The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Christchurch Tramway Company, Ltd. Head office and central depôt, Cathedral Square, Christchurch. Depôts and stables at Worcester Street, Sumner, Papanui, Riccarton, Halswell, and Tai Tapu. The Canterbury Tramway Company (from which the present company took over the tramways in 1893) commenced running cars in 1879. Since then the lines have been greatly extended, and now run from the centre of the city, Cathedral Square, to the Papanui railway station, to Sunnyside on the Lincoln Road, through Sydenham to the Port Hills at the end of Colombo street, Christchurch Railway Station, and to Sumner via the Ferry Road, Woolston, the estuaries of the Avon, and Heathcote and the sea-beach. The total length of lines is eighteen miles. The Sumner line is worked by steam motors, and the other lines with horses. The company employs a large staff of engine-drivers, horse-drivers, stablemen, guards, platelayers, and has a number of mechanics in the workshops, where cars are built and painted and engines and machinery kept in repair.
Mr. R. M. MacDonald, Chairman of the Christchurch Tramway Company, Limited, who has been at its head since its inception, is elsewhere referred to as a member of the Christchurch City Council.
Mr. John Ford Hartland, Secretary of the Christchurch Tramway Company, Limited, was born in Lyttelton in 1862, educated at Christ's College, and brought up to mercantile life in Christchurch. Mr. Hartland was subsequently for five years in Townsville, North Queensland, but returned to his native country in 1889. He joined the service of the Canterbury Tramway Company in 1891, as secretary, and on the inception of the Christchurch Tramway Company in 1893, was appointed to his present position.
Mr. John Wood, Traffic Manager of the Christchurch Tramway Co., was born in Christchurch in 1857. He was brought up to the coaching business, and in 1878 established a line of omnibuses on the Riccarton Road, which he conducted for fifteen years, when he sold out his interest to the tramway company, and was appointed to his present position. Mr. Wood was married in 1879 to a daughter of the late Mr. Thomson, of Riccarton, and has two sons and three daughters.
The New Brighton Tramway Company, Limited. Registered offices, 49 Cathedral Square, Christchurch. This company runs a direct line to New Brighton. It extends from Cathedral Square through the city, borough of Linwood, Heathcote road board district, passes the Public Cemetery, crosses the river Avon, and terminates at the New Brighton pier—a total distance of five miles and a half. The company has stables in the city, New Brighton, and at the Junction. It was incorporated in 1885, and the dividends have averaged over seven per cent per annum.
Mr. George McIntyre Chairman and Managing Director of the New Brighton Tramway Company, is referred to in another article as mayor of New Brighton.
Mr. George Slater, who is a Director of the New Brighton Tramway Company, Limited, with which he has been connected since 1886, was born in Dunedin in 1863, and was educated in Wellington and Christchurch. He served his articles as a surveyor with Messrs. McIntyre and Lewis, became qualified in 1886, and joined the firm as a partner. Mr. Slater finds recreation in aquatics, and has been a member of the New Brighton Sailing Club since 1891, and captain since 1893. He was married in 1889 to a daughter of the late Mr. William Jones, of Christchurch, and has one daughter.
Mr. G. Slater
Mr. John Thomson, formerly Manager of the New Brighton Tramway Company, Limited, was born in 1863 at Upper Riccarton, where he was educated and brought up to farming pursuits. He was for four years driver of the Riccarton coach, and on the occasion of the first tram being driven to New Brighton, in 1886, he was in charge as driver. Two years later Mr. Thomson was promoted to be traffic manager, and held the position till 1895, when he was entrusted with the management of the company. He was zealous and painstaking, and was the first to introduce the system of driving four horses in tram cars. He initiated the system of sixpenny return fares which has proved a great boon to families and others seeking a day's outing at the seaside. Mr. Thomson was married in 1885 to a daughter of Mr. J. Lister, of Balcairn, and had one daughter. He died on the 13th of July, 1902.
The late Mr. J. Thomson.