Local Heart, Global Soul

December 4, 2018

History On The Wall… Part Two.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post where I am trying to showcase the detail of a large mural in Greymouth, New Zealand.

The mural is a compilation of many of the “Coasts” biggest events, famous people and “characters”.

The artwork is amazing and I have tried hard not to miss any of the individual pieces.

That said, I only realised after we had left that there were some that I could have done better a few small snippets that got left out (the war memorial part on the top row, mentioned in yesterday’s post.)

It’s a case of having information overload when you are standing looking at such a large, detailed work.

Later back at our accommodation on the computer, came the moment that I could really appreciate the artwork, information and detail of this amazing mural. There is even a tiny inclusion of part of the modern day skyline of the town that includes a miniature depiction of the advertising bucket from a certain well known American fried chicken chain. Product placement, or a small nod to the/one of the sponsor(s) of this mural? Greymouth residents of course have the luxury of being able to visit this mural as many times as they want… and in this case that’s a luxury indeed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I was rather horrified to see an inclusion of someone in blackface in this mural, the gun they are holding becomes a secondary concern. I also have a question as to why the men appear to be named but not the women?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 3, 2018

History On The Wall… Part One.

The mural behind the Greymouth Evening Star car park is far bigger than I first thought.  Upon closer inspection I found that it’s a tapestry of historical events and people of special note (or notoriety) in Greymouth and the West Coast. Some very big events took place here, and there are too many photographs for one post, so I’ll do this in two parts. This part attempts to follow the top row of elements in the mural from left to right…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(I missed photographing the next one, on the top row, it’s fuzzy because of the distance I took the photograph from (first photo in this post). Even zooming in with “Paint”, all I can make out is the headline of the caption: “Runanga Payroll Robbery” and the rest of the text is blurry. What I don’t understand is why there seems to be a picture of a War Memorial next to this caption (missed getting that photo too) and I’m no too sure how the two are connected.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

this one above goes below the following photo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are plenty more of these amazing pictures and their accompanying stories… they will be posted tomorrow.

December 2, 2018

History In The Working Of Coal…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The town’s murals and statues leave absolutely no doubt that Greymouth is a town with a deep history in the working of coal.

Murals around any town are a fabulous way to liven up a built up area and Greymouth is no exception.

Himself and I continue our drive around until suddenly I spot another mural, this time on the side wall of the Greymouth Evening Star offices.

Naturally Himself pulls over and I go to get photographs.

There is a car parked along the opposite wall so I had to get a slightly more side-on view but this is another clear tribute to the coal industry that was massive on the West Coast. In fact it dawns on me that as a kid we had a playground game where we would take turns trying to say “West Coast Coal” as fast as possible twenty times. It’s harder than you think, especially when you are trying to beat the speed of the friend who’s turn it was before you. Added to the impressiveness of this mural is the yet another one I spy just a few metres away behind it that has me waving and pointing to Himself in the car that I’m off on a very short detour…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 1, 2018

Shantytown’s Kaitangata Steams Ahead… Kind of.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Greymouth’s next mural is a very striking one of a large steam train.

The name on the name plate is “KAITANGATA” and it is resident in the local tourist attraction; Shantytown.

Located 10 km south of Greymouth, Shantytown is more or less an open air museum, with thirty shops, gold panning possibilities, train rides and all sorts of things to delight visitors.

Their website;   Shantytown / Kaitangata steam train starts with th technical aspects: “KAITANGATA – Sharp Stewart & Co. Glasgow, Scotland. Makers # 4270 built 1896. 22 ton, 10.5 x 18 cylinders, 160lb BP, 36 inch wheels TE 7000lb.

The main stay of the railway at Shantytown since its opening in 1972 has been the ‘Improved F-Class Kaitangata’.

This engine is based on the N.Z.R. (New Zealand Railways) ‘F’ class, and was built for the Kaitangata Coal & Railway Co. to work the 8 kilometre line from the coal mine at Kaitangata to the N.Z.R. exchange sidings at Stirling.
The coal company and railway were taken over by the State Mines Department in the 1950’s with the locomotive continuing to operate the railway until the mine closed in 1969. In February 1971 the locomotive was donated to Shantytown.”

