Firsts for the engine cab in South Canterbury

Photo courtesy of Vicki Baker.

Peace celebrations 1919 in Temuka. Domain Avenue railway crossing looking west towards the main street. The truck has Smith Carrier, Temuka on the side. Chain drive Overland truck owned by A. Smith who had the first carrying business running between Timaru and Temuka, commenced 1926.  It was not unusual for trucks to be used as buses.  Early Chevrolets and model T trucks were manufactured with a fully canopy and two long bench seats. The cyclist – Tom Gunnion, who later became Mayor of Temuka. A1 Livery stables centre of photo, west of the two-storied house which are still there today.

 LADY DRIVERS!

In 1906, Janet Meikle became the first of thousands of New Zealanders to do what?

Otago Witness, 12 September 1906, Page 31
A distressing fatal motor car accident occurred on Saturday afternoon. Mr and Mrs John Meikle were returning home from Timaru in a car. The wife, an expert driver, was, as usual, in charge. When descending a steep, narrow road on a side cutting near the house the car went over a bank, and over a wire fence. Meikle was pitched out, and had his right thigh broken. Mrs Meikle was pinned under the car, and suffocated by the weight on her chest. Some time elapsed before the husband crawled within hearing of the maid servant at the house. Deceased was about 38 years of age, and leaves one child — a girl of four. Meikle was well-known as a driver of Cobb and Co.'s coaches in the early days, and subsequently as proprietor of the Grosvenor Hotel for many years.

Died in a car crash, when her vehicle hit a bank near Timaru.

First Killed in Car Accident  - Janet Meikle 1870-1906
10 October 2006 Timaru Herald
Mrs Meikle has the dubious honour of being the first person to be killed in a motor accident in the Timaru district. She lived with her husband in their farmhouse in the north gully below the Spur Road at Washdyke. In September 1906 they were returning from town. Mrs Meikle, a competent driver, was driving down from Spur Road to their house in their 8hp De Dion car. The driveway snaked down the side of a gully and unfortunately the car went out of control and after hitting the bank beside the track it overturned, trapping her underneath. Despite having a broken hip after being thrown out of the car, Mr Meikle managed to crawl for help. Neighbours arrived but were unable to lift the car and a team of horses was needed. Sadly, by that time, Mrs Meikle had died.
Inscription: In affectionate memory of Janet, the beloved wife of John Meikle, killed by motor accident September 8th 1906 aged 36 years. From Timaru Cemetery, Notable Nineteenth Century Characters.

Otago Witness, 22 November 1905, Page 59
LADY DRIVERS.
There has been some discussion of late in the London papers on the question of ladies driving, and several writers have expressed an opinion that the art of motorcar driving is not one suited to the gentler sex. Such a conclusion does not at all agree with the admission of how easily controlled a modern automobile is. It has been demonstrated that it is quite possible for a lady to learn enough as to the principles involved and of the adjustment of vital portions of the mechanism to enable her not only to drive, but to maintain her car in good running order. A magazine article written by Miss Dorothy Levitt bears out this statement, and, as showing the popular idea of a motorist being always dirty to be wrong, Miss Levitt says : " Many a minor and even important adjustment I have made without getting more dirt on me than I could wipe away with a cambric handkerchief without fear of spoiling it." As a pastime there is nothing more exhilarating, and the pleasure which may be derived from driving oneself is in itself the best argument in favour of learning the few necessary details in regard to lubrication and adjustment.

Poverty Bay Herald, 24 January 1908, Page 5
On Saturday afternoon, Mr Alfred Hoskins, of Winchester, while walking, from Geraldine was run over by a motor-car and his right leg was broken just above the ankle. He was also considerably bruised. He stated that the owner of the motor-car did not wait to see the result of the collision, but drove off at full speed.

Evening Post, 20 November 1911, Page 7
TIMARU, 19th November. The need of a bylaw to compel the use of lights on vehicles using the busy country roads by night was illustrated by an accident near Geraldine to a party of three cyclists, who all collided with a horse and trap in the dark. The cyclists were more or less bruised. The horse swerved, and all the occupants in the trap — three ladies, a man, and a child were thrown out. The man's collarbone was broken, one lady received a bad cut over the head, and the others escaped with bruises.

Poverty Bay Herald, 21 May 1912, Page 4
The second day of the Timaru races was a veritable "gold mine" to the police of Timaru, as far as by-law breaches were concerned. At the Magistrate's Court, on Friday there were no fewer than 21 charges: of furious driving, either of motor cars, or motor cycles, preferred against 18 offenders, all the offences being committed on April 25th, either on the way to or from the racecourse. In nearly all the cases the offenders were fined 20s and costs. In one case a fine of 10s was inflicted, while in another the offender was mulct in a fine of 40s and costs. This is the longest list of by-law cases that has come before the Timaru Magistrate's Court for a long time past.

Grey River Argus, 1 February 1915, Page 6
MOTOR CARS COLLIDE. TIMARU, Jan. 29. Dust storm on Washdyke Road today was responsible for a head-on collision between two cars. Mrs. C. N. Orbell's daughter driving out met Messrs Murray and Mullions, architects. Neither was going fast through the dust, and did not see each other in time to avoid meeting. Both cars were badly damaged, but the occupants escaped injury, except Mr. Murray who was cut about the face with the broken class of the wind shield.


First Built - 1896 Cecil Woods of Timaru built the first motor vehicle in New Zealand. 
                      In 1899 Cecil Wood from Timaru builds New Zealand's first motorbike.

The third car, above. Cecil Walkden Wood in his third home-built car, photographed circa 1910. The coachwork is by wheelwright and coach builder John James Grandi. The passenger is Wood's son, also named Cecil. Probably photographed in Wood's home town of Timaru.

Poverty Bay Herald, 10 June 1901, Page 2
Mr Henry Walkey, employed at Mr J. J. Grandi's engineering works in Sefton street, Timaru, met with a painful and unfortunate accident. He was engaged working a planing machine, and in guiding the wood along the table two of the fingers of his right hand came within reach of the knives, the result being their complete amputation at the second joint. The sufferer was at once taken to the hospital, where his injuries were attended to.

First Waimate county car 1903

Timaru Herald, 30 November 1900, Page 3
FIRST MOTOR CAR IN TIMARU.
Mr Oates motor car was run about the streets for some time yesterday, and attracted a great deal of attention from people going about, and shopkeepers left their counters to have a look at the novelty, and the remarks made about it were mostly of a favourable character, though naturally there were those who were prepared to criticise its construction, its appearance as odd, its progression as noisy. It did not strike us as very noisy, and certainly not as odd. If one saw a man on a modern bicycle now for the first time, that would indeed be an odd sight, but a buggy without a horse is only in part a novelty, and the peculiarities of the vehicle distract attention from the absence of the home. As for noise, many buggies rattle as much, while the motor is not to be compared to the ordinary express for advertising its whereabouts. What did strike us about it, was the immense improvement that would be made in the cleanliness of the town if all vehicles were horseless. It is driven by a tiny gas engine, the gas being a light oil called petroline, vaporised by the heat from the engine exhaust, and ignited by electric sparks supplied by a small storage battery. Mr Oates kindly gave some members of our staff short runs along the streets. They were pleased with the ease with which the machine is guided or controlled, though for lack of a connecting bar (removed in consequence of accidents on the way down), the control did not cover the arrangements for increasing the power for going up-hill, and consequently a steep hill pulled up the car. Hordes took little or no notice of the car. The one defect noticeable in a first ride is the vibration caused by the engine, which shakes the car with every explosion. This, it would seem, should be easily remedied by having an efficient arrangement of springs between the driving power and the seat and footboard. The wheels have solid rubber tyres two inches wide ; pneumatic tyres are often used, but Mr Oates doubts their safety. The wheels are of small diameter, and this brings out prominently the unevenness of the streets. Probably the regular user of the motor car becomes accustomed to the vibration, but the running over uneven roads must be hard on the vehicle. Messrs Oates and Carl took their car back to Christchurch by train last evening.

Timaru Courier July 15, 2010 pg 6
Wood first man in NZ to build a car

Motor cars could not be driven over 4mph, and had to have someone walking in front carrying a red flag to warn other road users of their approach. SOUTH Canterbury has produced a surprising number of inventors and technical pioneers, from Richard Pearse to Colin Murdoch, but few know that Cecil Walkden Wood, born in 1874, built the first car in New Zealand, laying the foundations in Timaru for a NZ car industry.

His boyhood ambition was to go to sea in the footsteps of his grandfather, who had joined the Royal Navy and fought in the Napoleonic War. But better advice prevailed and at the age of 16 the lad was already designing and building steam engines. He started his career with bicycles, as Henry Ford did, and at 18 was an apprentice at Tourist Cycle Works, in Christchurch. The firm had a branch in Timaru, but it only sold bicycles and mended punctures. To provide better service, he was sent to Timaru, where his father was licensee of the Old Bank Tavern, as manager of the shop. The Christchurch firm ran into financial trouble, so the 21 year old decided to go into business for himself in the same shop. He rented a lathe from a local gunsmith, bought a drill and soon started attaching motors to his cycles. In 1897, he set about building a bicycle to take a Minerva engine, the leading brand in Europe and Britain at that time. This proved successful. When case hardening was invented, Mr Wood read up about the process, and became the first man in New Zealand to case harden parts for cars and cycles. When bicycle tube sizes changed, he was left with obsolete stock. Rather than dump it, he built a belt driven three wheel, two horsepower vehicle, using the surplus tyres. He built the chassis and tiller steering wheel, and mounted the engine crossways. He built the motor, with some help, but the tri wheel vehicle tended to turn to the left, through lack of a differential. With improvements, the vehicle by 1901 worked well. But Mr Wood thought he could do better than this early effort, and commissioned a local chemist, Mr Gunn, to make up a gunpowder mixture to replace the petrol as fuel. However, there were combustion problems and he had to return to petrol.

In 1903, he progressed to a four wheel, two-seater car with rear mounted motor and a half speed gear for hill climbing, but still had problems. People tried to stop Mr Wood from testing his car in the streets. New Zealand was still a British colony and governed by British laws. Some of these stated that motor cars could not be driven over 4mph, and had to have someone walking in front carrying a red flag to warn other road users of their approach. This law delayed the development of British cars for many years. Mr Wood’s car reached speeds of 12mph, too fast for the streets, and people complained to the police about children and animals being scared, and dogs making a noise when he went past. He discovered that Station St was owned by the NZ Railways, and therefore not subject to ordinary law, so this promptly became his testing ground.

