Saturday, 17 June 2017

Otago Central Railway [31D]: Alexandra 4

 So here again is the oil company siding 1959 with some wagons actually in it. This looks like the Caltex star.
The first site (leftmost in the top photo) is now Transworld, a transport company. In this 2013 Streetview, you can see the building to the right is the same as one of the buildings on the oil company site. However it has been knocked down as it doesn't appear in 2015 aerial imagery or the Rail Trail streetview of 2016.

Looking down the siding from the other end of it. This oil company depot site appears to have a building remaining as well.  This is the open shelter seen at far right (see next photo for more info).

2nd oil company depot seen from the street frontage (Russell St). This street did not exist at the time the depots were first built, obviously it went in later. Now if you look in the middle of the photo you can see a shelter with three skylight roof panels, this very much matches the one in the Whites Aviation photos and tends to confirm this being the same site and being a remaining building structure on the site.

Here we are having another look at those 1947 WA pictures and the west end of the yard. Now this shows me I have a loading bank alongside the goods shed. It also shows me how the stockyards siding and the APB or whatever siding came off the end of the yard. Although I'll show the stockyards in the next pic as you can't see them in this one.

 So here is the other part going right up to the crossing of the 1947 image. And in the background we have three railway houses but it looks like there could have been more at one time or another but who really knows. But it shows me there was a very small stockyards and the line of deckers says they definitely were using that stockyards then. So for that part of the issue, that doesn't look like more than a small loading pen, the actual holding pens must have been elsewhere. There were what looks like stock pens on a site across the other side of Chicago Street behind the oil company depots (look at my previous post) but not on the railway site, maybe Alexandra was big enough to have a separate stockyards that was near enough to the railway to just drove the stock across when they were loading.

Now this photo is from Steve Watts' Flickr and it is a Ray Matthewson photo. It was taken at Alexandra on 13 February 1991 and it shows track lifting at Alexandra. The main point of interest for me is the Apple and Pear Marketing Board premises which you can see part of the sign of to the left (and on the right some of the old houses). That premises must have taken over the stock loading site and track in later years. It looks like they didn't actually build on the stockyards site, just fenced it off. The site has been built over since.

This one is off some Facebook group I was in once and it doesn't show the credit but again you can see Apple and Pear Board signposting on the back of the shelter which was behind their depot building. Railbase Systems was the company in charge of lifting the track and the locomotive and wagons would have been here late 1990 or early 1991.

Out of interest I looked up F B Challis to see what relevance this name had and it turned up in the Legislation site of all places. Specifically Finance Act 1957 contains this clause

17 Validating grant by New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board to dependants of the late F B Challis
The payment by the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board out of its funds during the financial year of the Board ending with 30 November 1957 of the sum of 1,000 pounds as a compassionate allowance for the benefit of the dependants of Frederick Bertram Challis, deceased, former Branch Manager of the Board at Dunedin, is hereby validated and declared to have been lawfully made.

So very interesting as essentially it means APB names this store as some sort of memorial to one of their staff.

This photo was essentially taken at more or less the same time as the previous one and it gives us a view of the building and shelter across the far end of the yard. Compare with the other photos.

I think looking at it I remember this photo was probably by Geoffrey White of Dunedin and he probably took the other photo as well for all I know.

So essentially those photos cover how I knew (as mentioned previously) there was an Apple and Pear Marketing Board store at the west end of the yard and how it is still there today.

Here are some of my own photos of Alexandra as well. All these were taken on the Photographers Special train of September 1989.

The biggest deal we can make of Alexandra is there was next to no interest in creating a heritage precinct. At the time the line closed the station building and goods shed still existed, however these buildings were knocked down, and in fact almost the whole yard was cleared so there is only the station platform remaining today. Compare that with the old Clyde station (closed 1980), Ranfurly and Hyde. Although over time the Ranfurly layout has changed with most of the yard tracks now lifted, and the Clyde buildings have been run down, the Hyde station has been taken over by the rail trail trust but it looks like they have pulled up some of the yard track to put the trail right through the yard.