Saturday, April 28, 2012

Aether & Iron

I went along to check out MOTAT's "Aether & Iron" day today. Wasn't there too long (about an hour) as I had to get into the city afterwards, but -- saw some interesting stuff.

From the Auckland City Harbour News, 27 April:
"Steampunkers from across the upper North Island will descend on MOTAT for the Aether & Iron: a Time Traveller's Day Out. The neo-Victorian themed sub-culture has never been so popular ... The concept behind steampunk is that the Victorian era never ended but progressed through another time period. Steam, iron and corsets are big factors in the sub-culture which has a large focus on the beauty of the period."

I wrote here back in August 2009: "One of my favourite things at MOTAT -- the Baldwin Steamer, No. 100. Built in Philadelphia for the NSW Government Tramway in Sydney, it was brought to Wanganui in 1910. It was restored at MOTAT from 1971-1996." Over the past year it has been under refurbishment once again, and come back to the tracks just this month.

Two percheron horses and carriage were part of the attractions. Here are the horses being unloaded in the rain which hung around from just after 10 am today.

Then, fortunately, the rain lifted.

Coming out from the Pioneer Village.

And other stuff. They're working on the Otahuhu Railway Ambulance...

... and they have a 1937 "British Post Office Kiosk No. 6" phone box which, according to the interpretive panel inside, was designed in Britain by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who "won a competition mounted by the British Post Office for a cast-iron kiosk. The design incorporated many improvements on the previous kiosk including  the perforated crown for ventilation." It was adopted by the NZ Post and Telegraph Department, and was the first to feature bright red "Post Office" livery.


  1. The steam tram looks like fun. Sydney had steam trams but I think they were more like a steam engine towing a trailer. I'll have a closer look at the Baldwin Steamer later. Vale the red phone box which gave you privacy, protection from the weather and quiet while making a call. Now, there are no longer even protests when a public phone is removed and not replaced.

  2. The steamer is awesome. I love it -- particularly when it's belching smelly black smoke in the early morning air. Nothing quite like it (yes, I know it's a pollutant, but -- *sigh*) And I hear you re the phone boxes. I grew up with the proper ones (closed in). Now, it's hard to spot their descendants in all the clutter ...

  3. Diesel and steam, both public transport machines used to pollute, but they moved huge numbers of people. MOTAT's steam tram was a Sydney tram motor.

  4. Great post Lisa loved the photos they were fun.

  5. Please come along to New Zealand's largest steampunk event, AetherCon, the Steampunk Convention,