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What is the future?

We will know more today following the unveiling at 5 pm by Prime Minister John Key and CERA Minister Gerry Brownlee of the blueprint for rebuilding Christchurch CBD.  It is, of course, all under wraps but Television News last evening attempted to give us a glimpse.  Suggestion was the Avon River will become a focal… Read More


I always enjoyed working with Ray.  He had a talent to deliver his commentary in a personable chatty way, just as if the tram passengers were his mates.  Such an approach is assured to work very well.  While a Trammie, Ray also qualified for his P Licence to occasionally drive the Welcome Aboard Grand Tour…. Read More

Bullish Art

I reckon, in Christchurch, we are experiencing a, hopefully, post-quake existence that will be remembered for some of our most memorable, albeit quirky, events especially in art. On a cleared space in Madras Street I spotted ferocious bronze bull sculptures in unlikely postures on grand pianos.  They were components of New Zealand contemporary artist Michael… Read More

Botanic Gardens, also in winter

Should we visit our Botanic Gardens in winter?  I put the question to Bede Nottingham who, amongst other things co-ordinates the work of the qualified gardeners of the eight sections within the complex. “Yes,” he tells me emphatically.  He recommends multiple visits throughout the year to really appreciate our Botanic Gardens. “This time of year… Read More

Memories in compelling photography and art

Our presently-closed city Art Gallery has taken its exhibition out doors in Worcester Boulevard.  It’s worth an hour or so to take in the well-assembled collection showing what our city was like, in history, along with photographs of earthquake wrecked once-familiar views.  I visited on a week day which made it somewhat poignant with the… Read More

Something Different

I was lucky enough to be invited to lunch with Trammie Joe Pickering and his wife, Helen, at Woodend about 30 km north of the city.  I was also lucky to be driven there by another Trammie, Ken Henderson and wife Cynthia.  It was a wonderful sunny day after a frosty start.  Helen Pickering had… Read More

New Faces

I was pleased to see, in The Press, a photo of David Bolam-Smith with a certificate from the Japanese foreign minister recognising David’s gift of a kahikatea sculpture to Toyama City to remember 28 Japanese students from that city’s Toyama College who died in the collapse of the Christchurch Canterbury Television Building in February 2011…. Read More


She was one of the hosts, selling tickets and offering advice in Cathedral Square.  She could rip off tickets and punch them at amazing speed.  An interesting Trammie, having an appearance relating to her Pakistani heritage but with an English accent, she was there in all weathers.  Kabita grew up in Britain, living in Bath… Read More

Munted, worse than I was expecting

Mostly I bypass the CBD on my regular cross-city missions.  On Saturday I detoured down Gloucester Street as far as the new Press House.  The street surprisingly had “road closed” signs.  I understood Gloucester Street had re-opened.  But that was not stopping me, or anyone else.  Anywhere seriously inside the cordon had security blockades.  I… Read More


My debut into Welcome Aboard, Christchurch, was about this time of the year in 2003 when I made my first nervous attempts at learning to drive a veteran tramcar.  That was the best part of a decade ago.  In all that time I have never been employed by the Christchurch City Council.  I wish I… Read More

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