Thursday, 24 November 2016

Ring - three generations in Auckland Province

Looking out to sea from Bastion Point, Auckland toward Coromandel Peninsula Ranges Eastward and Northward. Much of what the Ring generations would have viewed. Photo courtesy Chris Ball 2014

William Charles Ring was  born in  Cambridge, New Zealand 20 February 1882. William Charles  was the eldest son of William Charles Ring and Mary Ring ( nee Gerrans)  William Charles Ring's grandfather, Charles Ring, came from Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Three Generations of Ring family - the eldest
From Left to Right Charles Ring D 1906; William Charles Ring 1857-1932; William Charles Ring 1882- 1950
James Busby - Photo in :
Buick, Thomas Lindsay. 1914. The treaty of Waitangi,
or How New Zealand  became a British colony.
Wellington, NZ: S. & W. Mackay. Also

Charles Ring  arrived in New Zealand  about  1841  from Tasmania , Australia, setting up farms  running sheep, near Onehunga Auckland.( Hayrs and Pa),  The 500 sheep, Charles was said to have purchased from Mr. Busby of Waitangi.  He headed  across Tasmanian Sea waters again to New South Wales, Australia ,to add cattle to his livestock.  During these years Charles was joined by his brother Frederick Ring. The two full cargoes  of cattle were sold as pastoral land was not easily available at this time. Worldwide,  gold discovery was resulting in  " gold rushes" to  San Francisco . The Ring brothers obtained passage aboard the brig Fanny  and voyaged  to the Californian Goldfields.  With goldmining and shipwreck over the next several years these two known as '49ers experienced several  adventures which have been well documented in newspapers of the nineteenth century.
On return to New Zealand in 1852 they headed for the hills of the Coromandel Ranges, searching for that elusive gold. Charles Ring has been attributed with the finding of the first gold by a European Settler at Driving Creek, Kapanga, Coromandel, New Zealand .Various accounts of this  have been recorded during past years of our  NZ history.

Plains around Matamata and looking toward the Mamaku and Kaimai Ranges - photo courtesy Chris Ball 2009

William Charles Ring, father of William Charles Ring, eldest son, was to settle at Hinuera near Matamata in the 1880's.   A reporter visiting the Patetere Country  in 1883, wrote about Ring's 1000 acres :-
" The land appeared to be of a somewhat similar character to that higher up the valley, though possibly not quite so light, but there was no reason to doubt that what has been accomplished on the Auckland Agricultural Company's estates there, at Messrs. Ring's and Walker's farms, and at Mangawhero, can, with the exercise of similar industry, skill and capital, be repeated in scores of cases, throughout the Thames Valley and the Patetere country." ( NZ Herald 10/10/1883)

This area in those early 1800's was being bought in. By December 1880 a suitable dray track of approximately 20 miles had been constructed. Surveyors followed and by April 1881 a bridle track was completed to Rotorua. Construction on the Rotorua Railway - the first section - was begun in 1882 - Morrinsville to Lichfield.
William Charles Ring as well as being a farmer ( sheep and horses) was also a keen athlete and sportsperson. Ring was very keen on Football ( now called Rugby ) playing for Cambridge and Waikato. Football was fast becoming a popular game amongst those in rural areas of Auckland Province.  1883  saw Ring selected for the Auckland Representative  Football team which played against Christchurch at Christchurch.

                       Courtesy Papers Past National Library NZ - FOOTBALL Gossip New Zealand Herald  7 August 1883  Page 6 

The reporter writing in the Observer wrote:-

"W. Ring (Waikato) : A grand runner, and ex- champion of the Province. Plays half-back, where he picks up very clean and is going full  speed in the first five yards. Has developed into a dangerous fender, and knows tho game. Must  not play too much for himself, but remember to back up "Whiteside and pass to him in turn. Will get behind almost certainly, as he can run round any man he is ever likely to meet."( Observer 11/08/1883)

A search of the web found an article and photo of this team  on the NZ History Website -  Auckland rugby team, 1883
This William Charles Ring continued  farming until his death in 1932,also being involved in the community he lived in. A school was opened at Hinuera in 1892 and the children of William Charles and Mary Ring attended, being some of the first pupils.

