From Low Gear to Overdrive

Anyone would think three volumes of trucking history would have covered all Taumarunui’s transport operators, but not so!

It is planned to launch Volume 4 in November 2023.

Ongarue Railway Accident

The Society was asked to take on the publication of a book recording the aftermath of a passenger train derailment north of Taumarunui on 6 July 1923. It happened close to Ongarue Village and 17 died with many others injured.

To mark the centenary Les Dyne, whose grandfather Arthur Dyne was Taumarunui’s Acting Chief of Staff for NZ Railways on the day it happened, has compiled this book as a tribute to the many involved coming to the rescue. Being the worst rail accident in New Zealand at the time it was widely reported.

The book launch was held on 8 July 2023 when a memorial to those killed was unveiled at Ongarue.

New Zealand Rail Heritage Trust generously supported the production and printing of this book.

Manunui, Ellis & Burnand Mill

In 2017 the Historical Society began the further research needed to publish this Manunui story which completes the trilogy of Ellis & Burnand’s operations in the King Country.

The late Ken Anderson published the histories of E&B’s Ongarue and Mangapehi Sawmills (Sparse Timber Sawmillers and Maoriland Sawmillers) and was part way along with a manuscript on the Manunui Mill before his untimely death.

In, December 2021, the book Logging the Punga has been published.

Ongoing Project – Roll Back the Years

Having achieved the republication of Ron Cooke’s original old magazines in six volumes in 2016 the Society felt it was time to add to the archive with new material. A writing competition was held and the contributed stories, along with others, were published in an all new volume in the tradition of the enduring Roll Back the Years series.

After all, our history is our communal memories so the more who join in to retain it the better. 22 people, both current and ex-Taumarunui folk, put pen to paper and recorded memories of a wide range of the district’s history.

The Historical Society is very appreciative of those who wrote down their memories and encourage people to keep stories coming in so Roll Back the Years Volume 8 can be achieved in time.

Tony Ratcliffe and his beloved elephant. Tony’s story of growing up in Taumarunui and developing a love for animals and the circus way of life won second place in the Roll Back the Years writing competition

Anne Fraser is presented with her third place prize by Mike Gavan of Taumarunui Paper Plus. Anne’s story and poem related to the tramlines and sawmill of her youth. Paul Chaplow (left) of Forgotten World Adventures presented RBY writing competition winner Richard Steele with vouchers for two to take a trip on the railcarts travelling down the old Stratford line to Whangamomona.