‘Earnslaw’ all fired up

It will be full steam ahead tomorrow for Queenstown's TSS Earnslaw on its 105th birthday.

Making preparations are Ryan Hodges (left) with skipper Peter Greer and stoker Jack Creasey. Mr Hodges, grandson of Real Journeys founders Olive and the late Les Hutchins, said he never tired of working on the vintage ship. The birthday marked a significant milestone for owner Real Journeys, he said.

``It is something the company and family are really proud of, to keep the boat going for 105 years. The future was looking pretty bleak for the Earnslaw before granddad got the lease in 1969. They ran at a loss the first couple of years and ended up buying it in 1981.''

Earnslaw, commissioned by New Zealand Railways to service the communities around the lake, made its maiden voyage on October 18, 1912.

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