Wa­iau Vin­tage/clas­sic Ve­hi­cle Pa­rade

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News Classic News & Views From All Arou - Words and pho­tos: Trevor Stan­ley-joblin

This event was first tri­alled on the Satur­day of Labour Week­end in 2010, and proved to be such a suc­cess that the Wa­iau Cit­i­zen’s As­so­ci­a­tion de­cided to make it an an­nual hap­pen­ing.

The first el­e­ment is the Lodge-to-lodge half marathon. This starts at the Mount Ly­ford Lodge on the In­land Scenic Route, and concludes di­rectly out­side the Wa­iau Ho­tel. The beau­ti­ful, re­stored his­toric ho­tel is now 104 years old, and Wa­iau is on the scenic in­land road in North Can­ter­bury, be­tween Han­mer and Kaik­oura, in the area that’s part of what’s known as the Alpine Pa­cific Tri­an­gle, made up of Kaik­oura to Han­mer to Waipara, with its vine­yards. The vil­lage of Wa­iau is a great place for a break when trav­el­ling this scenic route. If call­ing in at the Wa­iau Ho­tel, be sure to visit the out­door gar­den café — the sign at the en­trance reads ‘O’mal­ley’s Gar­den. All ye who en­ter must wear a smile’. The beer gar­den is named af­ter this his­toric ho­tel’s first publi­can, Fred­er­ick Joseph O’mal­ley (1910–1920).

Within the half marathon there is also the Bay­leys 10km walk-run start­ing at the War­dle River Bridge. Chil­dren can take part with the popular 2.5km race, start­ing from the 137-year-old his­toric High­field Shear­ing shed.

This year again saw ever in­creas­ing en­try num­bers, with 117 run­ners com­pet­ing in the half marathon and 107 in the Bay­ley’s 10km walk/run, while 32 chil­dren faced the starter’s gun in the 2.5km race.

The Grand Pa­rade

The grand pa­rade is re­garded as the cli­max to the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties. All ve­hi­cles plan­ning to par­tic­i­pate are driven to the Wa­iau Pri­mary School on ar­rival for a static dis­play, be­fore de­part­ing at 1.30pm. In the 12 years we have been as­so­ci­ated with Wa­iau, I have dis­cov­ered there are an amaz­ing num­ber of old, orig­i­nal ve­hi­cles in the town and sur­round­ing coun­try­side. Ev­ery year at this event one or two new ones turn up. One very in­ter­est­ing re­ally old ve­hi­cle on show and in the grand pa­rade was the mo­bile work hut, built in the early 1920s by Sa­muel Man­der in his wheel­wright work­shop on Che­viot Street, Wa­iau. His client was Ernest Hart, who used it as his overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion when he worked with a team of horses and wooden drays on gravel road re­pairs and river flood pro­tec­tion for the Amuri County Coun­cil. Ernest Hart passed away in 1957, and since that time his hut lay in stor­age at the prop­erty of his son and daugh­ter-in-law, Frank and Melva, in Wa­iau un­til her death in June of 2014. Their son Alan then do­nated the horse-drawn piece of his­tory to the Amuri His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. Over the fol­low­ing three months Bruce Forbes and Rocky Brockman spent many hours restor­ing this icon, at the Forbes fam­ily-owned his­toric Der­rett’s Coach­ing Sta­bles, es­tab­lished in 1887.

A 1927 Chrysler was the old­est vin­tage on pa­rade, while the clas­sics ranged through the years to a 2010 Chevrolet Ca­maro owned by the Wa­iau Ho­tel’s pro­pri­etor.

As the pa­rade route is quite short, I put for­ward the sug­ges­tion on the day that the grand pa­rade be ex­tended to two laps of the cir­cuit. This was ap­proved, and turned out to be quite suc­cess­ful and popular with the driv­ers, pas­sen­gers and the view­ing public alike.

To add even more in­ter­est to this year’s event was the show­ing of seven three-wheel mo­tor­bikes, home-built Vw-pow­ered and ex­otic fac­tory-built ma­chines.

The Tri­umph Stag Own­ers club boosted the num­ber of clas­sic cars by com­ing along with about six of their Bri­tish beau­ties. Per­haps more one-make clubs could be per­suaded to par­tic­i­pate in fu­ture years.

On the way to the show that morn­ing in our Mazda MX-5 we found our­selves trav­el­ling along State High­way One in mid­con­voy with about 10 Fer­raris. We were, for a while, hop­ing that they too were head­ing to Wa­iau, but they car­ried straight ahead when we turned off the main road af­ter cross­ing the Waipara River Bridge. What a shame — 10 red Fer­raris among the 28 vin­tage and clas­sic ve­hi­cles would have been great to see in this lit­tle North Can­ter­bury coun­try town. Maybe next year!

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