Seeking stories of southern transport

November 12, 2020 3:13 am

By Warren Hamilton

New Zealand Road Transport Association Region 5 (South of the Waitaki River to Bluff) is keen to record and preserve the history of road transport in our region so we are looking for previous owners, family members, drivers, or anyone else who has information and or photos to share with
us. 

It is intended to record this by way of a book or two. We are will happily travel the area to talk with people to collect as much information as possible as we are concerned with the passage of time the history both literary and photographic can be lost with family not realising the value of it to our industry.

To date we have listed in excess of 250 companies that no longer operate or have continued in name with greatly changed shareholding. We are sure there are more that we may be unaware of.

While the industry is full of stories, illustrating how much the industry has changed. One example is the driver who, over 50 years ago, on being stopped by the Traffic Officer for overloading, used his new Radio Telephone to contact his following work mates to warn them to take an alternative route—only to have the law’s more sophisticated radio to intercept the call and be waiting for the other two trucks when they emerged from a back road!

Another was the manager of a company who probably every six months or so was sent around his customers to collect the necessary overdue payments. One particular offender never posted a cheque, always proffering the inevitable visit to have a chat. The cheque always was received but each one always was for 25cents less as the businessman deemed that amount to be the cost of providing the coffee.

While it is not envisaged the book will be full of stories but more a record of our past operators, interesting happenings will happily be noted for future projects.

Any help that can be provided would be of great assistance and appreciated.

Please contact project co-ordinator Warren Hamilton,12 Kawarau Court, Cromwell 9310.

Call 03 4450512 or 027 44 50 512; email [email protected]; or call RTANZ Area Executive Alan Cooper, 027 31 55 895