The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)
An Interview with an Engine
An Interview with an Engine.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the Duchess of Thorndon, who was acting “in loco parentis” to some of the younger branch of the family; the subject touched on was modern modes and manners. The Duchess happened to be in the yard, cooling off at the tank after (as she explained) a hard cross-country run, in which she had led her personal train the whole way; she was smoking and panting freely, and at first I thought she looked faily well oiled, but I discovered that this is just her permanent way of acting. She is really an iron-bound aristocrat, but at times she gets a bit hot and is liable to boil over; however, I waited politely until she had let off steam and got over her pressure. She is a dear old hot-head—one of the tender class. As usual she looked charming in glistening black which shewed off her graceful lines admirably. She hummed quietly to herself for a moment before answering my query.
“I've no objection,” she murmured “To young people, well—putting on a bit of speed; I've done it myself and can still do it when I like.” She chuckled deeply and sighed. “Of course,” she continued, “it's all right as long as it's on the level, but the question is, can these moderns last long enough to make the grade. I must admit that I've been—well, not exactly fast—say swift, in my day; but I've always known where to stop, and have never ignored the signals of common sense; I am not what you would call narrow, by any means, and I believe in running on broad lines, but I Do think it is very foolish for many of the present generation to leave the rails as they do; they expose themselves to all sorts of dangers careering round without restraint, and leaving the path of security. These days you've got to be on your metal. When I think of the thousands and thousands I have drawn to safety, and the fun they have had out of me, and the comfort I've given them—well, it warms me to think of it. But bless their hearts, I am not worrying about a few who have strayed from the straight and narrow gauge; they invariably return; quality always tells, and in their hearts they simply can't help loving me—and they know that they are always sure of a sterling welcome. Oh yes, the Duke's quite fit, thank you— slight palpitation yesterday, but going strong again—pip, pip, young man, give my regards to the guards.”page break
Chichester's Home Coming
(Rly. Publicity photo.)
Mr. F. C. Chichester, of Wellington, New Zealand, whose recent solo flight from London to Sydney was acclaimed as one of the most notable achievements in aviation history, was accorded an enthusiastic welcome by the citizens of Wellington on his arrival from Sydney by the Maunganui on 11th February. The illustrations shew: Top (left), the airman superintending the unloading of his 'plane; (right), ladies wearing the colours of the Wellington. Aero Club showering the airman with confetti as he stepped down the gangway of the Maunganui; (centre), group of representative citizens at the reception.—Front row (left to right): Mr. R. A. Wright, M.P., Councillor T. C. A. Hislop, Mr. F. C. Chichester, Mr. G. A. Troup (Mayor of Wellington), the Hon. W. B. Taverner (Minister of Railways), and Councillor W. H. Bennett. Below (right), Mr. Chichester and the Mayor of Wellington proceeding to the Town Hall for the official reception, and (left) the gathering outside the Town Hall, shewing the airman (centre) after the reception.