Reel to reel Zonatape magnetic tape recording of music and spoken work for the film The museum makers or MOTAT the first years

Harold Walton Stone, Narrator;  Harold Walton Stone, Other contributor; 

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Maker and Role
Harold Walton Stone, Narrator
Harold Walton Stone, Other contributor
Production Date
Sound track of MOTAT film, [1967 or 68?]
Narrated by Harold Stone?
Track 1

[There is music playing all through the sound track]

00.24” Music

Auckland [Streamline?] tram number 248 arrives at Western Springs from the farm of Mr Merv Sterling at Matakohe. This tram was purchased by Mr Sterling and his family in 1957 and had been stored on the farm since that time. The foresight of Mr Sterling and his friends at that time has assured for Aucklanders that two of Auckland’s trams would be preserved for posterity.

From this day it was a case of time off work, and let’s get in and prepare the tram as far as the Tramway section of the Museum [MOTAT] was concerned. A number of the men you see in this film took time off so as to be on the site to place the bogeys, to place the tram in position. Of course, the supervision of the Museum supervisor ensured that this whole operation was a success.


Two exhibits from the Royal New Zealand Air Force – a [North American Aviation] Harvard trainer and a [de Havilland] Vampire jet. These two aircraft were presented in very good order and did not require anywhere near the amount of restoration that it is found has been necessary in the case of some of the other exhibits.


Both aircraft were transported, with the Museum truck towing the Harvard and the Vampire on the deck of a transporter. Components of both aircraft also were carried on the two trucks – the wings of the Harvard on the transporter; the tail of the Vampire on the Museum truck.


Midwinter 1964. The Museum’s first display pavilion, the Road Transport building, is being erected. This building originally started its life as a barrack block in Trentham [army camp] in the First World War. It was later erected at the Kowhai School as a manual training building, and has now finished up at the transport museum.

The arrival of the first administration building for the Museum. This building was presented by the British Petroleum oil company and was moved from their site at Mechanics Bay to arrive at the Springs on a Saturday morning before seven a.m., December 1964.


The positioning of the building posed a few problems but not much. In the hands of Mr Alex Hanson, the mission was accomplished without any amount of trouble.

The Auckland Harbour Board store number 4. This building was erected by Americans during World War Two as a reparations effort. As a temporary structure, it only had a life of possibly ten years; at the time of demolition it had been up over 20 [years]. MOTAT acquired numerous trusses, fibrolite and other timber from the demolition effort, and the material was brought to the Springs in preparation for, it was hoped, the erection of a number of buildings of a major size.


Restoring these trusses proved to be quite a major problem and out of the total trusses, of 28 that were acquired, seven were used in the Aviation pavilion and another six were used in the construction of storage [unclear]. Two thousand sheets of fibrolite were acquired from the same [project?].


The placing of these trusses on the Aviation pavilion posed its problems, insofar as one crane could lift it without any effort, and the other crane was having considerable bother. It was found that this crane had to be removed and re-rigged to enable better leverage to be acquired. On this occasion, the lift was done with little effort.


More frustration. Having got this unit lifted 60 feet into the air, the crane nearest the camera failed to get started. This crane had to be moved back a few feet but the engine starter jammed. More effort. More high blood pressure, but eventually success [and Mr [Lou Elman?] climbs into position to fasten the structure onto the top of the [unclear].

Bill [Helman?] of the Museum staff. A piece of steel was found to be in the way, and had to be removed with a cutting tool.

These trusses are 66 feet long and 15 [?] feet high at the apex. The boom of the crane is 60 feet high.

Having placed the first two[?] trusses in position, the unit was stabilised and from then on, each truss [unclear] into place, one against the other.

The Museum possesses a Leyland 1928 truck, on which is mounted a crane. The maximum lifting capacity of this crane was one ton under extreme duress. We proved that the 66 foot trusses were not impossible, as far as this crane was concerned.

The method of lifting the 33-foot length long run iron onto the roof was by sliding it up number 8 fencing wire guide wires.

For the [unclear] the crane went down to the lower level where the trusses were to be used subsequently in the construction of a storage building.

10’ 48”
November 1965. The first working weekend. The Museum International [Auto Buggy 1908?, the hay baler being driven by the Hornsby Hotbulb engine. Rock’n’roll, the diesel ten-ton [Aveling and Porter] road roller. The young ladies in their period costumes. The 1898 Benz; the 1912 Delage, and the Heisler steam locomotive. All combined to make this the most successful weekend in the Museum’s history to date.

