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First trip on the miniature railway – Victoria Esplanade

First trip on the miniature railway – Victoria Esplanade

Locomotive 271 pulls away on its trip in the Victoria Esplanade gardens, Palmerston North, with members of the official party at the 1 November, 1969, opening of the miniature railway. At the controls is Mr M K Bury, the President of the Miniature Railway Society. Originally it was a half mile track running through native bush. Today (2014) a new extension loop takes the railway on a 20 minute ride to the children's playground and back on a track that is 2.2 km long. The Esplanade Scenic Railway Society owns and operates the miniature railway, one of the largest of its type in New Zealand, with a fleet of three locomotives, ten passenger cars and four specialised carriages for maintenance work. The Society's volunteer crews take turns to act as Guard, staff the ticket office, and drive the trains, and on busy days staff two trains and two stations.

 
Meeting house at Awahuri

Meeting house at Awahuri

A handwritten caption on the original print reads as follows: “Erected for the visit of the Maori King Tawhia (sic) in the latter seventies…” The statement about the purpose of the construction appears to be correct, but the date of the visit was 1883 (see report in Manawatu Daily Times 27 January 1883). Identified as “Te Iwa Tekau” (literally 90 feet), a large marae at Awahuri said to have been 90 feet in length. The correct spelling is "Tawhiao". This meeting house was located on the east bank of the Oroua River, a few chains south of the main highway between Palmerston North and Bulls. The house fell into disrepair during the early 20th century and was blown down in the great gale of 1936. The small wharepuni alongside was damaged by the falling building and subsequently demolished. Building on the far left was the cookhouse/dining hall. The house faces the main road, river on right of the photograph. There is Tukutuku work and Kowhaituhai inside the house, says Tony Cribb of Awahuri (15/11/1971), but no carving. The house is 99 feet long and known simply as "Te Iwa".

 
Louisa Snelson - Palmerston North's first Mayoress

Louisa Snelson - Palmerston North's first Mayoress

Louisa Snelson was born in 1844 and married George Snelson in 1865. George Snelson was a pioneer storekeeper (he opened the first shop on the Square) and was the first Mayor of he newly created Borough of Palmerston North in 1877, making Louisa the first mayoress. They lived in Fitzherbert Street, and had two children - Frances, who died aged one, and George who died aged two. Their adopted daughter was Matilda Montgomery (later Perrin). Louisa was extensively involved in all aspects of life in Palmerston North including fundraising efforts for Palmerston North Hospital. She died 14 February 1919 aged 75 in Whanganui and is buried in the Terrace End Cemetery. Her obituary in the Manawatū Daily Times described her as the "Mother of Palmerston".  Louisa was one of approximately 523 Palmerston North women who signed the Suffrage petition, submitted to Parliament in 1893.

 
Father Christmases preparing to distribute presents to children, Christmas Day

Father Christmases preparing to distribute presents to children, Christmas Day

This was to mark the first Christmas after the end of World War One. The presents were packed at the offices of the Manawatu Racing Club, opposite the Barraud and Abrahams building, to be distributed by a number of Father Christmases with the help of local citizens. These men are standing on the south side of Rangitikei Street, opposite the premises of the Manawatu Racing Club. Mr Henry Collinson of Collinson and Son Ltd, is third from left with hat on.

 
Hokowhitu Bowling Club, Albert Street

Hokowhitu Bowling Club, Albert Street

This photograph shows the Hokowhitu Bowling Club. The Hokowhitu Bowling Club is located next to Hokowhitu Park at 279 Albert Street. The pavilion was built by, and the green laid down by, the Palmerston North City Council. It was then leased to the Club on the understanding that all further improvements would be born by the Club. A fountain can be seen to the left of the photograph. The fountain serves as a well. It was sunk during one very dry season, in order that the greens and flower beds could be watered. The seats visible in the midsection of the picture were bought as a result of donations by three members at the time.

 
Fitzherbert East - Aokautere School

Fitzherbert East - Aokautere School

The Fitzherbert East School, near Palmerston North, was built in 1889 by Messrs Perrin, Oakley and Meyrick, and opened to the first pupils March 19th 1889. The school as first built comprised of a single classroom and porch. The photograph shows children, parents and teachers outside the school with a tent alongside.