Hinuera School from Eventafind - In 2017 this school will celebrate 125th Jubilee.

Ring's  residence, not far from the Hinuera Railway Station,  housed the Hinuera Post Office and in 1902, daughter Ethel was postmistress.  He was a councillor on the Piako County Council , Patetere Riding, and in 1921 appointed a Justice of the Peace.

William Charles Ring born in 1882, the year the first section of the Rotorua Railway was begun, saw  formation years spent on his father's farm  at Hinuera.  One of nine siblings, there was one younger brother and seven sisters. This generation of the Ring family were to see   changes  from horse transport to motorised transport - a relevant change for William Charles who was to become a veterinarian. The other impacting upon the Ring and many other New Zealand families was what is now known as the First World War.  A newly qualified veterinarian, William Charles joined the NZ Veterinary Corps.

 Photo In New Zealand Veterinary Corps  Reakes ,C.J. , The War Effort of New Zealand Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, 1923, Auckland courtesy and creative commons NZ Electronic Text Centre

The first school Ring attended was Oxford ( Oxford now known as Tirau). In July 1992 it was a move to Hinuera School, the year this school  opened. Secondary Schooling was completed at  Auckland College and Grammar School. Seeking a career in veterinary medicine, Ring attended  the University of Pennsylvania gaining V.M.D. in 1911.

                                                                In  General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania, 1922, Pennsylvania

The New Zealand Herald reported Ring's arrival home:-

" Dr. William Charles Ring (Auckland) will sail on August 7 by the North German-Lloyd steamer, Scharnhorst, for Sydney, on his way home. He is returning to New Zealand from, the University of Pennsylvania, from which institution he recently graduated, Since arriving here he has been staying with Colonel Blenkinsop. of the NZ Royal Military College: of Surgeons. He should reach the Waikato at the beginning of October."  ( New Zealand Herald  28 /08/ 1911) 

Ring was to return to University of Pennsylvania in 1929, attending a post graduate course and was impressed with United States advances made in  treatment of sterility in cows.

War was looming in Europe. Marrying Ruby Monica Sellars at St Marks Church, Remuera Auckland in March 1913, Ring enlisted for the New Zealand Veterinary Corps, with the  rank of Captain and sailing on the  Troopship  Ulimaroa  July 1917. Dr. Reakes on the  New Zealand Veterinary Corps wrote:-

" The active service personnel of the veterinary corps comprised the following twenty-four officers:—Lieut.-Colonel A. R. Young. A.D.V.S.; Lieut.-Colonel H. A. Reid; Major Stafford ; Major P. M. Edgar; Major C.R. Reakes ; Captains T. A. Blake, E. C. Howard, R. H. Meade, W. C. Ring, E. L. Siddall, C. S. Simpson, A. Taylor, W. C. Barry, W. P. Begg, F. Crossley, E. E. Elphick, A. A. Johnson, T. G. Lillico, D. H. Rait, W. G. Taylor, J. Danskin, D. H. McHattie, J. H. Primer, and G. N. Waugh." ( Reakes, 1923)

Captain  Ring returned from service in France July 1919 and was also to serve in the NZ Veterinary Corps 1941 - 1944 in the Second World War gaining the rank of Major and retired in June 1944.

1931 saw Ring Propriety Company Limited -  a company manufacturing and selling veterinary medicines and preparations - the shareholders being William Charles Ring, Monica Ring and Alan Rutherford Gorrie ( brother-in-law of William Charles Ring)
William Charles Ring, third generation living in the Auckland Province, died 10 August 1950 in Auckland . His occupational life of veterinarian was certainly one involved with horses throughout from the time qualified as a V.M.D.