I remember going to Shantytown once as a kid, but so long ago that I can’t remember if it was a school trip or a family one. What I remember was attempting to do some gold panning in a long trough. My biggest memory?: That the water was freezing cold! (the things that kids remember from trips when they were young!). My later visits included the area, but not Shantytown, and on this particular visit with my own family we didn’t have time for any extra excursions because we have appointments to meet up with friends in Hanmer Springs in a few days.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 30, 2018

Parking Up For The Night…

Todays Greymouth mural is one that is just around the corner from a business I featured on my blog a little earlier but it took us a little while to make the connection between the mural and which business it belonged to. The “Central Park Camping” business is located tucked behind the Challenge petrol station on street in front of it. It’s a budget campsite that provides coin operated showers and laundromat and also fast wi-fi internet. It sounds from the reviews to be a safe, central spot for visitors in vehicles who just want to park up somewhere cheap for the night as they travel around New Zealand.

Central Park Camping // 119 Tainui St, Greymouth 7805  // New Zealand

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 28, 2018

Speeding Past The Beauty Of The Bay…

The next of Greymouth’s murals was one that I sadly only got a fleeting glimpse of.  I also only got one photograph but I’ve put this here because I liked it a lot, and to remind me to take a better photo of it if we are able to return here in the near future.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 27, 2018

Café Wall Art…

Driving around Greymouth in the South Island’s West Coast, Himself and I get the chance to enjoy some of the local artworks. This mural was on the wall of a local café. I think that the styalized bird is a white heron, a beautiful bird found in various parts of the South Island, but especially on the West Coast.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 25, 2018

The TranzAlpine Rolls Through Downtown..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst we are on the subject of quirky, Greymouth also has another interesting feature to it’s name.

This is that, the train line runs very close to the town centre, so you are literally just off the main street and on quite a large intersection, suddenly the barrier arms come down and a train goes though.

On the occasion that we waited for the train to go past, it was not just “any” train either, but the world famous “TranzAlpine Express”  that takes the scenic tour though the Arthurs Pass from Christchurch to Greymouth.

On the way it passes through the Otira tunnel, (prounounced” Oh Tear rah”) …a very special piece of engineering, built by hand with pick axes, and I could hardly better the Wikipedia Otira Tunnel text so I’ll just quote just a small section of the article here;

“…tunnel runs under the Southern Alps from Arthur’s Pass to Otira – a length of over 8.5 kilometres (5.3 mi). The gradient is mainly 1 in 33, and the Otira end of the tunnel is over 250 m (820 ft) lower than the Arthur’s Pass end. Construction commenced in 1907 and a “breakthrough” celebration was held on 21 August 1918 by the Minister of Public Works Sir William Fraser. When the tunnel opened on 4 August 1923, it was the seventh longest tunnel in the world and the longest in the British Empire.”

I remember from school trips that despite the large height difference at each end of the tunnel, the engineers were so through with their calculations that they were only 1 meter (3 feet) “off” from the exact center of the tunnel when tunnellers from both ends met.

In addition to the large non-reflective glass windows in the carriages, there are also special glass panels along the roof edges of the train so that passengers seated indoors can make the most of the panoramic views and an observation car, part of which is open-air (except when inside the Otira tunnel section) for the most breath-taking views of all. We see some tourists waving to us as the train passes over the crossing, they are going on one of the world’s most spectacular journeys.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 24, 2018

Come On, Surely Someone Else Sees It Too?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that I have a weird sense of humour.

Today’s post demonstrates this. Maybe it’s because Himself and I had already seen a few quirky and fun sights around Greymouth, New Zealand and my brain was in a quirky mood.

I don’t know. you know the feeling when you see something, associate something completely different with it and then can’t “unsee” it?

Well it was like this for me when I saw this fountain.

It’s just an ordinary fountain right? Not for me.

What I immediately saw was the bottom half of a caricature fat person, think “The Fat Controller” in the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s books or the Monopoly board game “Banker“.

I kept looking for the top half, that must have surely toppled off these “legs”? Once I got that thought inside my head it was all I could do not to giggle like an idiot every time I saw it. (We drove past it quite a few times as we checked out the town). Yes, I do get some strange looks from my husband and eye rolls from my kids. I don’t care, better a weird sense of humour than none at all. On second thoughts don’t ask my family to confirm that statement, they probably have different ideas.

November 23, 2018

Advertising Cycling Around The World…

I’m still on the quirky theme in Greymouth New Zealand. We visited in January 2018 and just a few meters across the car park from the tent on top of the car of yesterday’s post, I see the adventure shop that must obviously lets camping tourists use their space to camp out for the night. We have good friends here in the Hague who travelled and blogged some 37. 500 kms around the world on their bikes, including New Zealand. Therefore whenever I see something to do with bicycles on my travels: unusual bikes, sculptures, signs etc, I make a post for them. the “TravellingTwo“, here is another one for you! This time it’s a huge bicycle sign: they would approve!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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