His second car was sold to an Oamaru man. He had built four cars before he began selling Fords in 1921. In 1903 he and Dr Barkley, of Waimate, formed the first Association of Motor Cars in South Canterbury — New Zealand’s first car club — and Cecil Wood was an early member of the Canterbury Auto• mobile Association. He retired from the car making industry to concen trate on importing cars, retiring from that business in 1930. The business, Brown Wood Motors, survives today as part of Hervey Motors. Cecil Wood died at The Grange on June 21, 1965, aged 91.

A less successful but enterprising man was Mark Saunders who, in 1905, waited on the council to urge once more his request for a lease of the outer corner of Dashing Rocks to continue his sea power experiments. He had built two water wheels, a shed and some fluming and complained that he needed money to continue but said no one would invest if he could not get tenure. He urged that his machinery could be useful to the council for lifting salt water for washing the abattoirs, and thousands of tons of salt could be evaporated on the land he wanted. The council was unresponsive and the enterprise went no further.

Inventor: Cecil Wood (left) and companion sitting in the first four-wheeled car built by Mr Wood, in Sophia St, Timaru, circa 1902.
Photo: South Canterbury Museum P1374

WIGLEY

On February 5, 1906, Rodolph Wigley set out from Fairlie in the Mackenzie country to drive the first motor car, a De Dion Bouton, to Mount Cook with Dr Eric Marchant as passenger. John Rutherford with his two younger brothers accompanied them, also in a De Dion Bouton. The party stayed at Tekapo on February 5 and 6 before setting out at midday on February 7. They arrived at Mount Cook at 4am on February 8. That first trip was the forerunner to a regular run by service cars from Fairlie, where intending passengers came by train. This was the start of the Fairlie- Mount Cook Company, later the Mount Cook Tourist Company. The first regular service car using a 24hp Darracq started on December 1, 1906, leaving Fairlie at 7.30am and arriving at Mount Cook at 5.30pm. history of the company through photos

RARE CAR RETURNS TO MT COOK
Timaru Herald 2 July 2005
After almost 100 years a very special car has returned to Mt Cook. The De Dion - Bouton, one of two which first arrived at the Hermitage at 4am on February 8 1906, has been bought by the hotel. This historic first car trip to the Hermitage took several days and helped open up transport and tourism in the region. The car was probably owned by John Rutherford and the other car, a similar 6 horsepower De Dion, was driven by transport and travel pioneer Rodolph Wigley. The De Dion has just gone on display in the Hermitage foyer. General manager Denis Callesen has been aware of the car for five years. After negotiations the Fielding owner has recently agreed to sell it. Mr Callesen said in a few years it may be displayed in the proposed Mt Cook Museum, but it looks great as a display just where it is. Clauses mean that regardless of the future direction of the museum or Hermitage the car will stay in Mt Cook. It seems ironic in an era when 4WD vehicles are widely seen as a nuisance in wilderness areas 100 years ago the Timaru Herald celebrated the "invasion of the alpine regions by the motor car." The original trip will be marked by a centennial rally in February next year and the De Dion will be the star of the show. The De Dion - Bouton is an extremely early car built only a few years after cars were invented; this makes it desirable to collectors and worth close to $100,000 on the international market

De Dion - A car of history and mystery.
Rob KERR 28 September 2005 Timaru Herald
It's either the first car to drive to Mt Cook or the first car to kill a New Zealander -- either way, the Hermitage's 1902 De Dion is an enigma.
    For years it was considered the car that John Rutherford, along with Rodolph Wigley in another De Dion, first drove to Mt Cook's Hermitage on February 8, 1906. But local vintage car enthusiast Barry Goodman is convinced the car's real claim to fame is that it was the first vehicle involved in a fatal crash in New Zealand. Bought on the premise, from Fielding collector Brian Thomas, that it was Rutherford's car, the De Dion will be the star of a centennial re-enactment next year of the first car trip to the Hermitage. Hermitage general manager Denis Callesen said it was unlikely the truth would ever be known. Either way the car was identical to the Rutherford car and a great exhibit. He wasn't worried if it was the Meikle car. Mr Callesen has found a body number on the car and was sending it to the Beaulieu motor museum in England to see who the first owner was. Both scenarios are feasible, and research into the vehicle has failed to provide any clear cut answers. In the late 1950s, Rutherford saw the car in a vintage car show, and said it was his old car.
    But another family's history has it that it was the car involved in a crash that killed Janet Meikle. On September 8, 1906, Mrs Meikle was driving on a gravel drive, near Spur Road, when the family's De Dion tipped over a small bank. Apparently the edge of a step pressed down on her chest slowly suffocating her. Husband Jack was tossed clear, but had a broken thigh. He heard her gasp "Jack I'm dying" and by the time he crawled off and summoned help, she had passed away. Timaru vintage car enthusiast Russell Paul researched the first car trip to Mount Cook, and interviewed Ned Sutherland, who restored the car in the 1950s. Mr Sutherland said it was the Meikle car and his father had bought it as a wreck around 1909 from "Yankee" Campbell, a Le Cren Street dealer. His father said the car had gone off a bank and killed a woman. That makes Mr Goodman sure the De Dion is the Meikle car.
    He said the car was bought by Mr Sutherland (senior) a few years after the fatality (1909 or 1910) and as there were few cars on the road its history would have been well known. Ned Sutherland said the De Dion was bought by a Dr Cook from Fairlie around 1905 and then sold to someone in Cricklewood.
    Mr Paul believes this clouds the issue as the Meikles lived near Spur Road, not Cricklewood, however, John Rutherford lived at Opawa (Albury) which is close to Cricklewood. The Sutherlands used the car for 10 or 12 years before it ended up being used as a saw bench and Ned Sutherland then restored it in the 1950s. Some "evidence" only clouds the issue. The Meikles bought the car in January 1906 and this makes for a tight timeline for Dr Cook to buy it and on sell it to the Meikles. Mr Paul researched the weight and horsepower of the cars. The Meikle De Dion was reported as more powerful and heavier.
    The car on display at the Hermitage has been thoroughly restored and is a different car from 100 years ago. Its weight of 480kg is between the reported weights of both cars. Mr Paul concluded his research with: "It would seem that a century after the event it is a case that the 1902 De Dion Bouton now owned by Brian Thomas (now The Hermitage) was likely to have been a Fairlie car and may have belonged to John Rutherford. Little more can be confirmed one way or the other." Barry Goodman believes it's simple -- if Ned Sutherland said it was in an accident and killed a woman, it's the Meikle car.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 14 February 1906, Page 5 MOUNTAINEERING IN A MOTOR CAR.
Timaru, February 13. A party of five young men visited Mount Hermitage in two De Dion six and a-half a horse-power motor cars. The journey was remarkable, as they went from Pukaki to the Hermitage in the night, though none of them had been over the road before. On returning by daylight, they covered this forty miles of the worst road five hours, and Pukaki to Tekapo in three hours. Their arrival surprised the sojourners at the Hermitage.

Otago Witness 21 November 1906, Page 61
The new motor car service from Timaru to the Mount Cook Hermitage will be opened with a run at which the Premier and some members of Parliament will be present. A final test run was made last week in a 24 h.p. car, and was quite successful, in spite of the small power of the car and the bad state of the roads. The cars to be used on the regular work are of 40 h.p. The actual riding time between Fairlie and the Hermitage about 100 miles was 8hr 50min. The trial trip was made by seven passengers. All the passengers were much pleased with the drive, although & good part of it was hampered by melting snow.

Grey River Argus, 16 January 1912, Page 5 MOTOR SERVICE. PROPOSED EXTENSION
Timaru, Jan 15. The Mount Cook motor service which last season ran to Pembroke and on to Wanaka is to be extended to Queenstown. The first car goes through on the 22nd. The Hon .T. Mackenzie will probably make use of the return car to visit Mt. Cook. The trip from Fairlie or Mt. Cook to Queenstown will occupy two days. The route is said to be varied and picturesque, and well worth doing. The service will be a weekly one. Mt Cook has attracted many visitors this season four and five cars being sometimes required from Fairlie.

Evening Post, 22 May 1912, Page 3
The Fairlie-Queenstown mail. and passenger motor service has the distinction, so it is claimed, of being the longest distance motor mail service in the world. Since the inception of the service from Fairlie to the Mount Cook Hermitage in November, 1907, a service which was extended to Pembroke, Lake Wakatipu, in 1910, and to Queenstown in February, 1911 the company controlling the business has carried many thousands of passengers and hundreds of -mailbags to their destinations without one serious hitch. The route to Queeustown is traversed by numberless creeks and little rivers, and some steep grades are encountered. The summit of the Lyndhurst Pass is 3200 ft high, and the Crown Terrace, over which the road passes, is 3700 ft high. From the Crown Terrace to Arrowtown, a distance of six miles, the road descends 2000 ft. It is a typical back-blocks road, and the surface is sandy and dusty, causing abnormal wear on the ear bearings. The difficulties of maintaining a time-table service over such a route will appeal to every motorist. ... It was evident that as Fairlie was so far removed from. Christchurch it would be necessary to lay down an engineering plant capable of dealing with, any emergency that might, arise if the absolute reliability of the mail service was to be conserved. Accordingly a commencement was made with the equipment of the garage at Fairlie so as to be able to manufacture all parts needing replacement and effect all repairs. The garage at present quite the best equipped of its kind in New Zealand, the tools including a big lathe, a milling machine of the latest type capable of cutting any gear wheel, a universal grinding machine for grinding up bearings, drilling machine, backsaw machine, compressed ah- pump furnace, and a well equipped blacksmith's shop. A & h.p Tangye engine drives a dynamo, which supplies electric light for the garage. Next season a garage is to be established at Queenstown so that the cars can be given necessary attention at both ends of the trip. The company's present fleet of cars comprises ten, which have stood up to the work magnificently. The latest acquisition has run some 7500 miles, and the other cars have, of course, each bigger mileages to their credit. Careful, sensible driving and the best of garage supervision are the secrets of the relibility of the service. Preparations are also being made with a, view to popularising Fairlie as a week-end resort for Christchurch and Timaru citizens during the winter months. Fairlie in winter is a place of ice and snow, and it is proposed to introduce such Alpine sports as ski-ing and toboganning. A motorsledge has been devised to tow ski-iets, and curing and ice-skating are other attractions which will be offered. Fifty pairs of ski are to arrive in a day or two.