 
Damaged Main Stand, Showgrounds

Damaged Main Stand, Showgrounds

A severe storm which crossed the North Island on 2 February 1936 caused substantial damage in and around Palmerston North, one of the hardest hit towns. Houses lost roofs, chimneys were blown over, the grandstands of the A&P Association, the Awapuni Racecourse and the sportsground were demolished, and a man was killed when he was blown off his roof as he tried to repair it. Manawatu Evening Standard, February 3, 1936: "During the storm on Feb 2, the main grandstand, which faced a southerly direction, was unroofed for its entire length. Pieces of wood and iron sheets were scattered in all directions. Toward the western end of the man stand, part of the roof caved in and lay in tangled and twisted wreckage. The seating suffered comparatively little damage"

 
Site of the power house and route of pipe line, Mangahao hydro electric power scheme

Site of the power house and route of pipe line, Mangahao hydro electric power scheme

One of a series taken by Charles Wildbore between 1922 - 1924, recording the construction of the Mangahao electric power scheme. The power house was constructed at the foot of the ridge in the centre distance (to the right of the woooden building on stilts). The route along which the pipe line was constructed can be seen extending from the top of the ridge to the power house site. The Mangahao Power Station is a hydroelectric power station near the town of Shannon, Horowhenua. After being delayed by World War One, access roading and foundation testing was started by late 1919 and the station opened in November 1924. It makes use of Mangahao River, through a series of tunnels and piplines totaling 4.8 kilometers, in the Tararua Ranges. Mangahao Power Station became the power station for Wellington, Horowhenua, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, and the Wairarapa. As of 2012, it is jointly owned and operated by Todd Energy and King Country Energy.

 
Opening of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company Line

Opening of the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company Line

On the back of this print was the caption, "opening of W & M Railway" and the handwriting seemed to be that of the donor's grandfather Mr L G West, who was Mayor of Palmerston North 1885-1887. A full account of this event can be found in the Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 146, 4 November 1886, Page 2 (available at Paperspast)

 
Restoration of 'Totaranui'

Restoration of 'Totaranui'

'Totaranui' was built c1871 by Peter Manson, a sawmiller, on his farm about where Fitzroy Street in Palmerston North stands. It was probably enlarged by him over the years. In 1906 it was sold and the Pascoe family became residents in 1908 and bought the house c1912. Pascoes lived in the house until donating it the Palmerston North City Council, when it was restored and temporarily sited on the corner of Main Street and The Square during Palmerston North's centennial celebrations. It now stands at Te Manawa, Museum, Art Gallery and Science Centre. It is thought to be the oldest existent house in Palmerston North. This photograph was taken the day prior to Totaranui opening when workers were constructing gardens outside of house.

 
A bush fire in Pohangina Valley

A bush fire in Pohangina Valley

This photograph was taken from the second terrace above the river looking in an south-westerly direction. It is said that Wildbore, the photographer, wished to photograph a bush fire and was notified by Mr Roberts of Mount Richards of a burn taking place on his property. The fire burnt between Coal Creek and the site of the present Pohangina Valley West Road.

 
Feilding Railway Station and yards

Feilding Railway Station and yards

Feilding Railway Station was situated on the Palmerston North to Wanganui Line. There was a large goods shed and water-tanks at the station and the local post and telegraph office was on the railway platform. Six trains passed Feilding daily during this period. The locomotive shown is an F class, designed and built in England for the Public Works Department from 1873 - 1921. They were the second biggest locmotive class in New Zealand, but only five served in the North Island, with all five being assigned to Wanganui in 1878.

 
Laying 18" Sewer Across Swamp

Laying 18" Sewer Across Swamp

Samuel Jickell was the Palmerston North Borough Engineer from 1904-1919. This photograph shows a sewer pipe being lain in a swamp. The 18" sewer is being laid on a ferro-concrete support as the swamp was over 14 foot deep.

 
Sowing grass seed by hand

Sowing grass seed by hand

Information on rear of photograph reads: “Sowing The Seed (Kentucky Blue Grass). This picture gives a good idea of the nature of the country in which the seed is raised. Mr Thos. Harrison, who had been so successful in this industry, is here shown sewing Kentucky Blue Grass.” Mr G A Hart states that Harrison’s farm was situated on the Pohangina Valley West Road, about two miles south of Utuwai School.

 
Waipatiki oil well, Southern Hawkes Bay

Waipatiki oil well, Southern Hawkes Bay

Opening day of the Waipatiki oil well, 23 miles from Dannevirke. Kotuku Oil Fields Syndicate Ltd began drilling in 1912, with two wells about 2000 yards apart. There are details in an article in the Dannevirke Evening News, 30 August 1912. The well closed in 1921. The two women sitting fourth and fifth from right are Annie Cameron and Mrs Munro.

 
Page 1: Kairanga School class
Page 2: Kairanga School class

Kairanga School class

A class of pupils and teachers at Kairanga School. Kairanga School opened 10 December 1888 and is situated 10km from the centre of Palmerston North city on the corner of Rongotea Road and Kairanga-Bunnythorpe Road

 
Municipal Opera House, Church Street

Municipal Opera House, Church Street

The Municipal Opera House, designed by F J Wilson and built by J Trevor and Sons, was erected for the Palmerston North Borough Council in 1904-1905 and opened 12 July 1905. In 1952 it was condemned unsafe by the Palmerston North City Council and was strengthened and remodelled both inside and out in 1955. It was sold by the PNCC to a businessman in 1996 and demolished.

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