Well prepared to entertain delegates

British troops crossing the desert in western Egypt with an artillery limber on ``hoof'' wheels, drawn by mules. - Otago Witness, 14.3.1917.
British troops crossing the desert in western Egypt with an artillery limber on ''hoof'' wheels, drawn by mules. - Otago Witness, 14.3.1917.
Arrangements for entertaining the visiting delegates to the United Fire Brigades' Conference at Balclutha next week are now well in hand, and a very comprehensive programme has been arranged.

It is expected that about 150 delegates will be present, and the matter of providing accommodation for this number has been no small matter, as the local boardinghouses were unable to accommodate so many in addition to their everyday trade.

However, several private residents have offered to provide beds for some of the visitors, while the remainder will be provided with shakedowns in the Borough Council Chambers. Preliminary sittings of the Northern and Southland Fire Brigades' Associations will be held today.

On Sunday a united church service will be held, and on Monday the business of the conference will be commenced in earnest, and will be continued till near the end of the week. On Tuesday night a citizens banquet will be tendered the visitors, and on Wednesday the delegates will be invited guests to a patriotic fete on the Show Ground.

A concert and dance will be held on Wednesday night, and on Thursday the visitors will be motored to the South Otago Company's works at Finegand. During their stay at Balclutha the local bowling green and tennis courts will be at the disposal of the visiting delegates.

•The residents of Port Chalmers had their slumbers disturbed at an early hour yesterday morning in a rather startling fashion. Three loud explosions succeeded each other at short intervals, and these sounds, bursting in upon the slowly dawning consciousness that follows a sudden awakening, gave rise to many speculations as to the cause.

The detonations bore a close resemblance to the discharges of heavy cannon, and there were not wanting those who connected the sounds with that source.

This theory, however, broke down upon investigation, and it was ascertained that a local foundry had selected this period of the day to burst, by means of gelignite plugs, a huge anvil. As showing the force of the explosions, one piece of iron, or steel, weighing a few ounces, was picked up at a distance of several hundred yards from the foundry.

•Coal is becoming a prized commodity in Alexandra; in fact, it may reasonably be said that there is a coal famine. The Undaunted mine output has been stopped for about 10 days owing to water becoming troublesome. It is understood (says the Alexandra Herald) that the mine will be in working order in about a fortnight.

- ODT, 10.3.1917.

COPIES OF PICTURE AVAILABLE FROM ODT FRONT OFFICE, LOWER STUART ST, OR WWW.OTAGOIMAGES.CO.NZ 

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