T.H. ESLICK – A SHOW BIZ GENIUS
|Sydney's White City about 1914|
|Original held in Santa Monica Public Library|
|Sydney Morning Herald Jan 1941|
T H Eslick was my great uncle, you correctly traced him to Lancashire although I believe he was born in Wales whilst my great grandfather was working as a station master there, and grew up in Liverpool.
According to my father's stories he began his amazing career in the amusement park industry as a humble labourer on a scenic railway (Blackpool perhaps?). The foreman of the project left or was fired and T H Eslick took over the project and completed it by working from the original plan. Apparently his method for checking that the track was safe was by travelling in it with his workmen at full speed and without using the brakes, which on one occasion reulted in a crash and several broken bones. He then proclaimed himself a scenic railway designer and got the job of designing the railway at the Crystal Palace, using the same design he had followed for his last job! It seems that when he emigrated the rest of my family lost contact with him somewhat and my grandfather didn't seem to know much about his older brother's life abroad, only that he was successful in the amusement park business.
I hope these stories are of some interest to you, I have found your blog extremely interesting as indeed my father would have. It is difficult to know the real true story about this larger than life character as it was well known within the family that he was not averse to bending the truth in his favour!
Matthew Sept 30. 2012