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As typical of our Trammies, Valerie has not been bored since the city tramway was derailed following seismic events.  Valerie was distinctive for being one of the shortest (in height) of the team.  I used to joke telling tram passengers not to be deceived by her stature, or lack of it, when conducting.  “You’ll get… Read More


No-one would forget Christchurch trammie Owen.  Always the outrageous funny man, he was also friendly, often jumping off a tram to help tourists looking vaguely lost.  Owen’s assistance would send them in the right direction – vaguely. What happened to him? Owen put a hand up to help out on the Auckland Dockline Tram when… Read More

What have they been doing?

Remember Ken Henderson?  He was the tramway motorman who wore the permanent smile.  His commentary was given the thumbs up by the US ambassador on a city visit.  Ken promises to be back when our Christchurch Trams are re-instated.  His time away from the trams has been far from idle.  Presently, with wife Cynthia, he… Read More

Prerequisite for Tram Drivers

Those of us who call ourselves Trammies might be seen as being a tad different form others.  People who have ridden on our beautifully restored tramcars – in Christchurch (billed to return in coming months) and Auckland’s Dockline Tram, accept a degree of eccentricity.  Maybe we are nuts about trams or just have a pride… Read More

Smilers …

When working on the city trams I would introduce a co-worker, Ken Henderson, as one of two people in this world who wear a permanent smile as their default facial expression. Typically, I was asked “Who is the other?” I would mention Charlie Ogston, a Train Manager frequently seen on the TranzAlpine. Tram passengers planning… Read More

Grand Tour’s Trial Run

This week I joined three very keen Welcome Aboard Grand Tour drivers, Ian, Ray and David on a trial run of the re-instated tour route starting on December 1. Much of the half-day tour is the original and very popular pre-earthquake event with the exception of the ride up the Port Hills Gondola cableway (hopefully… Read More

Age is just a number

An earlier blog talked about the retirement of Trevor Craib. Despite being the oldest of 20 Christchurch tram drivers, his departure did not alter the average age of the team. It remained at 63. Now, the youngest tram driver, Julia Wareham, has left in the last few weeks to take up employment with a construction… Read More

50th Anniversary for Tramway Historical Society

Opening up my mid-week copy of The Star newspaper, I was delighted to see a well-written article, Life on the trams recalled by 95-year-old. I then spotted a photograph of 95 year old Geraldine Bowman in her conductress uniform of the 1950s, blowing her old trammie whistle. Behind her was Christchurch Tramway’s No. 178. I… Read More

Mr. Pete …

The undoubted success of the Christchurch heritage trams is found beyond their eye-catching exteriors. It is the people – the Motormen and Conductors and their often quirky characters. Take for example Mr. Pete, alias Peter Michie. He says he is a professional Tram Driver. “I am the only one with a title – Mr.” To… Read More