Maryborough resident Edith Rees with a copy of the letter she sent to Griff Rhys Jones about his comments about Maryborough on his Great Australian Rail Trip show.Photo: Alistair Brightman
Maryborough resident Edith Rees with a copy of the letter she sent to Griff Rhys Jones about his comments about Maryborough on his Great Australian Rail Trip show.Photo: Alistair Brightman

’Bugger all’: TV show undersold M’boro, resident says

DON’T discard Maryborough or you’ll hear about it.

That’s what Welsh actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones is about to find out when he opens a letter sent to his London address by Maryborough’s Edith Rees.

Mrs Rees was affronted recently when she watched an episode on ABC of Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip. On the show the star can be seen chatting to passengers as they travel on the Spirit of Queensland train just before arriving in town.

“What do I expect to find in Maryborough?” Rhys Jones asked fellow travellers.

“Bugger all” was the response.

“That annoyed me,” Mrs Rees said.

“He was travelling on a train made in Maryborough.”

Rhys Jones got off the train in Maryborough and visited the Giant Ned Kelly statue at Ned Kelly Motel.

“I thought it was more important that he should have known the train he was riding on was made here.”

Mrs Rees believes a show focused on train travel should have known how important Maryborough was to the industry.

Train construction began in 1878 with the line between Gympie and Maryborough built to transport gold from the mines to the port.

Generations of skilled workers and tradespeople worked for decades building trains with contracts from Queensland Rail, Victorian Transport and West Rail.

In 2015 when the government awarded contracts to India it was “much to the disgust of Maryborough workers”, Mrs Rees said.

Last year the Queensland Government invested $10 million in the Downer rail plant in Maryborough to upgrade the New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains made in India to Australian accessibility standards.

A Welsh native Mrs Rees was born in Abersychan, about 40km from Rhys Jones’ birthplace of Cardiff.

When she and her late husband, former dental surgeon Anthony (Tony) Rees, emigrated from the UK to Australia in 1969 it was the train from Brisbane that delivered them to Maryborough.

Mrs Rees decided Rhys Jones needed to know more about Maryborough’s significant relevance to Australian rail travel and so she set about finding an address for him.

She spent hours on Google, tracked down a street address to his mansion in Camden, London, then posted her letter.

She included her email address and hopes to receive a reply.

We’ll keep you posted on the response.



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