Sunday, November 14, 2010

Commemorative Medallion: Flinders Street Station

In response to my special on Flinders Street Station, Roger from Downies Australian Coin Auctions took the opportunity to show me a medallion from his own collection. Struck in bronze and 51mm in diameter, this impressive medallion is one of only fifty made by Stokes & Sons in 1914. It commemorates the opening of the first steam railway in Australia in 1854, now Flinders Street Station. 

The following photograph shows the Stokes & Sons factory in 1909 - only five years prior to the making of the above medallion. The workmen in the photo can be seen fitting a die (engraved device for stamping a design on coins or metals) to press a new order.

Stokes & Sons, 1909 (State Library of Victoria)

I also discovered an artist's sketch of Flinders Street Station from 1854 - upon which it seems the medallion's image is based. As mentioned in my previous article, the original station comprised a couple of simple buildings, with only one railway line which travelled to Sandridge (now Port Melbourne). The image on the medallion gives a wonderful sense of how the station would have looked originally; it really is unrecognisable compared to the Flinders Street Station we know today! 
(Pic Credit: The Age Online) 

Thanks to Roger and John for sharing this! 

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