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With two exceptions, all the shopkeepers at Oamaru have signed a petition to the Minister of Labor against the compulsory Saturday half-holiday under the Factories Act of last session.

Condensed telegrams—The" inquest at Invercargill re the railway fatality was continued, and farther adjourned till Wednesday, the jury going out by special train to the scene of the accir? n Lr~.F hB en<luiry at Wellington into the striking of the Kotuku on Walker rock while passing through the Jackson passage, was continued on Friday evidence being given by Captains Nordstrum, Manning and Smith

Quite a feature of Mr Seddon's meeting on Thursday evening was the presence on the stage of Mr William Henry Eyes, formerly Superintendent ot Marlborongh, and who at one time or another held nearly every public position in the place. To him is due the gratitude of Blenheim for having the seat of Government shifted back from Picton to Blenheim. Mr Eyes was specially invited to a place on the platform as some recognition of his many services to the district in the past. :.-.::

The Premier will have his little joke. The address presented to him at Seddon reFerced to his representation of the colony at the Commonwealth celebrations. Replying on this point, Mr Seddon said he thought he could fairly claim that, unlike some people wh6 were everlastingly going to banquets, he could "show something" for his attendance at these functions. His friend, Mr Turnbull, who was standing near, could tell them that when he first knew the Premier, the latter was not nearly of the proportions he was now. "It's a pretty big 'something' now," murmured a bystander.

The train which conveyed the deputation to Seddon on Thursday to meet the Premie* stopped to allow the excursionists to inspect the Awatere bridge. The bridge, which is complete with the exception of the wind screen, is a fine looking structure—the most up-to date and the only one of its kind in the colony. The length of the top floor, over which the rails are laid, is 1037 feet; that of the ordinary traffic floor below is 861 feet, the width being 12 feet, and the average height from the riverbed 40 feet. The structure rests on nine cylinder piers, three concrete piers, and one pier of piles. There is not room on the lower floor for vehicles to pass each other, and as there are two rather awkward corners at each end a signalling device of some kind would be a good idea and would prevent much inconvenience. :

The rain which fell locally last week has pflt new heart iiifco the farmers. Undoubtedly the season has been an exceptionally dry one. But the farmers have been wonderfully cheerful under the circumstances ; and there is reason to believe that the dryness has not affected the district to the extent that has been generally supposed. At Tua Marina and elsewhere excellent agricultural results have been produced, and the complaint is rather as to the lowness of prices. Certainly this district has not suffered nearly as much as other parts of the-colony. The ground was parched at Seddon, but the excursion party of last- week wore quite pleased to note that the settlers were in excellent heart. .

The excursion party which went out to Seddon on Thursday saw that the railway is practically completed. The train ran from Blenheim up to the Seddon platform, going all the way without a hitch, and with a smoothness that was greatly remarked. The plat* form at Seddon is a fine big one, about 300 feet in length—nearly half as long again as the one at Blenheim. The stationmaster's house alongside is in" existence; on the opposite side is a loading bank and the site for the goods shed. Ten chains away on the Blenheim side of the platform are the sheep and cattle yards; and, there being a double set of rails, the accommodation for the loading of stock is most convenient. At this point the Scarborough Creek has been, diverted from its old course and bridged.' Very little remains to be done for the conjpletion of the work, there being 'besides the erection of the station buildings not much ruure than the finishing off of cattle stops, some fencing and the construction of an overhead road bridae at the end of" the line a few

chains further on, where there is the beginning of a deep cutting into the bill. This work will probably occupy two or three weeks. At the present time between 40 and 50 men are employed on the railway. No work ig being done on the next section.. v ,

Mr Marcus Pliinmer, advance representative for the Janet Waldorf dramatic combination, passed; through Picton yesterday eu. route to Nelson and the West Coast, where he is to make arrangements for the appearance of the brilliant young American actress, who has just concluded a highly .three weeks' season in Wellington. As it is Jnghly probable that this distinguished artist will visit Blenheim next month, it might not .be o.ut of place to mention that ftjiss Waldorf : jS a young and charming actress,' -haying made her first appearance only soujp six years ago as " Juliet" in " Romeo and Juliet," in a leading : N;ew York theatre. The critics were Unanimous in their opinion asr to the;debutante's ability, and proclaimed her a coming

" star.'' This has been fully borne out, for at the present time Miss Wal-

dorf ranks among America's foreinpst artists, her tour --through-.the United

States and the East being a triumphal .one. At the final performance in Wellington, " The Merchant of VenlceV"

. the audience stood up and cheered the :. young actress at the fall, of the curtain '. : and she ;was inundated with .floral \ tributes of .esteem. The. plays to be produced in Blenheim will probably be Shakespeare's charming pastoral comedy, " As You Likelfc,",andßulwer Lytton's famous, military and poetical drama "The Lady of Lyons," Miss Waldorf is supported by Mr Norval Macgregor and a company of 22 legitimate artists. At about 7.30 o'clock last evening a fire occurred by which a house in Alabama Road, owned by. Mr Bush and occupied by Mr C. Hammond, was totally destroyed. A considerable number of people were attracted to the live, but no alarm was sounded on the firekells, salvage bsing out of the •i question. No one was in tho, house when febe fire started, and the cause of ■> I the otitbr-eafe is not known. Practically nothing was g^fc out of the place, • The building was insured for £250 in the Victoria office, and the: furniture for cSIOO in the Manchester Office.

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Bibliographic details

NEWS AND NOTES., Marlborough Express, Volume XXXV, Issue 291, 16 December 1901

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NEWS AND NOTES. Marlborough Express, Volume XXXV, Issue 291, 16 December 1901

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