Progress, 1 July 1907, Page 341
Motoring to Mount Cook. "All aboard for the Hermitage!" It is a familiar cry that " All aboard." At Fairlie, in South Canterbury the old cry is heard, with so to speak a new face. In the old days, it meant Cobb & Co. and five horses, sometimes six. To-day it means motor-cars and twenty to sixty horse power. That is why the journey from Fairlie to the Hermitage, via Burkes Pass, which used to take two days is now done in one. From the pass the road drops easily into the Mackenzie Plain, a large yellow oval in the setting of tussock hills of bold outline. Across it goes to the great lake of Tekapo ; then it sweeps southward and westward to the lake of Pukaki. Before reaching the Southern shore thereof you go over Dover's Pass, and you have your first view of Mount Cook, and the tallest captains of his Alpine staff. You linger a while to become impressed with the fact that there is no mountain like Mount Cook.

Grey River Argus, 21 January 1913, Page 5
ROUGH WEATHER AT THE HERMITAGE
Timaru, Jan 20. News was received from the Hermitage to-day that for the past eleven days heavy rain has been experienced there, and that tourists have been unable to get about. On Sunday there was an exceptional downpour, and what with rain and melting snow all creeks in upper Tasman Valley were flooded, and the road much damaged. At the Hermitage an overflow from Mueller Glacier covered the floor of the building, and damaged, the approaches. It is doubtful whether motor cars get beyond Glentanner for a while today pack horses could not face the creeks which were rolling down heavy boulders.

Evening Post, 10 November 1914, Page 3 YOUTH KILLED
THROWN OUT OF A MOTOR. Timaru, This Day. Harold E. Bennetts, 19 years of age, was killed by being thrown out of one of the Mount Cook Motor Company's cars. He was sitting on a back seat, when the car left the track. The brakes were applied suddenly and Bennetts was thrown out on his head. He never recovered consciousness.

Evening Post, 1 February 1915, Page 2
TWO MOTOR-CARS COLLIDE. Timaru, 29th January. A dust storm on the Washdyke-road to-day was responsible for a head-on collision between two cars. Mrs. C. N. Orbell's daughter, driving out met Messrs. Murray and Mullrons, architects. Neither was going fast through the dust, and did not see each other in time to avoid meeting. Both cars were badly damaged, but the occupants escaped injury, except Mr. Murray, who was cut about the face by the broken glass of the wind-shield.

Grey River Argus, 20 January 1916, Page 3 FIRE AT FAIRLIE
GARAGE DESTROYED. Timaru, January 39. The Mount Cook Motor Company suffered a heavy loss this morning by the complete destruction of their garage at Fairlie by fire. The fire was started by a painter's burning-off lamp used on a car body, setting fire a covering sheet, from which the lire spread with great rapidity through the building. A couple of cars were rescued, and the office books saved. All else was lost, including a first rate workshop equipment, five car chasis, and a private car. Two large cars had left, for the Hermitage not long before the fire started. The insurances total only £900 which is but a small proportion of the value. The company will be able to continue passenger service, as several cars were out on duty, and offers of other cars have been received. The workshop machinery can scarcely be replaced till after the war.

Press, 29 March 1922, Page 2 CAR GOES OVER BANK. [Mt. Michael road)
A motor-car accident, in which two residents of the Geraldine district were involved, narrowly missed having fatal consequences. Mr W. Reid and a friend were motoring from Fairlie towards Beautiful Valley, when they were overtaken by darkness, and a thick mist made driving very difficult. Mr Reid, who was at the steering wheel, was proceeding very slowly and cautiously along what is known as Sherratt's cutting, when he felt one of his front wheels sink, and he instantly stopped the car, and both men got out. They found that the wheel had gone slightly over the side on the roadway, and in trying to get the car on to the solid ground it in some way moved forward, knocking Mr Reid down, inflicting a nasty gash in the forehead, and besides injuring his Knee, breaking two or three ribs. The car then plunged over the side, and lost to view. In the car were three dogs, two of them being chained to the car, and the other one free, but as the car rolled down the hill the chains must have snapped, for all three dogs got free, and made for home, which they reached unhurt, and before their owners. Sherratt's cutting is constructed out of a hill side, and below the narrow roadway the hillside descends at an angle of about 45 degrees and to a depth of some 300 ft. At the base of the hill is a watercourse, but before reaching this there is a sheer drop of many feet. The car, on leaving the road, seemed to leap head foremost, with the engine running, but afterwards it must have turned over more than once before reaching the bottom. It was fortunate that the car was stopped, and that the men left it when they did, for otherwise it is scarcely possible that either man could have escaped death. Subsequently the damaged car was up to the roadway, by Mr Undrill and has been brought to Geraldine.


April 2014 heading to the Show in Fairlie from Geraldine. It is still a dangerous road. A sheep truck went over the edge 15 August  1994.

Portable phone

Press, 23 January 1915, Page 8
Timaru, January 22 Word was received in Fairlie morning about 9 o'clock that a very heavy rainfall during night (it was calculated to at the rate of an inch per hour); the Royal mail car had been stuck, up Bush Creek, about 10 miles from Hermitage. There were two swollen streams at the vicinity referred to. The car got safely over one, but could cross the other, nor could it get back over the one it had crossed. There were twelve tourists, in the car including; a number of ladies, Mr Justice Hosking, and Sir John Findlay. The Mount Cook Motor received information in Fairlie about the trouble by means of the portable telephone which the driver of the car always carries, and they lost no time doing everything possible to reduce inconvenience to a minimum by ing provisions and blankets to stranded travellers and making arrangements to have them brought on to Fairlie at the earliest possible moment. Mr Cook, manager of the Hermitage arranged for Mr Scarlett, with his team of five horses, to cross over in a waggon to the tourists with necessary comforts. At first the horses face the rushing torrent, but they were persuaded to cross the creeks and the tourists were reached. They were made, comfortable as possible under the circumstances for the night.


Omnibus ServicePhoto courtesy of Vicki Baker.
Temuka blacksmiths - David Grant in front with heavy leather apron and hat. HASSALL St, glazed on back window. There is a Hassall St. in Timaru. This was a postcard and stamped on the back was HOLWELL - TEMUKA -  probably Wm. J. Holwell - Temuka, a school teacher.

Timaru's First Motor Bus Service

New Zealand Tablet, 14 January 1904, Page 20
The motor is 'coming in' in New Zealand and the cab and bus horse must look to his laurels. A company called the Southland Motor Service Company is being formed in Invercargill, with a capital of £6000, in shares of 5s each, to provide the town and suburbs with motor omnibuses, capable of being driven by either petrol or electricity attached at a very small cost. A very important feature of this company is that shareholders with their families will ultimately be patrons of their own buses ; and it goes without saying that the promoters are careful to distribute shares well along the intended line of route. A motor 'bus service is also to be started shortly in Timaru by Mr. A. C. Thompson. When in Scotland recently Mr. Thompson purchased a Stirling car at a cost of £1000, and this is expected in Timaru daily. An expert, whom Mr. Thompson engaged when at Home to work the car, arrived in the Colony by the Corinthic, and reached Timaru a few days ago.

Ashburton Guardian, 6 April 1904, Page 3 Horseless Bus.
Ashburton was started out of its usual apathy this afternoon by the arrival from Timaru of Mr A. C. Thompson, of that city, with a 12 h.p. Stirling motor omnibus. Mr Thompson is undertaking a journey to Christchurch and back in order to advertise the bus, for which he is sole agent for Canterbury. Several citizens and pressmen were treated to a ride in the conveyance while it was in town, and all remarked on the comfort and lack of vibration in the running. The motor runs with very little noise and maintains a very fair speed, 12½ miles per hour being the average rate maintained. The vehicle in question is designed to seat sixteen passengers and is guaranteed to ascend gradients up to 1 in 8 with full load. Mr Thompson with his driver left Timaru at 7 a.m arriving at Temuka at 8 a.m., and Geraldine about 25 miles, at 9 a.m. Rangitata bridge was reached at 10.10 a.m., when the passage of the river and an awkward bridge delayed the arrival in Ashburton till 1.45 p.m. The cost of such a conveyance landed in New Zealand is a little under £1000; 20 and 24 h.p. vehicles of a similar type are also constructed by the Stirling Company. The cost of running, including petrol and lubricating oils, and exclusive of driver's or conductor's salary, is estimated at about l ½d per mile. The bus, which is neatly furnished in black and yellow, and comfortably upholstered within in red leather, was imported by Mr Thompson for the purpose of a suburban coach service in Timaru, and has already made several trips on the streets of that town, negotiating the up-grade of George Street with 30 passengers aboard. Mr Thompson is considering the advisability of bringing his bus to Ashburton on some Thursday afternoon, and running cheap excursion trips to some place to be hereafter arranged. The introduction of the motor bus will be watched with interest by the champions of that noble animal, the horse, the rapidly attained popularity of the motor vehicle in the Old Country and the Continent seemingly foreshadowing, in the near future, a "horseless age."

Otago Witness 18 May 1904, Page 21
Mr Thompson, of Timaru, having handed over £5 taken for rides in his motor bus here, the council decided to add five guineas and send the total to the New Zealand Battleship Presentation Fund.

Bush Advocate, 31 August 1904, Page 2
A motor bus company has been floated in Timaru with a capital of £l0,000.

Star 22 April 1905, Page 5
A new motor-bus, which made its first appearance in Cathedral Square, this morning, attracted much attention, and a large crowd of people gathered around it, and inspected its "points." It has been imported by Mr A. G. Thompson, who is the proprietor of the first motor-bus which ran between the Square and the railway station, and which is still on that route. The new 'bus is twice the size, of the old one. Its capacity is twenty four horse-power, its speed is fourteen miles an hour, and it is licensed to carry thirty passengers. Its mechanism and motor is from Scotland, having been made in Stirling, but the body, fixings and other wood-work have been made in Christchurch by Messrs Moore and Co., from Mr Thompson's own designs. Ash and kauri are the timbers used. The body is not quite finished, as it has to be varnished and picked out, but it presents a good appearance. The seats are on the "tip" principle, like the seats in a theatre, and are furnished with springs. A feature of the vehicle is the use of twin-tyres, which make a saving in wear, and prevent skidding when turning a slippery corner. To-day, the bus took up the running from the Square to the station, but that is only a temporary arrangement, as Mr Thompson intends to put it on a permanent route in one of the suburbs. He has ,-not yet decided what route shall be fixed, but he states that the fares will probably be the same as, those on the electric trams. He estimates that a route three miles long, including the return trip, will be covered in half an hour, or thirty-five minutes counting all stoppages. An idea of the popularity of this kind Of conveyance road be formed from Mr Thompson's' statement that his first motors has running from the Square to the station, has carried 60,000 passengers in nine months.