Bronze Eagle  Dr. W.C. Ring's horse - in New Zealand Herald 4 May 1932, p 8
Courtesy Papers Past National Library NZ
Reference Source:
  • Cyclopedia Company Limited  The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Auckland Provincial District)  The Cyclopedia Company, Limited, 1902, Christchurch
  • New Zealand Veterinary Corps  Reakes , Dr. C.J. , The War Effort of New Zealand  Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, 1923, Auckland   Also NZETC
  • Swainson, William, Auckland, the capital of New Zealand, and the country adjacent; including some account of the gold discovery in New Zealand. 1853
  • NZ Gazette 1921
  • General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania, 1922, Pennsylvania
  • Archway Archives NZ  25/11/2016
  • New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages ( bdm's)
  • NZ History Website -  Auckland rugby team, 1883 accessed 25/11/2016
  • Waikato Times   5 September 1882   Page 2  
  • FOOTBALL Gossip New Zealand Herald  7 August 1883  Page 6 
  • THE REPRESENTATIVE FOOTBALL TEAM. Observer  11 August 1883   Page 16
  • A TRIP TO THE PATETERE COUNTRY New Zealand Herald   10 October 1883   Page 6  
  • Launceston Examiner 27 Sep 1895  Page 5 
  • DEATH OF A NONAGENARIAN.  The Mercury  5 Apr 1906    Page 5 
  • New Zealand Herald   28 August 1911   Page 5
  • Otago Daily Times   2 January 1929   Page 12  
  • VETERAN SPORTAMAN DIES Auckland Star  22 October 1932   Page 7  

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Beach Road Reserve Playground Whangamata - A Sequel

Beach Road Reserve Playground Whangamata - a new era - photo ASB  22 October 2016

Further on the Beach Road Playground at Whangamata - a sequel to the other two blogs. The playground that was demolished quickly rose up out of the relics of ground and soil , said to have had input from local schoolchildren and play centre children into its design. The playground evidently was officially opened on 21 October last week - just before what is known in New Zealand as Labour Weekend - the school children invited to take part and the traditional sausage sizzle. Unfortunately due to a hospital operation was unable to attend this fun occasion. 
Now there is a new wooden boat vessel - looks grand -  no doubt there will be future stories passed down of imaginary adventures across the sea and perhaps pirates or imaginary visitors to these shores. There is also a grand swing, a sort of metal contrivance and some rather gorgeous palm frond type umbrellas - similar to what we see at some Pacific Island resort.
A new era for this beach reserve area at Whangamata and one that no doubt we will continue to visit with our children, grandchildren and other family to enjoy the beach and all it has to offer. Including a seat where one can " while the time and watch the boats come in."    Yes can see there will be future stories of this playground and maybe the school children who helped design the new additions - and in the future it will still be a part of the past NZ History with memories and stories. For playgrounds are an integral part of the past history -  the very fabric of who we are and the things that make our history and culture.
Beach Road Reserve Playground Whangamata looking at the boat vessel - photo ASB 22 October 2016

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Beach Road Reserve Playground Whangamata - Why true facts

