Parkside Media Christmas Picnic
On Sunday, December 7, our first-ever Christmas Picnic was held for all past, present and future participants of our annual North Canterbury Classic Tour, held traditionally on the last Sunday in March.
As the net profits made on the day were donated to the Amberley St John’s Ambulance, it was appropriate to commence the tour from its headquarters, using the adjacent Hurunui District Council building’s car park.
Expecting around 40 classics, we were pleasantly surprised to receive 99 entries. The weather decided to support us as well by turning on perfect conditions. The initial route toured parts of the North Canterbury village of Amberley, both new and old, that most drivers and crew had probably never seen. Amberley has State Highway One running through the centre, and its population of only around 1300 is increasing weekly due to Christchurch red-zone ‘refugees’ moving out there.
The route sheet gave participants a little history on various buildings they were passing by — including Basher’s Sawmill (established in 1944) and the 133-year-old Broomfield School, first opened on February 1, 1881.
After passing through the undulating and twisting Weka Pass the route took in the historic Star and Garter Hotel, built in 1934, while further on the sights included the historic old St Aidan’s Anglican Church. The final morning destination was at the very picturesque Scargill Domain.
During lunch break and beyond, two gentlemen of — let’s say — mature age entertained us with music and songs while a great selection of classics parked amongst the trees.
The Waimakariri District Mayor, David Ayers, was present once again with his classic 1964 Ford Corsair V4. David was kind enough to carry out the lucky draws for us, giving four six-month and two one-year subscriptions to Nzclassiccar magazine.
The three oldest cars on the tour included a 1930 Ford Model A Town Sedan owned, restored and driven by 86-year-old Keith Price from Kaiapoi, a red-and-black 1931 Fiat Tipo 514 owned and restored by Amberley electrician, Allan Rennie, plus a 1930 Standard Light Six owned, restored and driven by Trevor Lightfoot of Mount Pleasant (this car features in Kiwi Vintage Car Collection, the new book by NZCC contributor, Steve Reid). Possibly the rarest Japanese classic to attend was the 1990 Toyota Sera, with a glass targa top and gullwing doors, owned by Joy and Alastair Murray — who drove down from Kaikoura to participate in this, their first classic event. The twomonth-old 2014 Maserati Ghibli owned by Denny and Dorothy Dunlop, retired orchardists from Loburn in North Canterbury, also attracted a lot of attention.
The afternoon section of the day involved retracing the morning rally route, way better than travelling back to Amberley via State Highway One, while the final destination was at the new award-winning Country Oven Café and Bakery located within the recently opened Brackenfield Shopping Centre. This proved to be a popular finishing point, with most participants stopping in for a yarn over a cup of latté or cappuccino.
Finally we presented the Amberley Saint John’s Ambulance service with a cheque for $727, and extended thanks to Anne at Frame ’n’ Copy, cnr Bowhill Road and Keyes Road, North New Brighton, Christchurch, for generous sponsorship of the routeinstruction sheets.
Footnote: The 13th Annual North Canterbury Classic Tour, sponsored by Parkside Media and Stewart’s Classic Cars Collection, will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2015. All classic vehicles are welcome, be they cars, vans, utes, trucks, campers or motorcycles of any age, body style, type or condition.
The start venue is at Hi-tech Building Systems (next to Stewart’s Classic Car Collection), 656 Wairakei Road, Russley, Christchurch. Report from 9.30am to 10.30am, cost at $15 per vehicle.
This year, for the first time, we will take lunch at a magnificent private garden setting in North Canterbury. Bring a picnic lunch, while the Brew Crew coffee outlet will be in attendance once again.