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BY RAIL TO THE RACECOURSE.

Jockey Club Spring Meet"*!&*HL•__* to establish itself permanently event of its kind in New Zealand. «*-_ st- lfc *■ gr*tifyiog to see the club successfully in the matter of "^»fa-l!rf P L eacc ? Beorieß - ° neof fche mo3t these is an easy and expeditious Sjßjg |L <»n_munication with the course. *_* bat 11 7® nid *'» are very well in theii 3 "" 1 Pf going to a race * »J_^_l_ a ?' 3 KM y **** not preferable to o,4™sJtam. The Canterbury Jockey •*^fe__^^_f ntortained tW » option, foi * Wdi LiP *** possible to get *«6B_r tlwT** 7 nj * d «'or the purpose of con- «» »cecouae with the main south

line, thus enabling the public to pass with ease and celerity from the city to the eon. estI ing ground, and vice vena. Accordingly overJ tures were made to the Government on the subject, arrangements were come to, and four weeks ago the survey of the branch, commencing on the main line at a point near the Lincoln road and ending at the course, was taken in hand. No time was lost. The contract was taken by Mr stocks, the builder of the Waimakiriri Gorge bridge. The Government undertook the platela gi n J» and this part of the work was done I under the overseership of Messrs Cuthbert and Knight, of the railway staff. The branch is about a mile long, and such was the energy displayed by those entrusted with the job that the line was finally opened on last Saturday forenoon. A special train, containing some of the chief officers of the Railway Department and several leading members of the Jockey Club, left the old railway station about half-past ten o'clock, and proceeding at a moderate pace reached the course, some seven distant, in little more than half an hour. The rich level farm lands, at present devoted chiefly to the purposes of pasturage, between the city and the course, looked particularly beautiful in the genial sunlight, and appeared less arid than might have been expected, considering the somewhat prolonged drought and the parching character of the recent high winds. The heavy rain which fell during Saturday night must have given additional freshness to the country, and lovers of nature passing by rail to the course within the next few days.will therefore, if the we-ither be propitious, see this fine landscape under favourable circumstances. Shortly after the course was reached the party present assembled in one of the carriages, in which they partook of champagne supplied for the occasion by the club and the contractors. The company drank a number of toasts, the first being th:.t of the health of Mr Williams, Resident Engineer, who had acted as the direct official superintendent of the construction of the line. Mr Williams acknowledged the compliment. The toasts were of a friendly, not a formal character. The health of the contractor, Mr Stocks, was next given, and was duly honored in " the observance." In replying, Mr Stocks said that he had been a contractor for many years, and it had always been, and would always be, his ambition to execute the work entrusted to him in Buch a way as would justify his being further trusted with similar undertakings. He had not forgotten the rule in the present contract, and he hoped the work would give satisfaction, and that the branch would prove remunerative to the Jockey Club and the Government. Mr John Ollivier, who proved the life and soul of the party, gave also in his customarily genial manner the toast of "The Canterbury Jockey Club," coupled with the name of Mr Lancelot Walker. The toast having been duly honored, Mr Walker responded. He said that when the Jockey Club had decided on bringing the railway to the racecourse, he was commissioned by the clnb to proceed to Wellington to negotiate the matter with Mr Ormond, late Minister of Public Works. Many difficulties had presented themselves at the time, but these, he was happy to say, had been overcome, and the line, as they all knew, was now an accomplished fact. The growing importance and popularity of the race meetings, and the demands of public convenience, had rendered the construction of such a line necessary. Accordingly it had been undertaken, as other improvements would be undertaken, for the Canterbury Jockey Club aspired to make itself the premier institution of its kind in the colony. It had been anticipated that the Governor would grace the forthcoming meet with his presence, but) unfortunately, the prolonged session of the General Assembly would deter bis Excellency from attending. However, he hoped the public would enjoy the sport provided under the auspices of the club, which would always endeavor to act so as to deserve the support and approval of the community. The healths of Mr Conyers, Superintending Engineer of the Middle Island Railways, Mr Lawson, Traffic Manager, and Mr Smith of the Railway Department were drunk with cordiality, ana each»of these gentlemen made a suitable response. When the healths of Messrs Cuthbert and Knight, the platelayers, were given, Mr Knight responded. Several other social toasts having been disposed of, including that of the health of Mr Ollivier, the whistle sounded for the *Teturn to the Christchurch railway station, which was reached between 12 and 1 o'clock. It may be mentioned that the platform at the new railway station is so far advanced that the trains for the races will start from and return to it instead of the old platform. Telegraphic communication between tho racecourse and- the head office at Christchurch will be effected by the opening of the meeting on Tuesday.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18771105.2.23

Bibliographic details

BY RAIL TO THE RACECOURSE., Press, Volume XXVIII, Issue 3834, 5 November 1877

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BY RAIL TO THE RACECOURSE. Press, Volume XXVIII, Issue 3834, 5 November 1877

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