Glenapp message in a bottle found in West Wales

HISTORY: Rob Sibson and his brother Dennis pack their car and drive to Glenapp and set camp near the Glenapp railway station to keep history alive. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia
HISTORY: Rob Sibson and his brother Dennis pack their car and drive to Glenapp and set camp near the Glenapp railway station to keep history alive. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia

WHEN Rob Sibson threw a message promoting Glenapp in a bottle off a cruise ship last month, he didn’t really expect to receive a reply.

However, a response came just four weeks later, after he had returned to his Gold Coast home.

Mr Sibson said he was enjoying an overseas trip when he threw three bottles overboard near Ireland. 

They contained a Glenapp Boys business card and a copy of Beaudesert Times articles about the Glenapp Boys themselves – Mr Sibson and his brother Dennis, who grew up at Glenapp – and their work at restoring the historic Glenapp railway station control hut.

Read more: Glenapp boys dedicated to keeping history alive

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Read more: Railway history celebrated at Glenapp

Mr Sibson said the reply came from a man in Wales. 

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“A man named Dean emailed me to say he found the bottle while he was out canoeing.

“He was taking a break at a cove where it washed up on the beach in West Wales.

“He told me he threw it back in the sea to continue its journey.”

Mr Sibson said he took the articles and his card abroad to share the history of the Glenapp railway station with train enthusiasts but did not find anyone who was interested.

“Seeing as I didn’t find anyone to tell the stories to, I thought if I threw it into the ocean maybe someone would find it but I didn’t think it would happen,” he said.

“It was a spur of the moment thing, a bit of a fantasy, to put a message in a bottle.”

The man from Wales sent the Glenapp Boys a photo of the bottle, containing their card. Photo: supplied

The man from Wales sent the Glenapp Boys a photo of the bottle, containing their card. Photo: supplied

Mr Sibson said he was eager to share his passion for the station with the Welsh man and whoever else may find the bottle.

Situated on the Brisbane to Sydney railway line near Rathdowney, the decommissioned Glenapp control hut was once forgotten until the Sibson brothers restored it.

The hut, built in 1930, stands as one of only a few of its kind left in the country.

To this day, the Sibson brothers continue to make it their life mission to keep the history of the station alive.

Despite the land being owned by Queensland Rail, the Glenapp Boys have volunteered their time and efforts to maintain the area every weekend for the past 12 years.

Mr Sibson said the fond memories of their upbringing at Glenapp brought them back to the area every time.

“It’s just a passion that will never die,” he said.