The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)
Tons Of Marbles.
We'Re off, Trainlanders! Off to visit some beautiful marble halls. To visit them is much more enjoyable than merely dreaming about them, don't you think? Which reminds us of the wistful gypsy maiden in that favourite opera, “The Bohemian Girl.” She was always dreaming of dwelling in marble halls.
A marble road at the top of the South Island takes us to Maoriland's halls of gleaming white crystal, which are set high up on the hills overlooking Golden Bay.
These marble quarries are so big that they have provided material for hundreds of buildings throughout New Zealand, including the imposing Parliament Buildings in Wellington.
Big machines cut out blocks of all shapes and sizes from the walls in these marble halls and many of the blocks are veined with the loveliest rainbow colours.
What piles of marbles for your marble bags you could make here, and what beauties! But the majority of marbles are made of glass or clay. Aggies, as you know, are made from Onyx, a kind of agate which comes from Brazil, Germany and India.
You would not need pennies to buy marbles if you were Frank Mitchell, a little American boy whose father owns the factory where “aggies” are made. Frank sees how they are made whenever he goes along to fill his pockets with them.
Four-ton blocks of Onyx are sliced into slabs, seven-eights of an inch thick. These slabs are cut into cubes. The cubes, in trays of two hundred, are then carried to a rolling grinder where they are ground and polished into marbles.
Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Supposing we all set about building a factory in these New Zealand marble halls and start making real marbles—marbles made from marble? Wouldn't it be fun?
If we did we would need a forbidding notice outside “No Visitors With Pockets Allowed”; otherwise, all our precious marbles would soon disappear and we would have none left to sell!
Let's keep the good old game going and then there will be a roaring trade awaiting us.
Meanwhile, Good Winnings, Trainlanders!
How Fast Are We Travelling?
Here is an easy way to tell. Borrow a watch with a second-hand and time how long it takes to go between each little mile post by the side of the railway track. Divide the number of seconds it takes into 3,600 seconds (which equals one hour). For instance, if the train takes 90 seconds to go between each one-mile post it will be travelling 40 miles per hour.
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More Excellent Riddles.
Q.: At which station does the cook spoil the bacon? A.: Burnham.
Q.: Where do the paddocks jump? A.: At Springfield.—Joan O'Brien, 383 Barrington St., Spreydon, Christchurch.
Q.: Why do firemen wear strong boots? A.: To prevent Sockburn.—Violet Wells, 378 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch.
Q.: What town on the New Zealand Railways is heavy at one end and light at the other?
A.: Feathers-ton.—Lydia Dassler, Te Rau-a-moa, via Te Awamutu.
Q.: What station is like a piece of worn out footwear? A.: Dun-sandle.—Ted Breach.
Q.: Where do birds fly to for a good home?
A.: Birdling's flat.—Noeline Breach, Cadman Road, Dannevirke.
Q.: Who was a great poet? A.: Milton.—Oliver Smart, Raglan Street, Wyndham.
Q.: What is the jolliest place in New Zealand? A.: HO-HO.
Q.: Which is the smallest valley in the world? A.: Inch Valley.—Miss D. Tonkin, C/o Post Office, Heriot, Otago.
Q.: Where did “Cora Lynn” “Hyde” the “Blackball?” A.: In “Greymouth.”—Ivan Mitchell, 46 Hills Road, Shirley, Christchurch.
Q.: What place is almost free of the sheep tick pest? A.: Utiku. Because there is only a tick between to 2 ewes—U-tik-u.—Utiku is a station six miles from Taihape.—Poppy Montgomery, 144 Mataroa Road, Taihape.
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My greatest wish is to be an engine-driver so that I can shunt some more carriages of helpers into Trainland.
Although you get a little dirty while in the engine it is quite nice. On hot days you may easily get cool by looking out of the window and when cold you may warm yourself by the fire, so there is no excuse for not being an enginedriver.—Alex Kirk, 60 Coronation Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland.
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My brother and two other boys have a canoe each, made of flat iron with a rounded bottom, just like a Maori canoe, and it is great fun canoeing up and down the Otamite River which flows just behind our place. I have received one pen-friend from the North Island, and I find it such fun writing to her. I would like a lot more.—Agnes Ross, Mandeville, Southland.page break
“How beautiful is youth, how bright it gleams
With its illusions, aspirations, dreams!”—Longfellow.
Our Children's Gallery.—(1) John and Elliot Sirett; (2) Stuart and Douglas McDonald; (3) Billy and Edna Hansen; (4) Betty and Joan Sunnet; (5) Ena, Ruby, Della and Mona Luxon; (6) Ngaire and Basil Marsh; (7) Mavis and Bobby Wood; (8) Reginald Small; (9) Neoline and Eric Thomas; (10) Marie and Charlie McManus; (11) Leila Pilcher; (12) victor, Allan, Isobel, Norman and Eunice Baxter; (13) Eunice Birt—all of Napier.