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It seemed to be travelling in a south-westerly direction, at a rate estimated at something like 20 miles an hour, and was at a considerable height. To some, at first sight, it looked like a planet, but its fairly rapid movement dispelled that idea. Others surmised that it was a fire balloon, but to other observers it looked like an aircraft under control.
It seemed to pass along the edge of a dark bank of cloud in the southern sky, and was finally lost to sight. A telephone inquiry elicited from the Aviation School at Sockburn the information that it was not one of the machines from the school.
A lady who was bathing at Tahuna shortly after 7 o'clock last Friday morning saw two unusual visitors over Tasman Bay (says the Nelson Colonist). She states that on looking out to sea she saw two seaplanes quite distinctly. They were flying together near the surface of the water, and then separated - one going in the direction of the eastern hills.
She watched this one until it was lost in the clouds. She then endeavoured to locate the other, but it had disappeared. The lady was rather diffident about telling the story, but she was so positive as to what she had seen that she spoke to a Colonist representative about it, in order to ascertain if the planes had been seen by anyone else.
Unfortunately, at the time she was in the sea, the only other person about was in the dressing shed, and by the time he came out the visitors had gone. It was stated a few days ago that a seaplane had been seen in the Sounds, but the story was scouted.
Wooden water pipe
Our Oamaru correspondent, writing yesterday, says: There has just been completed here an undertaking that is unique so far as New Zealand is concerned. This is the construction of a large wood pipe for the conveyance of water in connection with the borough electricity scheme.
Wood pipes for water supply purposes have for many years been in use in America and Australia, and have ranged from a few inches up to several feet in diameter, and to a limited extent they have been employed in the dominion, but the pipes so used have been small, and supplied in lengths in the same way as iron pipes.
In the case under notice the pipe is 36in internal diameter, and is one continuous pipe throughout its whole length of 1635ft, and has been built in the trench prepared for its reception.
It is the first of its type in New Zealand, and its adoption was practically forced upon the Borough Council owing to the impossibility of procuring iron pipes of the dimensions required in connection with the hydro-electric undertaking.
The contractors for the supply of the pipe were Messrs John Chambers and Son, and the suppliers the Australian Wood Pipe Company.
All the component parts of the pipe were prepared by the supplying company and shipped to Oamaru, and the actual construction has been carried out in the trench, under the superintendence of Mr A. G. Duncalfe, the company's engineer, who was sent over from Australia for the purpose.
The pipe is intended to supply water to two Pelton wheels at a pressure of 105lb to the square inch, and developing 650 h.p. continuously. It is what is termed a continuous stave wood pipe, with 2628 staves of Oregon timber.
- ODT, 7.3.1918.
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