Full steam ahead in the spirit of heritage

Christchurch’s Allan Familton spent the past week in Oamaru driving around in his steam-powered...
Christchurch’s Allan Familton spent the past week in Oamaru driving around in his steam-powered 1910 Stanley model 71. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE
The cancellation of this year’s Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations has not stopped Allan Familton from going full steam ahead.

For the past week the Christchurch man has been travelling throughout North Otago in his 1910 Stanley model 71 — powered by steam — much to the delight to those still dressed up in Oamaru.

Mr Familton, who regularly attended heritage week for the past 10 years, usually brought his yellow steam truck to the celebrations but after taking his Stanley to a Central Otago rally last weekend, Mr Familton, and his family and friends, decided to bring it to Oamaru for the week.

They took trips to Georgetown, Ngapara, Clarks Mill and were spotted taking people for rides throughout the Victorian Precinct.

Having grown up with strong family connections to Oamaru, Mr Familton loved the heritage week. He dressed up each year, entered the yellow steam truck in the grand parade and stayed at the ‘‘historic’’ Criterion Hotel.

‘‘It’s the whole atmosphere. There’s a lot of history and it’s great to get these old vehicles involved in that,’’ he said.

Whether it was the Stanley, or his truck, Mr Familton said the people involved in the celebrations and those dressed in Victorian costumes really appreciated it.

‘‘You get a lot of waves and good comments — I hope it adds something to the event itself,’’ Mr Familton said.

While this year’s Highland Fling-themed celebrations were cancelled due to Covid-19, smaller events were being held including Totara Estate tours, highland dancing, guided tours, and last night’s Wild Haggis Otago Preservation Society Heritage Ball.

However, Mr Familton would miss out on this year’s events, as his group returned to Christchurch yesterday to go and prepare for a wedding.



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