Went to a wonderful  genealogy and family history seminar on Saturday at Waihi. Felt very inspired by the message that it is important to record family history to write it down. For though it may be buildings and artifacts in the ground it is people that make the history. It is their stories that have influence. The reasons for the location and  a style of house being built,  the " rubbish pits" that show the type of utensils, crockery, clothing used for daily living.
On the way home we stopped at a place which for many, many years has been a favorite - the Beach Road Reserve playground at Whangamata. WELL!!! After nearly three years ALL  has been removed - the swings, slides, concrete boats, the popular tyre playground equipment.
Relics of Beach Road Reserve Playground, Whangamata  17 September 2016
I say almost three years for it is that  time span when first read in the local newspaper, that the playground was to be upgraded - safety considerations  amongst the reasons. Then, in December 2014, resigned to the fact that physical structures were going to disappear, I wrote the history of how the Beach Road Playground Reserve came about back in the 1970's. This  in a blog  
Beach Road Reserve Playground Whangamata December 2014
 The blog was an addition to the story in the book " This and That"  written in 2001. It is thanks to the Whangamata Garden Club, a number of organisations and a large number of volunteers who saw this beach resort's first  children's playground come to fruition.  At a funeral last year children shared the joy of visiting this playground with their grandmother who wrote the very first letter in 1970 asking for the Reserve to be designated and for a playground.
In further research over the last two days, I could not believe what I was reading, written by  TCDC ( our council ). In their Whangamata Community Board Plan 2014-2015 And indicative Direction for 2015-2025 in relation to the said playground on page 16 the following :-
“Beach Road Reserve Development ($99,327) The Board prioritises this project as the Whangamata Beach Road Reserve playground is approximately 25 years old and is no longer fit for purpose due to component deterioration, rust and share use.  "
Historic facts prove that this written statement ( highlighted in red ) in their plan is not entirely accurate. It is the very reason that reinforces the need for recording the story or the history facts.
As a writer, local historian and family history researcher I believe , as we also learned in the Waihi Seminar, that it is very important to get down those family stories and history correctly.
It is an account of " the way things were " and a record for future generations. It is a record for Archaeologists in the future who may be identifying the evidence of settlement beneath the ground.
It can provide for the historian the " way things were." In the instance of the Beach Road Reserve Playground,  a story that reflects the community and pioneers of this town who worked extremely hard at the time, to establish what we all benefit from today – parks, reserves, clubs and organisations - in a different era when the town was small and facilities did not exist. ( not even a Marina back then and very few recreation boats in the harbour). Those early community people and pioneers had a vision for the future.
We have travelled overseas and in New Zealand a lot - visiting what interests us - a botannical gardens at Ballarat, Australia , begun over 150 years ago and still there with the wonderful stories of how it began. The Botannic gardens at Christchurch, NZ with stories of how those early European Settlers, had a vision and started planting and designing. Along with in the garden, children's playgrounds.
plaque remembering curator George Longley, Ballarat Botannic Gardens, Australia  2012 - photo CR Ball

Botannic Gardens, Christchurch NZ - photo CR Ball 2016
Very old buildings, art galleries  and museums abound in England and Europe. ( Structures that a very lucrative tourism industry has built on). Even an ancestor's house built in the seventeenth century - admittedly has another use as a hotel now - but still there standing firmly.

Sometimes we have met other people in our journeys around the world,  who have been to that place called Whangamata and have their stories of camping near the Beach Road Reserve Playground, stories of their children playing on the tyre playground equipment.
It seems to me that there has crept in to New Zealand that anything older than say thirty years needs to be pulled down - whether it be buildings, playgrounds or other structures. A modern attitude that is quick to write them off as being old. This seems to have been strengthened by a changed Historic Places Act, the recording of detail in Archaeological Diggings before a building, a subdivision , a development, a motorway takes place. That it is okay to remove all trace of what was there before and even the stories and written historical fact. 
I think not, for that is removing the very fabric of who we are and the things that make our history and culture. I am pleased I recorded the story of the Beach Road Reserve Playground in the  book, " This and That"  in 2001 and in a blog in 2014.  I  shall continue to record in writing stories and history facts  for future generations. 
 Yes I look with interest to see what rises up out  of the ashes of the relic remains of dirt and soil from the old playground. I accept that physical structures such as swings, slides and tyre playground equipment have a life span and do need replacing. I hope to see other stories and historic facts recorded for the new playground into future years. If others write that story or history down, then in another fifty years will be more on the essence of what the Beach Road Reserve Playground represents to many of us in the fabric of our history and culture.
Beach Road Reserve Playground , Whangamata - waiting for a new lease of life and new stories in the future - photo CR Ball 2016
Reference Source :
Whangamata Community Board Plan 2014-2015 And indicative Direction for 2015-2025  accessed 18/09/2016

This and That 2001   by E A Ball ( nee Stewart )  accessed 19/09/2016


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Pioneer Railway and Tramway Survey & Construction Auckland Province , NZ 1862 - 1908

Morrinsville - Matamata section - Photo 2008 courtesy Chris Ball 

For some in New Zealand history was given the role of “ Trail Blazer”. - the  early Pioneer engineers and surveyors of the 19th Century. They explored, measured, drew maps and plans and recorded in diaries, reports and papers ,their observations.

