Powerful lorry imported for service

Motor cars which have been ferried across the Clutha on a punt. - Otago Witness, 5.2.1913. Copies...
Motor cars which have been ferried across the Clutha on a punt. - Otago Witness, 5.2.1913. Copies of picture available from ODT front office, Lower Suart St, or www.otagoimages.co.nz

An event of considerable importance to settlers in the Hawea district will be the establishment of a motor lorry service between Hawea and the railway terminus at Clyde.

To meet the special needs of this piece of country a large and powerful wagon has just been imported by Mr W.F. Searle, of Oamaru, for Mr George Partridge, of Lowburn, and yesterday the wagon was inspected by a Times representative.

It is a ''Commer'' British-made machine from Luton, England, and when all complete weighs four and a-quarter tons. The body of the wagon is 14ft by 7ft, and it is designed to carry a load of about six tons. The engine is a 40-h.p. one, R.A.C. rating, and is fitted with a patent five-speed gearbox. It is so arranged that the gears are always in mesh, thus avoiding the possibility of stripping, and it is claimed that no other motor lorry is made in this way, as the patent is a special protection of the ''Commer'' Company.

The engine has an extra high road clearance, suitable for the particular kind of country in which it will be used, and it is fitted with a winding gear, by means of which the wagon can haul itself out if at any time it becomes stuck. Aluminium oil-tight chain cases are a convenience of considerable value. The wheels are 40in in diameter, fitted with twin solid rubber tyres, giving an 11in tread on the driving wheel.

The motor travels at from one to two miles on the lowest gear, up to 20 miles an hour on the top speed, and one great object which it is expected to achieve is to bring a load of grain or other merchandise from Hawea to Clyde and return to the starting-point in a single day. The Dunedin Expansion League is at present negotiating with the Vincent County Council to arrange for motor traffic to be allowed at certain hours of the day on the east side of the river, where motor traffic is at present prohibited. Special arrangements will be made with the coach traffic to avoid the dangers of meeting in the gorge.

The lorry Mr Partridge has secured has an extremely solid and businesslike appearance, the the most casual inspection shows it has been built to stand really hard service.

• For the moment we are righteously at odds with the Harbour Board because of the enormity they would perpetrate at Lake Logan - a shallow loop or bend of the Upper Harbour withdrawn into the hills.

What the Oval was for years and years, what the foreshore by the railway is now - a Gehenna of smouldering rubbish heaps, dead cats, battered kerosene tins - is the board's ideal for Lake Logan. Put otherwise, they intend what they call ''reclaiming'' it, a process which would last till the days of our children's children. The present generation will know Lake Logan only as a dumping place for mud scraped from the Harbour bottom and as a tip for the corporation dust carts.

As we have it now, the lake is pleasant to see, pleasant to loiter near; you may boat and you may fish; it is sheet of water predestined to children's regattas; at little expense it might be greatly improved. We have just woke up to the fact that the Harbour Board would take it from us. Are we in time? I think we are. The auguries point that way. Or if too late to stop the thing itself, we are still in time to ask - Whom shall we hang? - Civis.

• The report of the destruction of a church by lightning between Rata and Porewa, in the Rangitikei district, has been confirmed. It appears that a big flash of lightning was seen to strike the building, and in a very brief space of time it was reduced to ashes. The lightning also shattered a large tree near Rata at the same time, and it, too, burst into flames. The church destroyed was prized in the district for its early associations. - ODT 8.2.1913.

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