition of 1905 provided funds for the gymnasium, which opened in March 1906. It was in a room on railway premises close to the Railway Institute building. From the 1880s to the late 1920s the Eveleigh workshops and the surrounding 'workmen's dwellings' were the centre for a large community and the Railway Institute provided facilities for many of its recreational activities as well as training courses.
Location: Chalmers Street, Sydney


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