 Engineers and surveyors were  involved with  what was then known as Railway and Tramway Survey and Construction in the Auckland Province, New Zealand during the years 1862 - 1908.
 Theirs was the job of preliminary and permanent way surveys; construction of the railway ( formation and permanent way) ; construction of bridges, culverts and drains associated with the railways; Readying the buildings such as goods sheds, signal buildings  and railway stations. They specialised in this field during those early years of railway and tramway construction.

 Unknown photographer
Waihi Railway Station was opened in 1905 - Waihi Station in 2008 photo courtesy Chris Ball 2008
The role of the Engineer in charge could be said to have been “problem solver”. It could be said it was a role that needed a “thick skin” and “common sense” approach. Instances of these needed skills were:-
  • An incident with a member of a Survey Party being shot. Messrs Sheehan,  Puckey, Thomson and Stewart  called for and meetings to sort it out - an incident which occurred in a land survey camp impacting on the nearby proposed Thames Waikato Railway route.( Otago Witness 06/09/1879 )
  • A meeting with local settlers over location of station and then terminus of railway - main trunk line at Te Awamutu.
  • The “notorious bridge dispute " near Waharoa on the Morrinsville - Matamata  section I Rotorua Railway with its final diplomatic outcome in the end of dinner speeches given by all parties. A mandate received to take the railway through to the Mamaku and on.( New Zealand Herald  17/08/1885)  
Prices first locomotive ordered 1883 for Piako County Tramway ( AKA Waiorongomai Tramway) Never used on this  Tramway was sold to Smythe Bros timber contractors - drawing ASB
 As well as " problem solving"  there were  all the other things  that went with constructing a railway “ready to go.” It was the engineer in charge and assistant engineer in charge who  organised the purchase and supply of rails , nuts, bolts and plates; ordered sleepers - wooden in those days - thousands of them ; ordered locomotives and rolling stock, organised construction of railway bridges - some little more than a baillie bridge and others a little bigger or complex  such as Ngaruawahia railway bridge, Hamilton railway bridge and Kauaeranga railway bridge.
At the end of the day there was only one decision that could be made for the railway route.

early locomotive foreground and Helensville Station background photo 2011 - photo courtesy Chris Ball

On the Railway Route

The Railway engineers and surveyors were often away from  home for  days, weeks and sometimes months. Often there were no roads on  the routes they were taking for this was "raw terrain " - They were finding the “best route” for a railway.
  • Night base was a tent or “blanket roll" in the bush.
  • Early days of travel from Auckland  Southwards and Eastwards  was by steamer and horse.
  • A short cut route was used from the Piako  County Tramway  ( AKA Wairongomai Tramway) near Te Aroha through to the foothills of the Mamaku, where the Rotorua Railway was being surveyed.
Battery Remains near Waiorongomai near Mount Te Aroha 2009 - photo courtesy Chris Ball

Life in a Survey Camp

  • Railway Engineer Survey  Teams were close-knit. Often lifelong work and friendship links were formed.

  • Food and sleep  after  a day's work  was essential. The terrain was often dense bush, swampy ground.
  • Getting pegs and equipment ready for the next day's work. Writing up day diaries, drawing draft railway maps , checking the days curves and gradients
  •  Conversations, swapping professional ideas and keeping abreast of developments,  chequers and chess.
  • It is known that the Survey Camp was where the dreams of use of this new invention electricity were shared -electric power to run machinery  and a town, electric tramways.
  • There was often a cook preparing the meals for the surveyors.

