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THE HOLIDAY., Lyttelton Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1336, 27 December 1864
ILLUMINATION OF THE TUNNEL. It is impossible for any thoughtful person to visit the scene ofbusy activity presented by the works of the railway without being struck with mingled feelings of congratulation and serious, if not solemn, reflection. The very natural aspect of the locality is a striking one. Those grand old hills, towering in their massive majesty, their rugged outline standing out in bold relief against the sky, seem to frown in stern defiance, as if triumphing at forming an insuperable barrier between the Port and the Plains. Yet this obstacle is nearly overcome by the skill and ingenuity of man, and has been converted into a means of facilitating the intercourse it seemed at one period destined to obstruct. Our predecessors might have been in the position of the persons described by Scott in the well-known lines—"Ask we these barren hills for bread?" Fortunately, there is no need for us in these piping times of peace to obtain our sustenance in the manner suggested in the reply. Our triumphs are those of peace, not those of war, and instead of the clang of arms, we have the' sound of the steam-engine, and the noise of the camp is replaced by the bustle of the mart. On surveying our own railway works, one may be pardoned for doing so with feelings akin to those of the Roman Empe ror, when he contrasted the state of his capital at the time of his reign with the aspect presented by it at his accession. It is a scene to be contemplated with emotions of complacency tempered with solemnity, and of pride subdued by gratitude. A railway in Canterbury! The words are quickly spoken, and almost as quickly written; yet they are fraught with the most important results both to ourselves'and to our successors. Who shall presume to predict its effect upon the future conditions—perhaps upon the existence—of the province? However, leaving speculations as to futurity on one side, and turning to the practical every-day occurrences of life, we will endeavour to give a short sketch of the event it is our pleasing task this day to chronicle.
Yesterday was a glorious summer day, plenty of dear sky of the bluest, flecked with soft white masses of cloud and a cool breeze from seaward combined to make the day all that the most fastidious pleasure seeker could desire. Early in the morning the people began to flock to the railway station, and although the trains ran at short intervals they were barely adequate to carry away the numbers of excursionists which thronged the station. Arriving in ticket office we found the usual struggle to obtain tickets from philosophic clerk at pigeon hole; the usual crow A on platform that would not stand back in spite of energetic strance from railway porter; the usual rush to carriages for seats; the usual man with wrong ticket in wrong carriage, and the usual little dog in every body's way. Being duly locked in by the guard the train started, and, after a pleasant run of about twenty minutes, the excursionists found themselves at the Ferry Mead station. Our first visit was to the illumination of the tunnel, the entrance of which was decorated with evergreens. The number of candles used for lighting the tunnel amounted to three thousand, and they were disposed at intervals in semicircles, triangles, circular pendants from the roof, and a row along the side walls. At the time we entered, the tunnel was nearly full, and the visitors were compelled to walk in Indian file. Where is the lime light ? was the inquiry from the ingoing to the outgoing crowd, but little satisfactory information could be gained. About the centre we came to the great attraction, and must say that the expectations formed of it were far from being realized. The light was enclosed in a box similar to a camera, through the lens part of which could be discerned a bluish light, very dazzling to look at, but its illuminating powers were very feeble, and it seemed to us to be too confined. However, it was there, and the public were satisfied, One reason for the deficiency of the light was, that it was purposely subdued as It was found that it would have been too dazzling if displayed in its full brilliancy. The lime light is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. The mixed gases emanate from the point of a pipe, and impinge upon around ball about the size of a marble composed of carbonate of lime. The lime becomes so heated that it is obliged to be kept rotating, and the effect is that by the concentration of both gases on it a light is diffused nearly equal to < the electric light.
As we neared the red light which indicated the end of the work, wo noticed that tlio water lay in considerable quantities. The dip of the incline Isdownwards from the'entrance towards Lyttelton, which on each side of the roadway accounts for this fact; and consequently men were engagedin pumping the water into a reservoir at an elevation, from which it finds its way through . an iron pipe to the mouth of the tunnel : The ventilation was very good even at the farthest extremity there being no difficulty experienced in breathing, although from the number of the people and the lights the air might have been expected to bo impure. There are no artificial means adopted with reeard to ventilation at the presont time, and there is no doubt that a natural current is established, the cold riir rushing in below whilst the heated air passes along the roof and escapes at the entrance. The rock which is now being penetrated, is extremely hard and of course the progress is proportionately retarded. We were informed that 46 chains, or 1012 yards have beep completed from this end, consequently not more than 400 yards remain to be pushed
through on this side before arriving at the central point) and on the other fide about 500 yards win complete the work so as to join the headings at the centre. The arrangements for conveying the passengers along the line were excellent. Two thousand two hundred persons visited the scene, and thanks to the tact and temper of Mr. Jones, the station-master, not the smallest disturbance occarred, beyond that' caused by a few roughs who would persist in pushing their way towards the carriages totally regardless of the feelings o£ others.
