Friday, December 19, 2008

Stranded! In Avondale, of all places! (1900)

A wee tale found on Papers Past.

Observer, Volume XXI, Issue 1137, 13 October 1900, Page 16
My Dear Muriel,—
I must tell you of a story I heard the other day, all about a girl's presence of mind and the deplorable— to put it mildly — horridness of human nature as revealed by an Avondale bus driver. Said girl had been spending the evening with friends, and was put into the last Avondale 'bus, and the driver was given directions as to where to put her down, as she hails from Wellington and does not know her way about here. The driver forgot, and when they arrived at the Avondale stables was very indignant with the girl because — well, because it was his fault that she had been brought miles away from her destination and did not know what to do. Imagine being stranded late at night — and at Avondale! Well, the driver did not attempt to help her find some sort of shelter; said she could sleep in the 'bus or in the stable — he didn't care. And, as she declined both tempting offers, left her alone. After a search she found the hotel but failed to make anyone hear, then — this is where the presence of mind comes in — searched for and found the police station, where the constable's wife took her in and gave her a bed. I do not think many girls would have been so sensible. I know one who would have sat down and wept. This particular Wellington one is a bright and shining example, but, as for the 'bus driver— well, ask the girl what she thinks. They say she is quite eloquent on the subject.

Observer, Volume XX, Issue 1138, 20 October 1900, Page 8
Mr. Andrews, 'bus proprietor, has interviewed us in reference to a paragraph in our last issue, in which the troubles were related of a lady who, being a stranger in Auckland, was taken by mistake in the night bus to Avondale instead of Mount Roskill, and in which the driver was said to have been none too polite to the lady in her dilemma, or too ready to find her accommodation. Mr. Andrews says the driver, instead of acting as reported, did all in his power to assist the lady, and also accompanied her to the police station, and, through the courtesy of the constable's wife, secured her accommodation for the night. We have since seen the lady, who states that she was certainly told by the driver where the station was, but that be made no offer to accompany her, nor did he do so. She found her way to the station herself.

All this at a time just before Avondale had a purpose-built police station. The young lass did rather well.

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