This sketch is from one of the pen and ink drawings with which Mr. Brookes used to illustrate his letters to his parents in England. It is dated October 31, 1862, and shows the surveyors' camp in the bush between Mangawai and the site of Port Albert, the party to which Mr. Brookes was then attached being engaged in putting

The Terrain faced

Swamps –often in places a bottomless hole that sucked up the ballast ( the original main trunk section Ohaupo - Te Awamutu seemed to suck it up. Towns people could see the railway almost there and could not understand why the process was not quicker. They did not know that before the permanent way could be completed, the swamp holes Had to be filled and levelled in the formation.)

Rivers and Streams – finding the best and most economical route with consideration for flood, tidal and being able to build as few bridges & culverts as possible. As far as possible the product and resources of the area were utilised eg The stone near Rotorua township for culverts.
Culvert ( constructed from local materials ) Rotorua Railway Eruera Street - photo 2005
The Eastern Ranges - Spanning the Eastern Coasts of the Auckland Province, NZ ( Coromandel, Kaimai, Mamaku, Urewera) Finding the “best route “with the least difficult construction. problems were hard rock, narrow deep valleys and ravines. A suitable route through the Mamaku for the railway took months.
                                           Looking toward the Mamaku Range photo 2010 - courtesy Chris Ball

Dense Bush

In parts

Conditions experienced during  construction

Snow and Storms -

 Waiorongomai Tramway, Rotorua Railway
 Floods -
 Thames, Waikato, Kaipara and Waihi. In 1907 there was flooding that impacted on many of the railway lines, causing widespread damage.
 Tarawera Eruption -
 Rotorua Railway
The first NZ attempt to precisely measure earth deformation due to a specific geological event.
Rock Falls

Karangahake Tunnel, Waihi Railway. Three railway construction workers lost their lives during  this  tunnel's construction.
Entrance to railway tunnel Karangahake - now a cycleway on the Hauraki Rail Trail - photo 2012 courtesy Chris Ball
  People Danger
Requiring some good diplomatic skills to avert life  threatening situations.  The “notorious bridge dispute " near Waharoa on the Morrinsville - Matamata  section I Rotorua Railway.

Measurement  tools of railway surveyors

There were no  GPS or  computers that we  have today. A Theodolite - essential equipment, also a chain
Measurements taken, were recorded in a daily diary.
Railway maps were drawn by hand,  with curves and gradients in detail


Construction Aids

( Certainly nothing like this state of art equipment)
         Modern Track laying equipment - something those early pioneer railway surveyors and engineers did not have - photo 2013  on the Hamilton Morrinsville section of railway courtesy Chris Ball

There were no cranes, computerised cranes  helicopters, Hiab trucks, plate laying machinery back in those early days of railway survey and construction.
Construction aids for  railways, even  in the early 1900s,  were still very labour intensive.  It  was miner’s pick and shovel, lift and carry. Use of horse,  truck, fiddlestick”, and where possible " ballast  train.”  Construction labourers on the railways numbered eighty persons  plus labour force - some experienced in formation, some in permanent way, plate laying, rail laying.


The Railway engineer surveyors

These were the Railway engineer surveyors  of the Auckland Province 1862  - 1908. Some of them were surveyors only, some engineers only and some held qualifications as both engineer and surveyor.
Daniel Manders BEERE
Gerald Butler BEERE
Edward Holroyd BEERE
William Henry HALES
Ashley John Barsby HUNTER
Duncan William McARTHUR
Charles O’NEILL
Frederick James UTTING
Thomas SHAW

The New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS) was  originally established in 1888 to monitor and maintain the professional and ethical conduct of surveyors in New Zealand.  Railway Surveyors joined the Institute. Many of them also belonged to the NZ Institute sharing their skills and knowledge, along with writing papers which appeared in the annual Transactions and Proceedings.