New Zealand Tablet, 11 October 1906, Page 14
October 8. The Timaru Motor Bus Company has commenced business, and the hum of the cars as they speed along gives to the town a city like air.

Evening Post, 2 September 1913, Page 2
1st September.  The Timaru Borough Council's first motor-bus was given a trial run to-day With fifteen persons aboard the car ran in several directions on the roads greasy with a light rain, and the trial was considered very satisfactory. The 'bus has an Argyll chassis and a handsome body built in Timaru. It is fitted with electric light. The three runs totalled 9.1 miles, which were covered in 67 minutes, including many stoppages, such as would be required to set down and pick up passengers.

Evening Post, 30 September 1913, Page 8
Timaru, 29th September. The Borough Council to-night, after a month's trial, decided to purchase an Argyll motor bus chassis, and call tenders for three more buses.

Evening Post, 14 February 1914, Page 9
Argyll motor-buses have made a pronounced success of the Timaru municipal motor service.

Star 14 May 1896, Page 1
As the Glen-iti bus was turning round at the Bank of New Zealand corner in Stafford Street, Timaru, yesterday, one of the horses, a young one being broken in, began to play up, and in a few seconds all three horses were down. A number of people ran up and held the horses down until they were freed from the harness. The animals were rather cut about, a pole broken and the harness a good deal, damaged. There were a few passengers in the bus, but they were scarcely incommoded.

Evening Post, 16 March 1912, Page 3
The motor bus as it exists to-day depends for its, success absolutely up on the provision of first-class paved roads. In New Zealand, where macadamised roads are, as a rule, the best that can be afforded, two towns at least have tried motor bus services, and lost every penny invested in them. More recently a service in Timaru, where the roads are as good as any in, New Zealand, has ended disastrously, and the 'buses' have been turned out to rot and rust in a field. If may be urged that later, and better types, of buses are now available. This is true, but the latest and best of them all is not one whit better or more capable of withstanding injury when the trouble encountered is, the never ceasing vibration caused by uneven road surfaces. It is frequently assumed that the successful, development of motor cans, us a sufficient abdication of the probable success of motor 'buses on ordinary roads..
    "A matter, invariably disregarded by many people, who quote examples of-successful service is that these are not motor bus but motor car institutions. There is a great difference-— the difference between success and failure — in the cases, of motor cars conveying a limited number, of people to and from Mount Cook or over the four lakes trip at Rotorua, and the motor 'bus running within the boundaries of a town, stopping every few hundred yards of it journeys and earning a revenue made up of pennies. The motor car service with its few passengers, long runs, and revenue earned in pounds, has nothing, in common with the motor 'bus.

Hutton series pre 1908


Buses in 1914 were double deckers and they were used for fourteen years. The second floor was open. Before that buses were pulled by horses.
A.C Thompson introduced the first bus service but it was unprofitable then in 1906 The Timaru Bus Company was established.

On right: Alliance Assurance Co. with the bus outside advertising J T Collins - fruiterer (the buses destination is North Street); Ken Mayo - jeweller; Grant and Seaton - butchers; Brehaut Brothers - cycle specialists. On the left is a bus destined for Highfield with an advertisement for Imrie and Higgins Ltd - land agents; Hannahs Shoe Shop; Priest and Holdgate - ironmongers. F.G. Radcliffe postcard. Probably 1916, Stafford St, Timaru. The photo of the street with the double deckers is one of the few that I have seen of these famed vehicles - which were new to London and imported complete just before WW1 - they are "B" types of the sort which ended up in France carting the British Expeditionary Force about. Rumoured that the remains of one were sighted in the Fairlie area in the late 1960s.

Thames Star, 7 November 1912, Page 4
Timaru is closely considering the question of inaugurating a motor bus or train service, and a solution of the problem is proving a difficult one, opinion being so widely diversified.

Evening Post, 14 May 1926, Page 6
Timaru, This Day. Loan proposals submitted to the ratepayers yesterday were carried, including a loan of £9750 for the purchase of a Native reserve of 17 acres adjoining Caroline Bay and £9500 for reorganisation of the bus service.

Evening Post, 4 August 1926, Page 8
The Timaru Borough Council, at a special meeting held on Saturday night, decided to purchase a fleet of ten new buses, five of the latest type, at a cost of £445 each, and five of the Federal Knight type at £495 each. It was further decided that the bodies for the chassis should be built by Ferguson and Company in Timaru at £350 each, provided the firm named is able to make them quickly enough.

Auckland Star, 27 September 1941, Page 12
Waste of petrol by Government buses on regular routes and on special trips duplicating routes provided with reasonable express railway service was alleged by Automobile Association representatives at the annual meeting of the South Island Motor Union. Mr P.F. Harre (Otago) gave some examples, all observed on one day recently, of a bus from Timaru being seen at Chertsey going south with no passengers, of a bus six miles south of Timaru bearing the destination Temuka but going south again with no passengers, two buses bound from Timaru to Oamaru carrying a total of eight passengers.

Timaru's bus fleet has regularly been updated through the years but the buses still depart from outside the BNZ

Cartoon
Motor Bus built in Oamaru by F.R. Dennison
Bus depot, Timaru
Omnibus Society NZ
Ads - 1907
Mr J H Tattersfield starting off the first Municipal Bus in Timaru on Behalf of the firm of G.W. Woods and Co Invercargill

First Household Furniture Moving Lorry

Poverty Bay Herald, 9 June 1913, Page 2
The first motor lorry imported locally was, to be seen, in the streets in Gisborne to-day. The vehicle, which has been obtained by Mr J. H. Cramond on behalf of Mr John Foster, is intended to institute regular passenger and delivery service between Gisborne and Puha. It is of substantial contraction capable of carrying up to 2½ tons of weight or when fitted with a body of a charabanc type, will be able to carry, about 30 passengers. The vehicle is fitted with a 32-h.p. Lacre (English) engine, and a special vaporiser is, to be attached to enable kerosene fuel to be used instead of benzine. The tyres are of a special solid pattern, and travelling along the road the engine rims almost noiselessly. A special charabanc body is being manufactured at Mr Osmond's factory, together with a second waggon body for the conveyance of wool and heavy loads. The motor passed through town this morning with a large load of furniture. As showing the utility of these vehicles a lorry of similar make was recently, commissioned to convey the entire household effects of a Christchurch resident to Timaru. The furniture, etc., was loaded up at the Christchurch house, and duly delivered at the front door of the, customer's new house at Timaru.

1924 - NZ Truth

Ellesmere Guardian, 29 November 1927, Page 4
The conveyance of such as sheep and pigs, to agricultural shows nowadays is a very different matter to what it used to be. In the days, when all the exhibits used to be sent to shows by rail, it was often a three days' job — the best part of two days being taken up with travelling. Now the motor truck is used extensively and stock can be sent away in the morning and brought back in the evening of the same day. Making use of Mr Joe Jackman's express truck on the occasion of the Timaru show, Mr J. D. Galpin loaded up at 3.30 in the morning and had his Berkshires on the show ground at 8. He loaded up again at 4 in the afternoon and had the pigs Home soon after 8. For the Courtenay show at Kirwee Mr Jackman; loaded up 21 pigs and had them on the ground in less than an hour and a half. They were back at Mr Galpin's place before 6 in the evening. Equally good time was made on the trips to and from the Ashburton and Rangiora shows.

"On the buses"

On the buses in New Zealand: from charabancs to the coaches of today‎ by John McCrystal - History - 2007 - 176 pages. A4 size, Soft card-cover, 176 pages... Very well indexed. Great photos, b&w and colour. One of the many photographs in the book (from Alexander Turnbull Library Collection, Wellington, ref. 4549 1/1) shows 3 open-sided Ford Model T's outside the Piopio school in the Waikato. See Timeframes for a few school bus photos.

On the buses tells the whole story - from the rise of the mass motor transport and the days of "pirate" buses and cut-throat competition that ensued and the privations of Depression and war into the golden years of the 1950s, through the hard times of the later 20th century to the first glimmers of the new era, where the day of the private car is all but done. Climb aboard and read about the history of the bus and coach industries in New Zealand, from the early days of rickety charabancs and seat-of-the-pants car service operations, to the sleek buses prowling the streets and the slick, comfortable coaches cruising the highways of present-day Godzone. Read about the hardy drivers and hard-working mechanics, the passengers and hostesses - and the dedicated industrial associations that kept the wheels moving throughout. Climb aboard - and kindly move down the back." Horses were king of the road and petrol was a commodity purchased in a four-gallon tin neatly cased in a wooden box. Events of raising the funds, purchasing the suitable vehicles and of the commercial enterprise that paved the way for successful bus tourism experienced today. The New Zealand Railways pioneered the concept of using passenger busses on significantly important tourist routes, while private contractors used smaller vehicles that seated up to six or eight persons. The early pioneers of Mt Cook tourism were in this latter category. The first buses were owned by either a company or individuals. Individuals pitted themselves against a stronger bus company and perhaps won against the odds. Rivalry most certainly existed and perhaps just as frequent as the breakdowns were the persistently attempted difficult and ambitious bus routes attempted until mastered. Neither the roads nor the drivers were equal to the challenges of the 1920s when breakdowns, poor road engineering and a lack of driver skills resulted in some quite serious difficulties. There were accidents, and there were times when drivers got their passengers lost. A sense of humour was essential if the end results were to be viewed as fun. The end of the World War 2 was really the single-most significant era that heralded sweeping changes in the tourist and the bus industry in New Zealand. Hardly surprising when one considers the glint progress and sweeping changes that came about following the end of WW2. With the increase of population and the opening up of even more isolated areas of New Zealand there was revealed even more to see in this pristine land. Then came the fights among the corporations and the restrictive licensing the politics of the day imposed upon the new prosperous industry. Review in the Southland Times 12 Sept. 2008

School Bus Service - The 'Donkey Bus'

Officially school bus service commenced in 1924 provided by the Education Department using Ford Model T's. Bus Services started c1903-4... Any vehicle may have been used for an un-official "School Run." Anything prior to this date was probably steam driven, horse drawn or on tracks. S.P. Bray from Sherwood Downs put his own Model T Ford truck on the road in 1925 to take at least a eighteen primary and secondary children to school in Fairlie twelve miles away to demonstrate the feasibility of a bus service. He hired Dinny O'Reilly as the driver. Three years later when the Bray boys were older they drove themselves in a car.  S.P. wrote and even travelled to Wellington to encourage the Government to established public school buses in the district. There was opposition to school consolidation with Fairlie from the settlers in 1925 so the school stayed open. Many of the male school teachers in the country schools were called up for World War Two service and from January 1940 the Sherwood School closed and all children from Sherwood were transported by public school bus into Fairlie.  The Sherwood Downs School was built in 1917 by Spavin and Thyne, Timaru builders, on a site donated by Thomas Moorhead. Late in the 1940s the Sherwood Downs Hall Committee took over the school reserve from the Canterbury Board of Education and it is still a very active community hall today. The old school two room school was moved to abut the hall on 1 May 1971. At Fairlie the school bus runs are Tekapo, Sherwood, Allandale and Albury. Often the male school teachers were the bus drivers. When I was going to primary school in Fairlie from Sherwood in the 1960s I rode in a red box like school bus, The Biscuit Tin, driven by Stuart Walker, a teacher. Later in high school in the 70s the same run with the Mt Cook Company tourist buses were driven by teachers Mr Maguer and later Bruce Keys. It was not unusual for school buses to have nicknames.

