Keirunga members attend 2010 Convention
Several members of Havelock North Live Steamers attended the Steam and Cinders Convention 2010 from 6 - 11 January 2010 at Nelson.
Day 1 - Wednesday 6 January
Wednesday was the first public day and it dawned fine and warm. There was a concert in the park next door, so plenty of people were around. Everyone did several rounds of the track, and at 1 pm the Grand Parade began, with all available locos out on the track. The public kept arriving to admire the locos, steam traction engines, model boats and other static displays in the clubrooms. In the evening there was a shunting competition which attracted plenty of interest, and was won by the Hamilton club.
Day 2 - Thursday 7 January
Another fine day in Nelson, with all locos fired up and ready for action by 10 am. Some of the ladies went off on the Bus Trip while the men ran their locos on the track or attended the MEANZ AGM after lunch. The club rooms were busy with people inspecting some of the displays on show, and watching the activities with the radio controlled models on the pond.
Day 3 - Friday 8 January
Friday's weather started off with a brisk but not too cold southerly breeze. All the steamers were out on the track by mid morning and more people and their locos arrived during the day. The track opened at 10 am for the public, and was soon busy with departing locos from the station filled with passengers. Late afternoon was the double-header with 71 people hauled by 2 Alaska locos from Christchurch. What a sight!
There were lots of traction engines and other static displays for the public to view, as these two photos below show. Some displays contributed to lively discussions.
Friday was also the night run and all locos were out on the track after dinner for drivers and families to have fun. Any members of the public who happened to be around got free rides.
Day 4 - Saturday 9 January
Saturday dawned overcast but the cloud soon cleared to a brilliantly fine day. The horrible wind from the previous day had gone, and though the temperature was down a few degrees, it was a welcome relief not to be sweltering.
All the locos - steam engines, models and displays - were out for public inspection and enjoyment. The steamers got out on the track around 10 am and chugged around all day, carrying lots of happy passengers.
The 3 course Convention Dinner began at 6.30 pm on Saturday night in the marquee, along with speeches and prizegiving.
Day 5 - Sunday 10 JanuaryFine, calm, warm - again! Looking promising for a great day's running. Then an ominous dark cloud appeared on the horizon to the south, and at 11.15 am the wind changed. However the cloud dissipated and the forecasted rain never eventuated at that stage.
The crowds were out early and in force, and we did lots of runs before lunch with full loads of happy passengers enjoying the sights and sounds of the Nelson track. The raised track was particularly popular.
At precisely 3 pm, after a few spots of rain and another wind change, the rain finally arrived. Everyone was scrambling to come in off the track, drop their fires and load up before the heavens opened. People rushed around helping each other or taking shelter in the marquee or under the nearest tree to watch the proceedings if they were not needed, especially the ladies! That was the end of the day's running as the heavens did finally open and those still outside got a real drenching. It was a shame the weather packed it in so soon, as everyone was having a whale of a time, but the public soon disappeared and the track took on a very sodden desolate look. The Convention was over! It was just a matter of getting packed up and outta there!
Thanks to the Nelson club for hosting a wonderful, friendly, enjoyable Convention.
The next Convention is being held in Whangarei from 5-9 January 2012. Visit the Whangarei Model Engineering Club website for details.
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