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The Southern Group Trip

Autumn 2014

by Jenifer's Jottings

Our autumn outing was well attended with 8 Leyland P76's participating and 24 people driving to a North Canterbury cafe at Leithfield where we occupied a private room and had an enjoyable lunch together. We then proceeded on to Waikari and boarded the Weka Pass Railway train which took us on a 45 minute trip to Waikari and back again with only a half hour stop at Waikari for an ice cream.

The Steam Locomotive A428 was built at the Thames works of A & G Price Ltd in 1909 and was one of a class of 58 locomotives of which only one other remains. It entered service as a 4 — cylinder compound and in 1940 was converted to a 2 - cylinder simple locomotive, the form it is in today. Throughout its life, A428 hauled every type of train on almost every line which was NZR, finally ending its days on coal trains on the South Island's West Coast.

It was withdrawn from service in Greymouth in Iuly 1969 and scheduled to be cut up for scrap, however a group of West Coast railway men banded together and raised enough money to buy it at scrap rates. Rebuilding the locomotive to almost "as new" condition took many thousands of hours of hard work (both paid and voluntary) and cost over $100,000.

Photos do not include Adrian Crequer's brown car as this one ”wet its pants” (radiator leaked)at the cafe while we were having lunch. Adrian then hitched a ride in his nephew's Porsche and joined us at Waikari in time to catch the train. Other cars in the photos belong to Eric Connor, Iohn Warren (Nutmeg) Roy and Paula Buchanan's (Bitter Apricot), Mark and Christine Hammond's (Bold as Brass), Alistair and Frances Young's (Dry Red), Bev Clifton Mogg’s (Peel Me a Grape) Don and ]enifer’s (Aspen Green).

This photo shows both car and driver. From L to R we welcome to Penzed Mark Hammond and his mint B as B Deluxe (is this a first?) Don/A6 E, Eric/N E, Roy /BA D, Bev/ PMA6 E Alistair Young/DR D and John/N E. A shame Adrian missed out, and in case you were wondering I think the Porsche was a silver 924. Other members in their modern cars included Betty and Fleming Biddick who came to the lunch only, Sandy Downes and George Weigel, and Helen and Don Prouting from Ashburton. Great to have Alistair and Frances Young come all the way from Waimate to join us. We also welcomed several family members who attended as passengers and enjoyed the Club outing with us.