School Road, Fairlie.

1925 photo taken outside the Fairlie Primary School. The building in the background is still there today. A ?1924 Model T truck with the steering wheel on the right. License plate NZ 18_25.  NZ number plates in use from mid 1924 to mid 1925. The truck was tracked down and it turns out it was torn down and the engine was used for a saw bench. Local children from Fairlie are standing outside the bus in mid winter, wearing the school uniform - woollen shorts, jersey, school tie and socks. Sherwood Downs children are inside with Dinny O'Reilly in the driver's seat. This photo has been cropped. S.P Bray is standing to the left, and has been cropped out. Denis O'Reilly, at the age of 32, emigrated from County Kerry on the ship Otaki and landed at Lyttelton on 8 Feb. 1876 along with the James Bray family. The O'Reilly family moved inland and settled in the Fairlie District. S.P.'s mother was James Bray's second wife. So connections with the O'Reilly's go back to 1876.

Evening Post, 20 November 1944, Page 4
Education in the Country. "All the best people come from the land, and they should be the ones to watch over the education of the country children," said Mr. S. P. Bray, at a meeting of the South 'Canterbury Executive of the Farmers' Union, when speaking on a remit that the national executive of the Farmers' Union be urged to set up an education committee, as suggested by the Minister of Education, to maintain a liaison with the Education Department with a view to safeguarding the interests of the farming community, reports "The Press." At present the pick of the country-bred children were drifting to the town because there was a definite bias away from country pursuits in rural schools, said Mr. Bray. The Farmers' Union should have a strong standing committee to keep in touch with the Education Department to watch the interests of country children, he added. Mr. A. J. Davey said he thought the Women's Division of the Farmers' Union should be included on the committee, for, he said, the Government would listen to women when it would not listen to men. It was decided to add this suggestion to the remit.

A 1926 Chevrolet truck on Sherwood Downs. This photo was taken by me 1st January 1976. The truck was imported into Christchurch from the States by Stan Harrington, of Cashel St., a Christchurch builder. It came with the canopy and the two bench seats which run the full length of the bed. Original except for the wooden bed, sides and tyres that had to be replaced due to wear and one pane of glass that was accidentally cracked. The truck is still about and still runs. Again the steering wheel is on the right. In the toolbox on the runner was where the crank handle is kept. Heat rises up through the floor boards and keeps the driver warm. I have started and driven this vehicle many, many times. The speedometer stopped working many years ago. It was later used as a farm truck. The sides, seats and canopy are easily removable. Aug. 2009 O.B. 

Model T bus

The Charablanc

The charabanc - a large bus used on sightseeing tours, esp. one with open sides and no center aisle.
Charabanc [shar-uh-bang]: From French char à bancs : char, coach, carriage (from Old French, cart; see chariot) + à, with + bancs, benches, pl. The forerunners of the passenger buses were called charabanc, from which the almost forgotten word "charabang'' was derived that described our first buses.

Evening Post, 26 April 1938, Page 12
Heavy rain—2.2l inches of it recorded in Temuka—caused flooding and minor damage throughout the Temuka district on Thursday night and Friday morning, states the "Timaru Herald." For the first time in seven years the school bus from Waitohi was unable to maintain its regular service owing to flooded roads. William's Crossing and both Cornelius Creek and Bradford's Creek were in high flood, and stretches of water up to a quarter of a mile in length submerged the roads. Several roads in the Kakahu and Hilton districts were impassable, and early on Friday morning it was feared that the Main South Road would be blocked at the Opihi and Temuka Rivers. After the heavy rain throughout Thursday morning the rivers rose rapidly and by midday were running bank to bank. The level remained stationary until nightfall, when the rain began again, and by midnight the Temuka River was flowing into paddocks below the bridge. The south approach to the Opihi River was under water on Friday morning, and seepage through the banks of the Temuka River flooded the northern approach of the bridge to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. The lower golf links were inundated. During Friday afternoon the Temuka River subsided a little but the northern approach to the bridge was still under water. Up till 8 a.m. on Friday, 2.50 inches of rain was recorded at Winchester, the Waihi River rose rapidly, and by midnight on Thursday was in high flood, overflowing its banks below the traffic bridge. Throughout the district paddocks are waterlogged, and as a result it is expected that potato digging operations will be held up for another week at least.


First Motor Wedding in NZ: procession in the street, Timaru August 30, 1907.
The Auckland Weekly News October 17, 1907
The bride and bridegroom used a 24 h.p. De Dion car, which was exhibited at the recent event International Exhibition at Christchurch, whilst six other cars, 16 h.p to 18 h.p. Darracqs, were also utilized, all being painted white. The novel procession drew a great crowd, and created quite an unusual amount of interest.

Otago Witness 4 September 1907, Page 34
A motor car wedding took place at Timaru last week, the wedding guests being conveyed to and from Chalmers Church in seven motor car. The parties united were Mr H. Corbett, a retired farmer, and Miss Knowles, daughter of Mr G. Knowles, Timaru.

Snippets from Papers Past 

Otago Witness 18 January 1905, Page 64
It looks as if the motor car is to become our favourite mode of locomotion in the near future. Already they are quite numerous in the town and suburbs, and still- they come! The most noticeable among many fine cars is undoubtedly Mr A. E. G. Rhodes's splendid 26 horse-power Daimler, which he has just imported from England. Mr Ronald Macdonald has a beauty also. The start for the Automobile Association's run to Leeston on Thursday was quite an exciting event. Mr A. E. G. Rhodes (the president), who led, was followed by no fewer than 18 "machines," and even so quite a number of other motor cars were left behind in town. Talk about motor cars has quite superseded golf "conversation," and we are becoming quite well posted up in the salient differences between Darracqs, Panhards, and Cadillacs, to say nothing about the merits and demerits of single and multiple-cylinder cars.


A.C. Thompson & Co. Timaru sole agents.

Otago Witness 8 March 1905, Page 59
I understand that the glamour of the racing path is proving too much for R. Connell to withstand, and that the popular Temuka rider will once more don the racing suit when the term of his 12 months dis-qualification expires, which it does at the end of this month. During the interval Connell has occupied himself farming at Temuka. 

Otago Witness 9 May 1906, Page 52
It is probable (says the Lyttelton Times) that the horseless cab will soon be numbered among the public conveyances of Christchurch. A cab proprietor has ordered a motor "four-wheeler" from England, and the carriage is now on, the water.

Press, 9 February 1907, Page 10
A fatal accident happened at about half-past 8 near Waimate on Thursday night, when a young man named O'Connor, the driver of Dr. Barclay's motor car, lost his life. O'Connor was driving Dr. Barclay along the Mill road towards Waimate when a collision occurred between the car and a fisherman's trap in which two men named Bachelor and Best were driving. The shaft of the trap struck O'Connor over the heart, killing him instantly. Dr. Barclay and the two men in the trap escaped without injury. The car was carrying lights at the time of the accident, but the trap carried none. The car was on its right side of the road, and the trap on meeting it was on its wrong side, and swerved over in order, as the driver thought, to clear the car.

Otago Witness 1 May 1907, Page 55
Lecture before the Society of Arts, Lord Montagu of Bailheu in dealing with, motor omnibuses, said that last year these vehicles carried the enormous number of 184,000.000 passengers, while the tramcars of the London City Council collected 160,000,000 fares. The average distance covered by the motor omnibuses in town varied from 90 to 120 miles per day. One of the drawbacks of motor bus traction had been the cost of running, which now however, could stand comparison with that of any other mode of public traction.

Wanganui Herald, 27 January 1897, Page 2
A Timaru resident has sent Home for four horse power motor car.

Otago Witness, 16 January 1907, Page 63
Motorists who intend travelling between Geraldine and Ashburton should take notice that there is now no means of crossing the Rangitata River, owing to the burning of the upper traffic bridge at Arundel.
    As the Rangitata Bridge at Geraldine has been burned down we had to take the car over the river by rail, putting her on at Rangitata and off at Ealing. We found the roads between Orari and Rangitata and Ealing and Hinds not good, so on our return we shipped at Hinds and came through to Orari. We were told that the bridge was to be repaired temporarily for light traffic, but before anyone attempts to go through it would be best to find out that it is open, and if going over the river by rail a truck should be ordered the day before to save delay.

Tuapeka Times, 1 May 1907, Page 4 RESPONSIBILITY OF MOTOR CAR DRIVERS.
A case of some interest to those who run motor cars on the public highways came before Mr Burgess, S.M., at the Roxburgh Court on Thursday, 18th April. A young man named Robert Cauldwell, hailing from Timaru, and described as a "motor car driver," was sued by William McClelland, farmer, Millers Flat, for the recovery of £91, the value of a draught horse and -damage done to a waggon. Briefly pub, plaintiffs version of the case was that on the 26th ult. defendant, in his motor car, passed plaintiff's six-horse team and waggon on the main road, near Steele's accommodation house at Millers Flat, at a very rapid rate ; that when from 60 yards to 80 yards away he blew his motor horn three times very loudly, causing the horses to bolt with the waggon ; that one of the horses fell, and was dragged along the road and so injured as to be rendered useless for further work.