The Heisler is powered with a wood-burning boiler and with a Tweeeet, and a rip and a roar, we’re away.

And with a crank, the Harvard is away.


12’ 47”
The handing over of the French Lancaster, WU13, presented to the people of New Zealand by the people of France, in May 1964. French chargé d’affaires, Mr John Ray [sp?], Minister of Housing, Sir John Allum, president of the Museum, Mr D.M. Robinson, the mayor of Auckland and Mr John Hogan, executive chairman of the Museum Society. Group Captain Parlane beside the dais, and French naval ratings in attendance.


With the co-operation of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Lancaster was dismantled at Whenuapai and transported on Dale’s [sp?] transporters to the Museum site and re-assembled with the help of RNZAF personnel.


Four Rolls Royce Merlins [engines] placed in position.


The aircraft in later months of this year was painted in the wartime colour scheme under the direction of Mr John Barton [sp?]. This action caused a certain amount of misgiving, some contention of thought was that the French colour scheme should have remained. After all, it was the people of France who presented the aircraft, but it has been agreed that at alternate paintings, the aircraft will be painted, as on this occasion, the wartime colour scheme, and on the next occasion, the French colour scheme.


The sun glints on the Auckland harbour bridge as the Solent flying boat Aranui heads for its last landfall. Unfortunately, this landfall was quite eventful. The craft became stuck on a mud bank and could not be towed ashore on that occasion.


After much effort by the launches, two craft had to leave and the operation was delayed until a later [stage?] on the evening of the same day. In fact, the craft was beached at 10 p.m.


An island in the sun. On beautiful Rangitoto was found the White bus, 1924 model. Nowhere else in New Zealand would you find a bus of this age. Nowhere else in New Zealand would they keep a bus of this age. A fly past salute by Tourist Air Travel. And as the sun sinks slowly in the west – sorry, wrong script – the island of Bali Hai in the background. I’m sorry, the island of Rangitoto in the background.


With the co-operation of Auckland Water Transport [caps?] and the Auckland Harbour Board the craft [bus?] was finally brought to the mainland. The Minhinnick-style of drawing, showing the old bus as it was in its heyday in 1938. Although the craft was towed to Western Springs by truck, the Museum truck had a slight bit of bother outside the gate and the towed became the tower.


A manoeuvre with the [Avro] Lancaster. The craft was being placed in its final position prior to being put onto its pedestal. The Museum’s Bristol bulldozer was used to manoeuvre the machine in the very confined space of the front courtyard.


Royal New Zealand Air Force Sunderland 4115, Q for Queenie, on the occasion of its handing over, the signing for on behalf of the Museum by Museum supervisor [Harold] Stone. An inventory of the aircraft and its contents had to be checked off before the final clearance by the Air Force.


The arrival at Meola Road was a little bit smoother than on the previous occasion when the Solent Aranui arrived. Without any to do or problems, the craft is brought in onto the primitive slipway at Meola Creek. With the co-operation of the Ministry of Works and their winch truck, the operation [unclear] the machine would commence. As in the case of the Aranui, the problem was struck whereby the tail wheel was tending to be dragged off due to the rough nature of the slipway. However, this was overcome by the rigging of steel cables.


There was no shortage of volunteers on this occasion. All the little boys in the district turned up and some of the not-so-little boys. Mr [Rocky Brooks? name unclear] of Air New Zealand, one time engineer on the Aranui, assisted in the beaching and movement of the aircraft. In charge of the operation was Mr Mick Abraham, chief engineer of Air New Zealand, at one time known as TEAL.

The operation was conducted with the co-operative effort of Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel, the Ministry of Works, Auckland City Council and members of the Museum Aviation division. Meola Road as it should never be – blocked by a flying boat. Air Force Squadron Leader Jennings, Pilot Officer Miles [sp?].


The removal of the wing tips, the engines and the rudder was done mainly to enable the aircraft to get clearance under the wires and between the telegraph poles.


The Ministry of Works winch truck proved a tower of strength on this occasion, especially when it came to winching the machine up the steep incline on the Meola Road section of the haul. The Solent Aranui in its position is now joined by Q for Queenie. One part of the operation with Queenie, a float had to be removed to give the aircraft clearance over some buildings which had been erected down on the lower level. And after the operation? A merry time was had by all.


It is most unfortunate that as soon as a machine like this is brought into an area, it must be fenced against vandals. We have found this quite essential also in the Western Springs site.

