Timetables

Dear Peg and family,
All my early life was governed by ‘time tables’, or the opening and closing hours, for just about everything. We lived in a small town about 10 miles from Dunedin, (Port Chalmers) and we were well served by Rail for all of our dealings with the City. This meant our secondary schooling, and in many cases our employment. You carried in your head a time table for when all the trains arrived and departed whether it was for entertainment or work. When we arrived in Dunedin we clambered onto a tram outside the Rail Station, or walked up to the exchange which was the hub where all  trams passed through, apart from the Cable cars. The tram system was cheap and convenient.
In addition we had three Cable Car systems similar to what San Francisco has. These served the Hill Suburbs. Had we retained them, they would have been equally a prize tourist attraction today. As the systems in San Francisco are today. We have destroyed most of our early modes of transport, as we continued our march forward, all the time taking advantage of any technical advances that came along. Buses and Trolley Buses pushed out Trams. And as the roads improved, and more people now owned a car. It had an effect on all Public Transport. Rail was rapidly becoming obsolete, as patronage dropped off. It was now only being used for peak periods.
I mentioned opening and closing hours. This was an archaic system which was imposed on us by the Church and Unions. All shops were locked up tight on Sundays and Holidays. The same power group also controlled the opening, and closing hours of most Shops. Banks opened for only a half day on Saturdays. But where these control people exercised the most  restraint was in the Liquor industry. In fact in many area laws had been passed where whole Districts were ‘Dry’, and no liquor was sold. In time when the pressure for change came. Trusts were formed to sell Beer and whisky, but under strict control and conditions. Trustees were elected at the same time as local body elections. Although some control has been eased. Many areas in the South are still operating under this system. No Hotels have been authorised to sell liquor in competition since it’s inception. It’s mainly Districts of Invercargill, Gore, and Oamaru that have embraced this trading mode. While this pantomime was going on, liquor could still be shipped in. That was providing it was purchased in a wholesale lot (Twelve Bottles). I can recall seeing a goods train on a Friday nights calling in at Milton. The whole length of the platform was taken up with orders of booze for the local inhabitants. Each had their name written in chalk on the whole length . What a stupid system. In fact on Mondays and as well during the week. The Mayor was gainfully employed calling at each household soliciting, and taking orders for ‘Malings’ a Christchurch liquor wholesaler. To be delivered by Rail Friday nights. More alcohol was drunk under this system, when compared to places where Hotels and Taverns were allowed to operate freely. In fact I could take it a step further and say, that there were more Alcoholics in these ‘Dry’ areas than any place that had Hotels. Hotels that were trading as normal, if you could call it normal. Their hours were from 11-00am till 6PM. Well they closed at 6-00PM but reopened again till what ever time the Police allowed them. I did notice that the police left the drinkers alone, providing they didn’t get any complaints. They made token raids from time to time but mostly when the Police arrived, they were confronted by a empty smoke filled Bar, half filled glasses on the counter, but the patrons had fled.
In my early days, some parts of the town were just switching over to motorised transport. But our Butcher, Baker, Grocer, and as well many of the Councils and local contractors were all still dependant on horse drawn vehicles. Someone remarked that the streets at this time should be covered by a layer of Horse dung. Not so, as soon as the horse dropped it’s bundle, ever watchful housewife or kids,  would quickly pounce on it, with a bucket and small shovel, where it quickly ended up in the garden.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally
All my early life was governed by ‘time tables’, or the opening and closing hours, for just about everything. We lived in a small town about 10 miles from Dunedin, (Port Chalmers) and we were well served by Rail for all of our dealings with the City. This meant our secondary schooling, and in many cases our employment. You carried in your head a time table for when all the trains arrived and departed whether it was for entertainment or work. When we arrived in Dunedin we clambered onto a tram outside the Rail Station, or walked up to the exchange which was the hub where all  trams passed through, apart from the Cable cars. The tram system was cheap and convenient.
In addition we had three Cable Car systems similar to what San Francisco has. These served the Hill Suburbs. Had we retained them, they would have been equally a prize tourist attraction today. As the systems in San Francisco are today. We have destroyed most of our early modes of transport, as we continued our march forward, all the time taking advantage of any technical advances that came along. Buses and Trolley Buses pushed out Trams. And as the roads improved, and more people now owned a car. It had an effect on all Public Transport. Rail was rapidly becoming obsolete, as patronage dropped off. It was now only being used for peak periods.
I mentioned opening and closing hours. This was an archaic system which was imposed on us by the Church and Unions. All shops were locked up tight on Sundays and Holidays. The same power group also controlled the opening, and closing hours of most Shops. Banks opened for only a half day on Saturdays. But where these control people exercised the most  restraint was in the Liquor industry. In fact in many area laws had been passed where whole Districts were ‘Dry’, and no liquor was sold. In time when the pressure for change came. Trusts were formed to sell Beer and whisky, but under strict control and conditions. Trustees were elected at the same time as local body elections. Although some control has been eased. Many areas in the South are still operating under this system. No Hotels have been authorised to sell liquor in competition since it’s inception. It’s mainly Districts of Invercargill, Gore, and Oamaru that have embraced this trading mode. While this pantomime was going on, liquor could still be shipped in. That was providing it was purchased in a wholesale lot (Twelve Bottles). I can recall seeing a goods train on a Friday nights calling in at Milton. The whole length of the platform was taken up with orders of booze for the local inhabitants. Each had their name written in chalk on the whole length . What a stupid system. In fact on Mondays and as well during the week. The Mayor was gainfully employed calling at each household soliciting, and taking orders for ‘Malings’ a Christchurch liquor wholesaler. To be delivered by Rail Friday nights. More alcohol was drunk under this system, when compared to places where Hotels and Taverns were allowed to operate freely. In fact I could take it a step further and say, that there were more Alcoholics in these ‘Dry’ areas than any place that had Hotels. Hotels that were trading as normal, if you could call it normal. Their hours were from 11-00am till 6PM. Well they closed at 6-00PM but reopened again till what ever time the Police allowed them. I did notice that the police left the drinkers alone, providing they didn’t get any complaints. They made token raids from time to time but mostly when the Police arrived, they were confronted by a empty smoke filled Bar, half filled glasses on the counter, but the patrons had fled.
In my early days, some parts of the town were just switching over to motorised transport. But our Butcher, Baker, Grocer, and as well many of the Councils and local contractors were all still dependant on horse drawn vehicles. Someone remarked that the streets at this time should be covered by a layer of Horse dung. Not so, as soon as the horse dropped it’s bundle, ever watchful housewife or kids,  would quickly pounce on it, with a bucket and small shovel, where it quickly ended up in the garden.
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