Ashburton Guardian, 4 April 1908, Page 2
Thursday evening Neeson, the well-known cab proprietor, met with a painful accident yesterday afternoon, caused, it is stated by his horses becoming frightened at an approaching motor-car. Mr Neeson was thrown violently to the ground and falling heavily on his head and I face he received severe injuries in the shape of a broken frontal bone over one eye, several broken teeth and numerous cuts and bruises on the race. One wrist was also sprained, caused probably by the victim putting forward his hand to save himself. Mr Neeson was picked up unconscious.

Otago Witness, 2 June 1909, Page 59
The 12 h.p. twin-cylinder Rover which is on view at the A. and P. show has been purchased by Mr W.T. Ritchie, Timaru. This machine is one of the most silent and best-finished cars we have seen in Dunedin.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 9 March 1909, Page 7 MOTOR GARAGE BURNED.
Timaru, March 9.  Last evening a motor garage in Stafford street, owned by Nalder and Burnett, was completely destroyed by fire. Besides the stock two motor cars, valued at £600, were burnt. The insurances were £1708, but several cars in the building were uninsured.

Wanganui Herald, 9 March 1909, Page 5
Timaru, March 9. Last evening a motor garage in Stafford Street, owned by Nalder and Burnett was completely destroyed by fire. Besides the stock, two motor cars valued at £600 were burnt. The building was owned by M. Omeeghan. The burnt portion was insured for £400 in the Royal. One Siddley car was insured for £600 in the Royal one Stuart car for £300, and the interior stock and plant for £400 both in the National, the owners being Nalder and Burnett. A Tonneau Siddley car owned by T. B. Garrick, was uninsured. All were destroyed.

Otago Witness 5 May 1909, Page 59
Mr Orbell, of Waimate, was in Dunedin last week with his 10-12 Darracq.

Otago Witness 27 October 1909, Page 58
Mr Nalder, Timaru, landed this week a 14-16 Siddeley.

Poverty Bay Herald, 3 May 1911, Page 5
T. Scott, a Pareora farmer, while motoring near Timaru on Saturday, served off a road to avoid a cart. The car ran up a bank, and capsized. Scott had both legs broken. A lady who was with him had some ribs broken, and another man, who fell under the car, was drawn out later unconscious.

Poverty Bay Herald, 17 May 1911, Page 6
The Timaru Herald gives the following particulars of an accident briefly referred to in a previous issue Bishop Julius and Mrs Julius met with a serious accident about two miles south of Timaru on Friday afternoon. They were on their way to Waimate, and all went well until they had passed Saltwater Creek. There is a very steep hill at Saltwater Creek, up which the car went well, the bishop driving. After negotiating this hill the car covered about half a mile of good flat road, and it was just about to turn down a winding hill with a high clay bank on one side and a sheer drop on the other. Just at the top of this hill something suddenly went wrong with the steering gear the bishop endeavored to steer the car to negotiate the turn at the top of the hill, but the car would not answer to the turn of the wheel, and ran headlong into the gorse fence at the side of the road, climbing right on top of it and capsizing. Both occupants of the car were thrown into the adjoining field, and while the bishop got off with a severe shaking and some scratches, Mrs Julius sustained a broken collarbone and suffered also from shock. Word was immediately sent to the nearest telephone, at Saltwater Creek, and a car was sent out from Timaru. In this the bishop and Mrs Julius were brought back to Timaru, where their injuries were attended to by Dr. Ulrich. It was fortunate that the accident happened at the top of the hill instead of half-way down it, or the consequences would have been serious. The car was very badly damaged.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 25 May 1911, Page 4
Bishop Julius, who met with a motorcar accident, informed a Press representative that he was making very good progress towards recovery, his. chief trouble, however, being a broken, rib. Mrs Julius, on the other hand, was still very feeble, and was suffering severely from shock. She was very much bruised and shaken, and a collarbone was broken. At present Mrs. Julius was in a private hospital at, Timaru, and he hardly knew when it, would be possible for her to return to. Christchurch.

Grey River Argus, 17 October 1911, Page 6
A COLLISION. TIMARU. Oct. 16. A taxi-cab and buggy, the latter without lights, came into nearly a head-on collision at the corner of the road near Washdyke. Of the two men in the buggy one was much hurt and was unconscious for some time. The buggy was smashed and the taxi-cab was disabled. The horse was damaged. The County Council are making a by-law to compel all vehicles to carry, lights, but it is not yet in operation.

Evening Post, 12 April 1912, Page 3 STREET ACCIDENT AT TIMARU.
Timaru, 11th April. In order to avoid a collision with a gig at a street crossing in a quiet part of the town this afternoon, the owner and driver turned a big motor car too sharply round the corner with the result that one of the hind wheels collapsed, and the car fell on its side, throwing out the driver and four or five young women passengers. The car nevertheless hit the gig behind, threw it forward, and capsized it. The driver of the car had his collarbone and one or more ribs broken. His sister and Miss K. Ardagh, daughter of the proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, both suffered severely from concussion and bruises. The other occupants of the car escaped with scratches and bruises. The man in the gig (Mr. P. Butler) struck the kerb with his head when he fell. He was cut about the face, and later showed symptoms of skull fracture.

Marlborough Express, 4 December 1912, Page 4
Hawera & Normanby Star, 4 December 1912, Page 5
Mr James Esler, a well-to-do Sutherland farmer, was leaving Timaru in his motor-car for his home yesterday, accompanied by Mr Mr W. Wall, of Pleasant Point, and Mr and Mrs Sutherland. He had gone down a steep grade at a good pace to the opposite rise, and at the foot changed his mind and turned into a street along the hallow. When turning, a corner the car skidded and capsized, all four being thrown out. Esler was pinned with his head crushed beneath the side of the footboard, and Wall suffered a broken wrist. Mr and Mrs Sutherland were merely shaken. Esler's condition is almost hopeless.

Evening Post, 9 December 1912, Page 8
Timaru. This Day. At the adjourned inquest on James Esler, the victim of the motor-car accident last Tuesday, evidence was given that Esler was travelling too fast to take the corners with safety. When the brake was put on one of the tires burst and the car capsized, Esler being underneath, with the weight of the car on his shoulders. He was then just breathing. A verdict -of accidental death was returned.

Evening Post, 7 January 1913, Page 15 TRACKLESS CARS
ADVICE TO TIMARU. Mr. Craigie, M.P. for Timaru, advises that town to secure railless cars rather than electric tramways or motor buses. If the latter were imported, the needed street improvement would, he thinks cost as much as the buses. "I do not think," says Mr. Craigie, "that an electric tram system with rails would pay in Timaru on account of the heavy initial cost. But I do think we could make a success of trackless cars, which are light in build and comparatively light in cost. With power from Lake Coleridge they could be run with electricity on the overhead system. Electric trams cost £8000 to £10,000 per mile to put down, whereas trackless cars could be installed for about £3000 per mile; £2000 per mile of this would go in making the roads good, and the other £1000 in erecting the overhead apparatus. Asphalt roads would require to be put down, and these are estimated to cost about £26 per chain. If this wore done a variety of objects would be attained at once. We would have good roads; the dust nuisance would be greatly minimised : them would be an absence of friction in the running of the cars; and while helping ourselves we would be helping Canterbury as a whole by using the power from Lake Coleridge. And anything which benefited Canterbury must also benefit Timaru, and indeed the whole of New Zealand. If the Lake Coleridge does not pay the loss, will fall on the general taxpayer of the Dominion, and if Canterbury can assist them to pay and at the same time reap the benefit of cheap power, it ought to do so.

Ashburton Guardian, 25 March 1913, Page 6
Robert Guthrie was motoring to Mt. Nessing when his tyre burst, and the car capsized, and all were-thrown out. Mrs Guthrie came off worst, receiving a severe-shock, bruises and cuts.

Otago Daily Times 27 May 1913, Page 6
Timaru, May 26. In a collision between a motor car and a trap on Saturday night Mrs Wells and her daughter, who were in a trap, were rendered unconscious and severely bruised. The trap, horse, and motor car were badly damaged.

Colonist, 5 June 1913, Page 7
Timaru, June 4 The Supreme Court criminal sessions opened to-day before his Honour Mr. Justice Denniston. To-morrow will hs taken the case of C. H. Besley charged with manslaughter by culpable and negligent driving of a motor car, with the result that a postal officer on a cycle was run into, and killed. Commenting on this case to the Grand Jury His Honour said there were several decrees of manslaughter. This was a painful case, in which it was impossible not to sympathise with the accuse a respectable man, against whom there was no suggestion of malice, and who probably had already felt more keenly the consequence of the accident than any punishment that might be inflicted. The Grand Jury, however, should not he influenced by that consideration. The grounds of the charge were that the accused was on the wrong side of the road; the car was insufficiently lighted; and the accused did not sound his horn. The Grand Jury found a true bill.

Press, 19 November 1913, Page 3 Geraldine. (Before Messrs J. Kennedy and H. Bannehr. J.P.'s.)
Wm. Henry. Temuka, was charged with driving a motor-car through the borough at an excessive speed. Defendant wrote admitting the offence, and was fined 40s and costs 7s. On a similar charge, Herbert Anderson, Ashburton, was also fined 40s and costs.
    William Herbert Bryant was charged with failing to attend a parade on the 16th October. Defendant was convicted and discharged.

South Canterbury Motor Association

Wanganui Chronicle 26 February 1914, Page 5
A distressing accident. Indirect result of vaccination.
Timaru, February 25. Mr Howitt, a farmer at Cricklewood, was pinned down by his car capsizing on him a mile out of town on his way home. He was recently vaccinated preparatory to a trip to England and his arm was so painful that he could only steer with one hand. The car seems to have mastered him and run into a big stone on the side of the road, smashed the front and turned over. Howitt was removed to the hospital, suffering from concussion of the brain.

Timaru Herald, 20 March 1914, Page 7
A youth named W. Pearse was driving a baker's cart, the property of Mr J. Maitland, at Geraldine, on Wednesday afternoon, when the horse ran into a motor car driven by Miss Guerin. Young Pearse was rendered unconscious, and continued in the same state yesterday morning. The occupants of the motor car escaped with a shaking.
    A man named Rae met with a somewhat serious accident at Geraldine yesterday. He was driving a lorry for Mr Sherratt, when by some means he fell and a wheel passed over him. The extent of his injuries we were unable to learn.

Ashburton Guardian, 22 May 1914, Page 4 MOTOR CAR AND DRAY HORSE.
Timaru, May 21. When crossing the Opihi Bridge in a car last night, Mr J. Sutherland, manager for Bockaert's, met a dray with two horses. The car was drawn close to the left side, but the leading horse swerved to that side and ran into the side of the car. It tore away the hood, and part of the framing entered its chest, and it dropped dead. The car was a good deal damaged. Neither driver was hurt.