Kohukohu on the Hokianga harbour in the far north, and the site of the Hokianga Herald. For many years the Printing division personnel had been hearing a rumour of a newspaper where the proprietor had closed down, locked the key and thrown it away. This rumour proved to be true when the Hokianga Herald was inspected, and the result was that all the equipment from this establishment was loaded into a train at Okaihau and brought through to Morningside. This wagon at Morningside was joined by two other wagons containing the triple expansion steam engine which had come through from Tirau.

Twenty ton of triple expansion steam engine with three and a half ton of printing gear. The major component of the steam engine was the cylinder block assembly, here being placed [interference with recording]

The Museum truck with a load of printing material and the [off loading?] procedure. If the [unclear] is to be stored in the Museum Number 2 store waiting for the occasion when a building could be erected and a reproduction of the Hokianga Herald actually produced.

27.58” Recording stops abruptly

Sound track of MOTAT film, [1967 or 68?]
Narrated by Harold Stone?
Track 2

[There is music playing all through the sound track]


One of the most ambitious schemes at the Museum was the construction of tram tracks in preparation for the actual running of the trams. We have here some of the volunteer personnel who were involved in this major project. There were the occasion when some of these projects became of such a specialised nature that an outside contractor was called in to assist.

The greatest contribution by far to this effort was made by the firm of Bitumix, who laid on front end loaders, bulldozers and ditch digging equipment and supplied all the scoria and materials needed to [free?] up the base on which the track was to be placed.


One hold up involved in this process was the acquisition of a machine for [bringing?] the track. One of these was found to be impossible to acquire within New Zealand, and ultimately the machine that you see here was manufactured locally and a £10,000 [grant incorporated? unclear] to enable the track building to commence. During this period a number of tram bodies were acquired. Number 17, an Auckland double-decker, and an old Whanganui tram. These created much interest.

The day arrived when the Auckland Regional Authority undertook to prepare the overhead wiring for the tramways’ purposes.

We see here some of the Regional Authority personnel setting up the wiring, working out the approximate position of poles and generally going about the whole process in a professional manner.

The day came when the trams were ready to run, and some of the first persons to ride in tram 253 were officers of the Regional Authority who had assisted the Museum so wonderfully in this project.

The official opening of tram service at the Museum of Transport & Technology, December 15th 1967. A wetter day could not have been wished for. The VIPs gathered in the Museum boardroom, the dais which had been [prepared?] was left lamenting in the rain, and the function was held in the hall. The Minister of Transport, Mr [Peter] Gordon, cut the ribbon, the mayor, Mr [Roy] McElroy took his place in tram 253 and Mr Gordon learned the fundamentals of running tram 257, from Wellington. And so the tram service was officially born.

At this stage of development, the opening of a tram service in the Museum grounds, for the purposes of this film record, we have decided that the first four years will be regarded as Phase [Stage?] One of the Museum development. In four years from nothing, to the ground which we now see. Mr Gordon takes his departure after the official ceremony, in the Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter from the nearby football ground.

At the end of four years, the visitor to the museum, as he approaches along the Great North Road the first thing he sees is the Lancaster bomber. The Auckland Transport Board control box from the bottom of Queen Street is used as a ticket office. The youngsters always make a dive for the World War One [piece of?] cannon and the aeroplanes, and they must spin the wheels of the Lancaster. Major attractions at this time within the incomplete Aviation pavilion consisted of the partly-constructed [de Havilland] Tiger Moth, the [Curtiss P-40] Kittyhawk, the Miles Gemini and the Miles Magister suspended from the roof, and the tractor which was used by Sir Edmund Hillary in the Antarctic in 1958.

The cafeteria on the premises. The trams a going concern. The agricultural machinery on display. Auckland’s first trolley bus. The display of locomotives; the railway signal box. The veteran unclear] and vintage cars.


And the [internal?] display and all that equipment which has been gathered within the grounds has added up to what was obviously becoming one of Auckland’s major tourist attractions. This was mainly the result of four years practical development on the part of many people within Auckland who have given unstintingly of their time and, in many cases, of their money. The disappointing support from government and local bodies – or lack of it – had been overcome to a certain extent by the wonderful support accorded by these voluntary groups and [Board?] members from the business community.


09.39” Recording ends
Physical Description
1 audiotape reel (ca. 38 minutes) ; 13 cm, 7 mm tape.
W. Clement Stone
Town Hall address
(both sides) Hand-written
Sound track
for film
MOTAT - the
first years Hand-written
G (on a yellow sticker) Hand-written
Accession No
Credit Line
Harold Walton Stone et al. 1967-1968. Reel to reel Zonatape magnetic tape recording of music and spoken work for the film The museum makers or MOTAT the first years, 14-0396. Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

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