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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

Acknowledging Preservation and Innovation

Every Queens birthday weekend FRONZ (Federation of Railway Organizations of New Zealand) members meet for a catch-up.  A key aspect on the event is announcing the annual awards for rail preservation and innovation. This year Ferrymead won the Tramway Restoration Award for the Heritage Tramways Trust restoration of Roslyn No. 1 and the Building Structure… Read More

CBD Optimism

Always keen to meet someone with optimism for the Christchurch CBD, I find, in Paul Lonsdale, a tonic.  Manager of the Central City Business Association, he is also manager of the popular Restart container mall.  “It has gone exceptionally well,” Paul enthuses. The mall on the City Mall site (former Cashel Street) opened last October… Read More

Worthy Anniversary

Friday June 8 was the 25th anniversary of New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy introduced in 1987 by David Lange’s Government.  Local peace devotees met at the World Peace Bell in the Botanic Gardens.  I failed to make it because, on the way, I crashed by bicycle on a devious slice of frozen snow, giving my head… Read More

Glorious winter river experience

This week I discovered a special thing to do in Christchurch.  Just a few days ago Welcome Aboard’s punting chief, Jamie, was telling me how magnificent his stretch of river is after snow.  Guess what?  I have my opportunity, joining punter Kevin and two university students, calling themselves Sharon and Whiny, from Hong Kong.  Jamie… Read More

Truly Diamond Jubilee

Queen’s Birthday holiday this year marks the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 2.  She has been Queen of Britain and her Commonwealth for 60 years and 117 days.  She is eclipsed by Queen Victoria.  When on the trams our commentary near the Victoria Square stop mentioned Victoria being the longest reigning British Monarch.  We said… Read More

Taking a punt with Jamie

It is the second day of winter and Welcome Aboard’s Punting on the Avon Operations Manager, Jamie Storie, is propelling me gently upstream.  A one-time Londoner with a degree in philosophy, he remarks on the near perfect day, devoid of a breath of wind.  Some autumn colours, still clinging to trees, are beautifully backlit in… Read More

Botanic Gardens Happenings

Sitting snug in a loop of the Avon and surrounded on all sides by green space – mostly Hagley Park – our delightful Christchurch Botanic Gardens have been a key visitor attraction for almost 150 years.  The garden’s origins were in 1863 when Enoch Barker, Canterbury’s first government gardener, planted an oak tree in the… 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

Tram 11 on the move

This week I photographed our dinky tramcar No. 11 (the Box Car) leaving the Red Zone en route to Ferrymead Heritage Park in preparation for the Christchurch Heritage Tram restart.  Secured to the trailer deck of BTR’s huge Kenworth road truck, it definitely looked outside its comfort zone as it progressed along Lichfield Street with… Read More

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