Press, 11 November 1914, Page 7
Timaru, November 10. Harold E. Bennetts, nineteen years of age, was killed by being thrown out of one of the Mount Cook Motor Company's cars. He was sitting on the back seat, when the car left the track. The brakes were applied suddenly, and Bennetts was thrown out on to his head and never recovered consciousness. Later. At the inquest this evening at Fairlie, a verdict was returned that death was due to subcranial haemorrhage, as a result of a fall from a car. The deceased was well-known in South Canterbury and South Otago. He was popular with tourists as a driver, and also as a guide at Mount Cook last season. He was one of the party that searched for the last mountaineers early this year.

Press, 6 November 1914, Page 5
The monthly mooting of the Temuka Road Board was held yesterday. Present: Messrs G. W. Armitage (chairman), D. Grant, and G. Smart. To accept Mr J. E. Stoners offer of 10s for trees in the plantation at Winchester; to supply the Canterbury Automobile Association with information from time to time as to the condition of roads and bridges; to accept Mr Macdonald's offer of a gravel pit for £50, the price to include shingle already taken out and to accept Mr H. B. Brooldand's offer of a gravel pit at 1½d per yard royalty.

Grey River Argus, 23 November 1915, Page 2
Timaru, This Day.— At 5.30 yesterday a fire broke out in the oil store of Bockaert's motor garage and swept through the workshop, completely ruining two cars. The flames spread over the garage, in which were about 20 cars. Most of these were got out, three having the hoods and most of the trimmings burnt. The fire completely destroyed a lean-to workshop and a portion of the garage, which was in reality a mere shell. The brigade saved the oil store, thus checking what might have been a serious outbreak. The total damage is estimated at nearly £2,000 and is covered by insurance. .

Press, 24 November 1915, Page 8
Waimate, November 23. James William Jameson, a coach painter by trade, and a single man, aged 31 years, was drowned in the Waitaki river this morning. His coat was found on the beach, with a letter showing that he was greatly depressed.
    Waimate, November 23. Roy M. Cottee, a boy of 12 years, was killed on the Timaru road at 6.10 p.m. to-day. He was riding on the wrong side of the road, and collided with a motor-car driven by Mr Boyd of Waimate was killed instantly, his neck being broken and his skull fractured.

Auckland Weekly News  25 November 1915
p.32 COTTER, Roy M, 12 yrs, killed on the Timaru Road, Waimate on Tuesday. Was riding on the wrong sided of the road and collided with a motor car and killed instantly. His neck was broken and his skull fractured.

Auckland Weekly News 2nd December 1915 p.19
 COX, Mr Hector, local Manager for Booth McIntosh & Co, was riding a motor cycle near Pleasant Point, Timaru, last week, when he collided with a motor car. He sustained skull and arm fractures and died in hospital. Mr Cox came from Palmerston North. He leaves a widow and 6 children.

Press, 16 January 1917, Page 3
Allan Shrimpton, while motor-cycling from Studholme to Waimate this morning crashed head on into the morning train at Manchester's crossing. Waimate. His injuries consist of a fractured skull and an arm broken in two places. He is in hospital at Waimate his condition being precarious.

Auckland Star, 31 January 1916, Page 6 A CAR OVERTURNED.
Timaru. this day. Henry Halliday, aged about 30, a resident of Roslyn. Dunedin, was killed in a motor-car accident near Temuka at 4.40 p.m. on Saturday. Mrs. Scott, of Rotherham, Amuri, and her two daughters, Annie and Alice Scott, escaped, suffering from bruises and shock. Halliday, to avoid another car turned too sharply, and a tyre burst. The car turned over twice, and came to a top on its side. Halliday was underneath, and had his chest crushed. He lived for an hour. The party were on the way from Christchurch to Dunedin.

Ashburton Guardian, 6 March 1916, Page 4
How far will a gallon of benzine go? Those motorists who are keen on economical running will be interested to know of some recent good mileages done on benzine. A Douglas 2½ h.p. motor cycle., ridden by Mr H. James, of Ashburton, covered 140 miles per gallon as a regular performance. A Ford car, which was originally sold to an Ashburton gentleman, and has since been sold to Mr E. Undrill, of Woodbury, has been doing an average mileage of 36 miles per gallon on benzine. Now that motor spirit is advancing in price an economical motor is not only desirable, but is a profitable investment. Full particulars of Douglas motor cycles and Ford cars will be forwarded to any address on application to G.H. Carson, the local district agent for these motors.

Colonist, 19 May 1916, Page 4
Mr Charles Shallcrass, an old Noisonian, accompanied by his partner, Mr James Maling, of the firm of Messrs Guinness and Lo Cren, of Timaru, is at present visiting Nelson. Messrs Shallcrass and Maling are making a motor tour of the South Island, and are spending a couple or days in Nelson en route. The party came to Nelson by way of the West Coast, and will return to Timaru by the East Coast route.

Otago Daily Times 10 April 1917, Page 8
Mr Flatman, chairman of the Geraldine Road Board, met with a painful accident. He had had the, petrol tank of his car washed out with water twice, it having given him trouble, and was locking to see if there was any obstruction, his assistant holding a light, when an explosion occurred. Mr Flatman (the Christchurch press states) was badly burned, his eyes suffering but it is hoped that his sight will not be permanently affected.

Auckland Star, 24 May 1917, Page 2
A motor accident occurred at Otaio to-day. The car skidded and capsized. Thomas Latta, of Temuka, was killed, Mrs. Hugh McHutcheon and Timothy Daily were seriously injured, and Miss Fallena was slightly injured.

Press, 25 May 1917, Page 9
Through the bursting of the front tyre, a motor-car containing a party of Temuka people going to Oamaru capsized on a straight piece of road near Otaio. Mr Thomas Latta, licensee of the Empire Hotel, Temuka, was killed; Mrs McCutcheon suffered a broken scapula and was severely bruised; Mr Daly received scalp wounds, and Miss Fallena is suffering from slight bruises and shock. The car is said to have been going at a moderate pace.

Press, 5 October 1917, Page 8
October 4. A motor-car returning to Timaru from the Kurow races at Oamaru met with an accident near Morven, a back tyre bursting. Of the three men in the car, the driver, Bombardier E. Gillespie, escaped with some bruises; George Wills, Government grader at Timaru, suffered a compound fracture of the right arm and had several ribs broken; and Victor Meehan had his collarbone broken. A doctor was sent for, and the injured men were taken to the Waimate Hospital.

Referee (Sydney, NSW) Wednesday 23 January 1918 p 14
NEW ZEALAND DRAMATIC On Thursday afternoon, when Mr. Waller, of the Look Who's Here? company, was motoring from Timaru to Ashburton he had a narrow escape from a fatal accident. In the car were Mr. and Mrs. Waller, Mr. F. Dennett, and Mrs. Dick, and when crossing a water-race between Geraldine and Rangitata the car got into some loose shingle, which caused it to swerve. Although Mr. Waller shut off the engine and applied the brakes, the car smashed into the branch of a tree, damaging the wind shield. The branch struck Mrs. Dick, and as a consequence she had to seek medical aid on reaching Ashburton. She sustained slight concussion, but was able to proceed North with the company. Mr. Waller escaped with a few scratches on the hand while all received a shaking from the sudden stop.

Otago Daily Times 3 August 1918, Page 8
MOTOR CAR ACCIDENT. TOURIST RECOVERS DAMAGES.
Timaru, August 2. Mr Justice Herdman and a jury of 12 have been occupied two full days on a suit for personal injuries. Mary Randall, tea room waitress, of Christchurch, aged 30 years, while on a holiday in September, 1916, was a passenger for a round trip on the Timaru Herald mail car, in the Geraldine district. The car got out of control while descending a steep hill, ran away, was turned into a bank, and the axle broke. The car was upset, and Miss Randall sustained a fracture of the pelvis, from the effects of which she is still suffering. She sued the Herald Company for £1000 general and £138 special damages. The plaintiff asserted that the car was ill-found and the driver negligent, which defendant denied. The jury found that the car was not properly equipped, and the brake gear was defective. They gave a verdict for £638; costs as per scale to follow the verdict.

Press, 8 May 1919, Page 3
Waimate. Miss Hayman, of Studholme, broke an arm when starting a car through the engine back-firing. A collision between a runaway and another trap in North, road resulted in Mrs Slattery, of Makikihi, being taken to the public hospital with concussion of the brain.

New Zealand Herald, 10 August 1921, Page 8
CAR AND PERAMBULATOR. AN INFANT KILLED.
At inquest was held at Temuka yesterday into the death of the infant son aged one month, of native parents named Rickus. The mother and another Maori woman were wheeling a perambulator on one side of the main road, which had been newly shingled in the centre. A motorcar driven by a farmer's wife, Mrs S. Connolly, came along behind them. One mother turned out of the track to the right, and Mrs. Rickus turned into the shingle. The car also turned that way, and before it could be stopped it struck the perambulator containing the deceased, and threw the infant into the shingle, death following shortly after from concussion of the brain. The coroner's finding recounted this fact, and added a rider to the effect that motor-car drivers should be licensed on proof of ability to drive.

Evening Post, 5 April 1924, Page 8
The Press 8 April 1924
Edward William Hugh Gallen, aged 24, was killed this morning through, a car he was driving going over a bank in the camp Valley road at Albury while he was taking friends, the McVey's, home from a dance. He was killed instantaneously. It is not known the accident happened. Mr E.D. Mosley, the Coroner. Edward Gallen the father of the deceased, of Limestone valley, said his son had attended a dance on Friday night. He was quite sober and was use to driving the car. John McVey, farm labourer (Fairview), said he drove from Fairview to Albury in an Overland car. After leaving the dance, Gallen took the wheel of the car and witness got into the back seat. At 3 a.m. they were going up a hill, when the outside wheels went over the bank and the car capsized. Witness was dazed, and when he came to he saw Gallen lying unconscious on the roadway. Thomas Mcvey and Daniel Angland both stated that the deceased was quite sober.

Auckland Star, 26 May 1925, Page 12
Married Woman Killed. Timaru, May 25. Mrs. Jessie Broad, wife of Mr. G. Broad, of Timaru. aged 38 years, was killed through a motor car going over a bank at Otaio.