THE HEATHCOTE REGATTA.
Leaving the Tunnel we got on board the steamer Gazelle, which, after firing a signal gan, left the wharf and steamed to the position assigned to her a short distance below the bridge. Among the company assembled on board were—His Honor the Superintendent, J. OUivier, Esq. (Chairman); Messrs. W. S. Moorhouse (vice-commodore) ; W. Montgomery (treasurer); R. P. Crosbie (hon. sec.)-, Blakiston, J. Kissling, W. F. Moore, A. M'Kellar, E. Richardson, J. T. Peacock, H. Tancred, W. Rolleston, H. P. M. Aynsley, W. Reeves, Curtis, Day, D. Davis, W. H. Hargreaves, R. J. S. Harman, —. M'Clellan, G.Buckley, P. Laurie, R. Walton, W. Wilson, Bcc. Although the first race was advertised to take place at 12.30, it was not until near two p.m. that the start was announced as being effected.
FIRST RACE. Two oars with coxswain ; open to all comers. One mile and a half *, entrance, 10s. Ist prize, £5 ; 2nd do, £3. As originally announced, the entries were four in number, but three only came to the starting post, namely— 1. Express (white and magenta.) 2. Snowdrop (blue and white.) 3. Black Eagle (white.) Blue Bell was scratched, and the three abovenamed went off in order. Fifteen seconds intervening between the time of the starting of each boat. The Snowdrop followed the Express, and the Black Eagle afterwards. Scarcely half the course had been gone over when Snowdrop shot ahead, followed by Express, whose chances of the race seemed at this moment altogether hopeless. As the flagship was gradually approached, Black Eagle overtook Express, and finally left her in the background Consequently gainingon Express, Snowdrop assumed the lead, and came in an easy winner. The following were the distances :— h. m. s. Snowdrop ... ... 11 029 Express ... ... 11 0 5 Black Eagle 11 0 10 SECOND RACE. Four oars with coxswain, open to all comers, two miles; entrance, £1; first prize, £15; second do, £5. There were five entries for this race, namely 1. Planet (blue pennant) 2. Snowdrop (blue and white) 3. Hero (blue white and red) 4. Black Eagle (white) 5. Express (white and magenta) 6. Swan (blue) The above was a very spirited race; but the heat seemed to be altogether in the hands of Planet and Snowdrop, the foimer of which started about fifteen seconds before the latter. As the flag-ship was neared Black Eagle appeared to gain on Snowdrop (the second boat in starting), and finally passed her. For a certainty Planet occupied fie front; but the attraction was between Snowdrop and Black Eagle, both of whom were struggling hard for the second place. Snowdrop, however, managed to retain the position she had gained and came in for second place. The order in which they came in was as follows:— h m s Planet (Ist) ... ... 2 16 57 Black Eagle (2nd) ... 2 17 50 Snowdrop (3rd) 2 18 4. Hero (4th) ... ... 2 18 35 Swan (sth) 2 1# 45 THIBD EACE. Whaleboat; five oars and steer oar, Open to all comers. Two miles and a half. Entrance £1. First prize, £15; second do, £5. There being no more than one entry, the match was abandoned. FOUBTH RACE. Four oars with coxwain; Club boats, manned by members. Two miles; entrance by five pounds subscriptions to Fund. One boat from any Club, Prize (value £25) silver cup to each winning crew; name, &c., engraved. The following is the order in which the boats came in:— li m 8 Express ... 3 52 57 Crest of the Wave ... 3 51 SO Black Eagle ... ... 3 51 48 Snowdrop 8 51 40 A sailing match and duck race wound up the evening's amusements. In the former, Roberts was first, Disconi, second; and in the latter, Day took first place, and Dixon second.
THE RIFLE MATCH.
The Rifle Match for the prizes offered of £5, £3, and £2 respectively, came off at the new range, near the Hillsborough station. The ranges were at 200, 300, and 400 yards—five shots at each range. The first prize was gained by, Sergeant C. Allison, who made 38 points ; Messrs. E. B. Bishop and A. Johnston , making the former 35, and the latter 34, received the other prizes. The day was a very suitable one for riflo practice, the wind being calm, consequently the exhibition of shooting was remarkably goodOwing to the length of time occupiedj by the Regatta, the rural sports advertised to take place were postponed sine die.
THE HOLIDAY., Lyttelton Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1336, 27 December 1864
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