The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 1, 1928)
Notes Of The Month
The change in management of our Railways from Board to General Manager control will help to make the relations of the service more human. That is surely a good thing. We will at least know whom to praise or blame for the management of things. A Board is too much of an abstraction to engender human feelings. Yet without these the service must be lifeless. And an anaemic service is of no use in these full-blooded days.
The call is for co-operation, support for the policy and decisions of a personal leader, and a fine response may be expected throughout the ranks of the service.
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There is remarkable interest taken in all parts of the country regarding the new workshops at Otahuhu, Hutt, Addington, and Hillside since their steel frames have gone up against the skyline, and their extensiveness has been demonstrated by ocular proof. Mr. Spidy, the Superintendent of Workshops, has been the moving force behind this vast reorganisation and building programme. In the few years he has been with us he has risen rapidly because of his capacity for getting on with the job. Although in the early days of his career, in New Zealand he had to contend against a certain amount of conservative opposition, Mr. Spidy has won over practically the whole workshops staff to his way of thinking and his way of dealing with the work in hand. If the final results of the workshops re-organisation results in the predicted gain of £115,000 per annum compared with the old workshops’ figures, the Dominion will be able to regard Mr. Spidy's coming as an unmixed blessing.
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There has been lately a closer association between the Railway and Tourist Departments in the work of attracting and holding tourist traffic. This has been particularly evident in the matter of the Government Overseas Publicity Board's recently inaugurated publicity drive in Australia.
Following the visit of Mr. H. J. Manson, the New Zealand Trade Commissioner for Australia, two members of the Tourist Department's staff were detailed to take the road in New South Wales and Melbourne with a view to establishing personal contact with intending New Zealand visitors. One of these. Mr. R. M. Firth, called here prior to his departure from New Zealand, and discussed various ways in which he hoped to gain the attention of Australians to the wonderfully varied scenic field which New Zealand has to offer. He is fully imbued with the idea of putting passengers on the trains, being convinced of the greater comfort and convenience of this method of travel for reaching the principal tourist centres of New Zealand. Word is now to hand that these officers have been cordially welcomed by the Tourist Bureaux and Railway Departments of the Australian States. Their work will be further aided when Mr. A. H. Messenger, N.Z. Government Publicity Officer, arrives there in a week or two to put the general publicity campaign into full operation.
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“Farmers’ Excursions” are now the order of the day. The bumper train which filled the heart of Mr. Pawson, Railway Commercial Agent for Canterbury, when 750 were conveyed to Invercargill last month, may not be equalled by any of the other excursions now preparing; but with the staff spreading the news of these outings in the districts concerned, and Farmers Unions, Dairy Factories, and Chambers of Commerce taking an interest in this new development, it seems likely that large numbers will be conveyed to Hamilton from the Northland and from Taranaki for the Hamilton Winter Show, whilst the train from Westland to the Dunedin. Show seems assured of substantial patronage. Such trips as these certainly help to foster the “Go by rail” idea.
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The Auckland Advertising Club's annual exhibition promises this year to be a particularly striking one. Both the Town Hall and Concert Chamber at Auckland are required to house the exhibits, and advertisers are vying with each other to make their showing exceptionally attractive. The Railways will be well represented. A principal feature of the Government Overseas Publicity Board's display will be the section of De Luxe sleeper, occupied by gaily arrayed wax figures facing the windows through which may be seen the moving panorama of landscape scenery, with roads and road traffic, the latter getting into the kinds of trouble that usually await it wherever it runs in competition with the railway. Arrangements are in hand also for a plentiful distribution of literature to page 51 those who wish to send N.Z. descriptive matter to their friends overseas.
The exhibit in general will display to New Zealanders the work and functions of this active Board, which comprises representatives of the Railways, Tourist, Industries and Commerce, and Government Publicity Departments.
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Another interesting feature of the Exhibition will be the stall prepared by the Railway Advertising Branch. It is generally conceded that the arts staff of the N.Z.R. produce poster work of an exceptionally high grade, and when they set out to show what they can do, something decidedly interesting, attractive, striking and artistic may be expected.
Mr. Stanley Davis, head of the studio, has been described as the best commercial artist in New Zealand, and the popularity of his work with advertisers supplies ground for this judgment.
[In our next issue we hope to reproduce photographs of the Railway exhibits at the Auckland Exhibition.—Ed.]
Solomon said there was nothing new under the sun.
He probably heard that one from his grandmother.
But there are new ways to show old stuff.
That's our job.
So although getting out this Magazine is no picnic—
It's not monotonous.
We can't please everybody.
But we do please most!
Criticism is what we live on—
And there's no food shortage.
When we print jokes, some say “How silly!”
When we don't, they say “Why don't you?”
If we don't print contributions we're hard to please.
If we do print them, they're dull!
If we publish original matter, it doesn't look it.
If we reprint, we've lost our dash!
We may be accused of borrowing this.
What do we care! We did—from a borrower.
But only the poorer parts, and those needed top-dressing.