Auckland Star, 13 April 1926, Page 8
MOTOR FATALITY. CHARGE AGAINST DRIVER. At the Temuka Magistrate's Court William Austen Reilly was charged with having, on March 1, negligently driven a motor car, thereby causing the death of Malcolm Bill. After the hearing of evidence accused was committed for trail at the next sitting of the Supreme Court at Timaru. Bail was allowed, self in 100 pounds and one surety of a like amount.

Auckland Star, 16 April 1926, Page 9 MOTOR ACCIDENTS DRIVERS' RESPONSIBILITY. CASE AT TIMARU
Timaru, Thursday. At the Police Court to-day, George W. Brehaut, a cycle dealer, was charged with becoming involved in an accident when driving a motor car and causing injury. He was also charged with failing to render all practical assistance and report the accident to the nearest police station. There was a further charge of negligently driving a car along the Pleasant Point Road, thereby causing bodily injury to Douglas Christie. The evidence showed that Christie, a young man, was returning home from a bicycle race in which he had participated when he and two companions were knocked off their bicycles through a car colliding with them. Christie was so badly hurt that he has been in hospital ever since, and it was found necessary to amputate his right leg. Accused pleaded not guilty and was committed to the Supreme Court for trial. Bail in one surety of £1000 was allowed.

Auckland Star, 2 October 1926, Page 8
It was reported from Temuka. South Canterbury, a few days ago, that the occupants of a motor car had thrown stones at those in other cars. A Temuka resident who was a passenger in the car from which the stones came made the following statement: "The driver of the car had had occasion to go to Christchurch for the week-end, and. as the road was rough and he was the only passenger, he put in a few boulders to serve as ballast. He returned on Sunday, and, on arrival at Temuka, took on three friends for the journey south. After leaving Temuka, one of the men threw out the stones from the car to get rid of the ballast, but, as he was back-on to the oncoming traffic at the time, he did not see the other cars approaching. The occupants of the car were quite unaware that any harm was being done by the stones which were thrown out, and action, though thoughtless, was not deliberate."

Auckland Star, 10 April 1928, Page 8 HOLIDAY ACCIDENTS. BUS AND CAR COLLIDE. SEDAN CAR CAPSIZED.
Timaru, Monday, A large service bus and motor car collided a few miles north of Timaru. The driver of the car had his face and hands severely cut, while his wife, Mrs. Charles Dash, had her thigh and knee fractured. She was taken to the hospital.
A Christchurch resident, who was motoring to Lake Tekapo with his wife and family and a friend, failed to negotiate a small bridge near the Cave township. The car capsized into a waterhole. The car was a sedan, but the occupants managed to open a door and reach dry land uninjured.

 Auckland Star, 19 June 1928, Page 9
Temuka, this day. Maurice John Harnett was fined £15 for being drunk while he was in charge of a motor car.

Auckland Star, 2 May 1929, Page 27
FATAL MOTOR ACCIDENTS. WIDOW'S CLAIM FAILS. Timaru, Wednesday. The jury gave a verdict for defendant in a civil case to-day, in which Mary Catherine Mangin, of Temuka, claimed £2000 from Hector Andrew Sim, farmer, of Carew, as the result of the death of plaintiff's husband through alleged negligent driving of a car by defendant in King Street., Temuka, on February 18.

Auckland Star, 19 July 1930, Page 10 DEATH OF CYCLIST.
CHARGES AGAINST DRIVER OF CAR. INSUFFICENT EVIDENCE. TIMARU, Friday. On the ground that there was insufficient evidence, to send accused to the Supreme Court, Messrs. J. Todd and J. P. Newman, J.P.'s, dismissed two charges against Henry .Saunders, of Waimate, a builder, in the Police Court to-day. The charges were, first that he did negligently drive a motor van on the Main South Road at St. Andrew's, thereby causing the death of William Stephen, a railway surfaceman, and secondly, that he drove in a manner which might have been dangerous to the public. The deceased, who was in charge of a push cycle without a light or a reflector, was driving a cow in the same direction as the car was going, shortly after dusk on June 22. He died almost immediately after the accident.

Evening Post, 10 July 1935, Page 15
Timaru, July 9. The occupants of a gig travelling from Waimate to Morven were thrown out of the conveyance when struck by a car at an approach to the Waihao Bridge. Hugh Black, 38 years of age, single, of Morven, was killed, and Peter Burks was taken to hospital. The car was driven by Professor Galli, of Timaru

Auckland Star, 29 July 1930, Page 9
Timaru, Monday. As a result of injuries received through being knocked down by a motor lorry driven by Mr Robert Cummingham, the death has occurred of Mr. James Stewart, aged. 73 years. The accident occurred on Saturday evening.

Auckland Star, 16 November 1940, Page 7 CROSSING SMASH. TWO MEN KILLED. CAR STRUCK BY EXPRESS.
Timaru, Friday. One mail was killed and another later died from injuries as a result of a motor car being struck by the north-bound express at Temuka late this afternoon. The car was proceeding over the Denmark Street crossing near the station when the express, caught it broadside on and carried it a distance of 200 yards to the station, the men still being in their seats. The driver of the car. Mr. John William Campbell, aged 50, married, who lived at Orakipao suffered injuries from which he died shortly after admission to the Timaru Hospital. A passenger in the car, Mr. Steven Cebalo, a middle aged resident of Temuka was dead when taken from the car, which was impaled on the front of the locomotive, the back wheels being lifted sufficiently high to clear the station platform.

Evening Post, 23 February 1945, Page 6
For the six years 1939-1944 inclusive, 1083 persons were killed on the roads of New Zealand, despite the fact that for most of the war years there have been drastic restrictions on the use of motor-vehicles. When road traffic was restored it was anticipated that the accident rate would soar unless efficient and adequate control of traffic were provided, said Mr. Laurenson. Two essential factors in dealing with the driver problem were the provision of a uniform and standard driving test, and impartial, fair, and firm enforcement of the national traffic code.
INVITATION TO SPEED. To Mr. J. Acland (Temuka), who asked the relation between accidents and road conditions, Mr. Laurenson said the most dangerous sections of highways were the straight, flat stretches where drivers could "step on it." A road that was notoriously dangerous, such as the Buller Gorge, had a small number of deaths and accidents.

Temuka railway station


Early New Zealand Number Plates - Black and Yellow

The Govt. first started a national registration in 1911 and every year vehicles got a new number plate, and the colour and symbol between the numbers changed each year. e.g. 1925 was bright green with white numerals and a square symbol in the centre.

Cast 1908
Green with white letters 1925
Yellow with black letters ● 1932
Yellow with black letters ▼1934

Dark green ,1935-1936
Blue1935
Dark brown 1934-1935
Brown oxide 1940-1941

Evening Post 24 February 1936, Page 10 NEW NUMBER PLATES in colour
SIX FIGURES AGAIN
The new motor vehicle number plates for 1936-37 are to have black letters on a yellow ground, and the six-figure system of identification, which was in operation prior to 1932-33, is to be reintroduced, according to information obtained from the Post and Telegraph Department today. The reason for the abolition of the symbol X where the number 99,999 was exceeded is that it has been found to be rather confusing. It is felt that the use of the numeral 1 would simplify the position.
    There has been a change in the sequence of the numbers this time, Blenheim having the lowest and Wellington the highest. This system is followed in order to minimise the chances of forging number plates. The plates will, as usual, be issued on and after May 1, and motor vehicles on the road are required to have the new plates attached by June 1. Including dealers and rental and private hire plates, the Department has to cater for fourteen different classifications. The usual distinguishing initials, such as P for omnibuses and T for taxis, will be retained. The following are the allocation of next year's numbers:— MOTOR-CARS.
Postal District. From.
Christchurch 8201 to 28700
Timaru 28701 to 33900
Oamaru 33901 to 36200
Dunedin 36001 to 46200
Invercargill 46201 to 5400

MOTOR-CYCLES. From
Christchurch 1601 to 5700
Timaru 5701 to 6600
Oamaru 6601 to 7000
Dunedin 7001 to 8800
Invercargill 8801 to 9900

Hawera & Normanby Star, 7 May 1924, Page 4
There are 18,241,477 motor cars and trucks in use in the world. The United States of America leads easily with a total of 15,222,658. The United Kingdom comes second with a total of 655,818. New Zealand is twelfth on the list with a total of 44,864.
    The total number of motor cars trucks, etc., imported into New Zealand during the first two months of the year was 3770, of a total value of £628,645. Of the above number only 189 were imported from the United Kingdom at a cost of £86,532, while 2728 were from Canada at a total cost of £357,904.

PLUME. It looks like the Seadown garage between Timaru and Temuka on corner of SH1 and Hedley Road, where further down the SPCA is. The only thing is it looks like hills on the east side. Maybe it is a stack of something or a roof. The reason I think it looks like Seadown garage is the lane going to the left which is adjacent to SH1, is the road used by the settlement of houses now there. Hedley's Road meets SH1 there too and the garage is in the triangle between the two which makes it an usual position. Maybe I'm right or maybe not.


Photo courtesy of Garry Toomey, Geraldine. Aug. 2009
Angy Bell and Capt Cyril Gaby.  This photo was taken at a Geraldine High School Jubilee 10 Oct. 1962.
The car is still in the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum.

Angy Bell

Angus Jamieson Bell was known to everyone in Geraldine as Angy Bell. He was the father of Olive, who married Charles Cuthbert Knight. Angy was a little old man in an old frock coat and top hat, seen often sitting up in a DeDion car of about 1905 vintage. This was Angy's pride and joy. It was a feature of every celebration procession that I can remember. The car is today in the Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum, and it is complete and genuinely original in every way.  He was the man that gave Geraldine what must have been it's first vehicle assembly plant, had a shop and workshop in Talbot St, on the north side of the present Fire Station. His business was bicycle manufacturing. The components of the early bikes were imported and assembled on site. Angy would loosely assemble the frames in a jig and his wife would weld all the joints. They would continue to assemble the bicycles then Angy would paint them. He was an artist in this field, and when the bike had all its colour on, he would start in with small brushes to put on the hair line trims and the scroll work that made his cycles just that bit superior. Are there any still around Geraldine? Cars at the Geraldine Museum. Location.

Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade 1914 Dennis fire engine launched its career with the Geraldine Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1936 and was put into retirement in 1953. The open top engine, which fits about eight firefighters at a time, attended many fires, the most memorable one being the Dalgety building in the winter of 1943. The Dennis lacks a speedometer. The pump, is capable of pushing 400 gallons of water a minute. The previous engine, an old Hudson fire engine which did not have a pump.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project
Hervey Motors

At Cookstown 1953. Where is Cookstown?