The Institute of Local Government Engineers of New Zealand, was formed in 1912.This was the  first New Zealand based professional engineering body.  In 1913  the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers was formed and both bodies merged in 1914. Railway Engineers were also members of the  NZ Institute. A number of them also belonged to their respective Institute overseas. On the establishment of the New Zealand engineering body many of the Railway engineers became very active as members. It had been a long held dream of many of them to see this happen and a topic of discussion in those early survey and construction camps.
The Engineer Volunteer Militia were involved with the construction of the  section Mercer to Ngaruawahia and Ngaruawahia to Te Awamutu. In charge of the construction crew were:-
Captain HOWELL
Captain ROWE
Contractors who constructed the railways are another story - perhaps another blog?
                 Some of the measuring tools used by Surveyors & Engineers   Bean Compasses measurement tool in

The Railways and Tramways of Auckland Province  constructed 1862 - 1908

  •   Waihoihoi Tramway
  •   Drury Railway
  •   Drury to Onehunga and Mercer
  •   Tararu tramway
  •     Waikato Railway Mercer to Te Awamutu and Kihikihi ( eventual Main Trunk )
  •    Kawakawa to Taumarere
  •     Kaipara - Riverhead
  •      Kaipara railway & Extension  Henderson - Helensville
  •    Cambridge railway
  •    Thames Waikato railway
  •    Paeroa Waihi railway
  •    Whangarei railway
  •    Piako County tramway AKA  Waiorongomai Tramway
  •    Rotorua railway  ( section I Morrinsville - Lichfield ; section II Lichfield Rotorua)
  •    Reconnaisance Survey Gisborne Rotorua railway
  •    Auckland Electric tramway
  •    Last section of the Main Trunk railway
During construction there were many debates about end of routes, gradients, guage (The Public Works policy of 1870, which was to rule all subsequent railway construction in New Zealand, chose 3ft. 6in). which wood for sleepers.
Railway and tramways were the technology of the mid to late 1800's and early 1900's. They were the means in a newly settled country to transport more easily goods, produce and people. The Auckland Electric Tramway was said to have surpassed  the dreams and plans of even its promoters and was the means for many years of moving commuters to and from work. The Waihi Railway opening in 1905 made a big difference for the transport of goods and supplies through the Karangahake Gorge to the burgeoning gold mine industrial processing site at Waikino and the town and large goldmine at Waihi.
Waihi Railway in 2008 - photo courtesy Chris Ball

A Heritage left for us Today

The Railway Engineer Surveyors, as a hobby:-
  • drew or painted pictures or cartoons
  • wrote  papers on variety of topics for professional organisations.
  • took photographs
  • took up wood carving, woodturning, making whip handles ( horses ) - these donated to local fundraising fairs.
  • drew maps
Today some these  are in our National Library, Museums, Archives and other Libraries. Modern day writers, researchers and family historians use and refer to them in their works.
  • The photographs and maps of Daniel Manders Beere
  • The maps  and papers of James Stewart
  • The cartoons of Ashley Hunter
  • Henry ( Harry)Roche’s eyewitness account of Tarawera Eruption
  • Papers by Stewart and Hunter in Transactions & Proceedings NZ Institute ( now Royal Society of New Zealand)
A number of the railways have gone or morphed into new uses. Many of the railway and tramway routes today
Have become tramping tracks or cycle ways.  However the modern users can thank those early surveyors and engineers for it is their work that formed the permanent ways and constructed the foundations of the tracks- sometimes with tons of ballast filling those swamp holes, the culverts constructed way back then.  Yes it is a Heritage Legacy from those Railway engineer surveyors :-
        Dreamers and builders of destiny, Makers of steel tracks across Horizon.” ASB

Reference Source:
  • FRONTIER TOWN. A HISTORY OF TE AWAMUTU. 1884- 1994 Laurie Barber
  • CYCLOPAEDIA NEW ZEALAND, Vol. 2, Auckland Province
  •  Early New Zealand Engineers, Furkert, F.W., Reed, Wellington, 1953
  • LAND OF THE THREE RIVERS – CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF PIAKO COUNTY, Vennell C.W. and More D, Wilson & Horton, Auckland N.Z. , 1976
  • THE FOUNDING YEARS IN ROTORUA – A HISTORY OF EVENTS TO 1900, D.M. Stafford, Ray Richards and Rotorua District Council, 1986