Home' Greymouth Star : June 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
A West Coast Engineman
New Zealand Railway and
Locomotive Society Inc
Ian Tibbles began work in
Greymouth’s Elmer Lane
locomotive depot in May 1962.
His time with New Zealand
Railways lasted until the end of
the steam era, and this book is
his recollection of that time.
The book takes the reader
through the initial stages of
working in the shed (the now-
demolished roundhouse) and
around the depot. The author
then progresses to shunting
on the wharf (then a very busy
area) and then out on to the
main line and branches across
the Coast. The reader is taken
up the Grey Valley (including
Blackball); south to Hokitika
and Ross; to Reefton; to
Westport, including Conns Creek at
the bottom of the Denniston Incline;
up the hill to Rewanui; and on the main
line to Otira. In each chapter there is a
detailed description of the rail layout of
yards in that particular section (often
with an accompanying picture), and of
what went on in a typical day on that
The author does not shy away from
the less inspiring side of the railway
story — the unsociable hours, the long
days, the hard work, harsh working
conditions and the occasionally abrasive
This is a fascinating and nostalgic
look over the late steam era from the
point of view of a fireman. The book
is laced with anecdotes and is lavishly
illustrated in both colour and black
and white. There is also a scale drawing
of the Elmer Lane depot layout and a
comprehensive glossary of terms used
throughout the book.
A ‘must ’ for steam rail enthusiasts.
Reviewed by Gavin Riley
Dictionary of Slang in New Zealand
Bugger me, some joker has written a
dictionary of all the slang that we Kiwi’s
You do not have to be a smart cookie
to understand all these, though it may be
tough bickies for some.
Noel Kelly has had a crack at
documenting all the slang used by sods,
fullas, blokes and blokesses, though it
might be a bit like p—ing in the wind.
This is not slang that has originated
from Kiwiland, but rather phrases that
come up when we’re having a gas.
Far from politically correct, the book
is full of expletives and sexual innuendo
that might cause a bit of argy-bargy or a
At 712 pages, with more than 32,000
entries, if you give this book a gander
there is no doubt you will know
that sometimes things go to hell in
a handbasket and if they do come a
cropper you might find yourself munted,
If you run around like a headless
chicken you might need a rark up or a
rev up or could end up in the dog
However if you get stuck in, are the
full quid, have played a blinder, or done
a bang-up job, you might be ace, wicked
or right on and be able to push the boat
With a price of $60 I’m not sure if this
book will put bums on seats, though I
don’t want to be a tall poppy slasher.
Reviewed by Nicholas McBride
Bake Me Home
This book has
the most delicious
everyday recipes that
anyone can bake, from
louise cake and peanut
brownies to yo-yos
and sultana cake.
There is a lovely variation on Anzac
biscuits — almonds and orange
flavoured and a no-bake lemon and
For those who prefer savoury
dishes there are recipes for baked
brie in filo, baked cream cheese cob
loaf, chicken and apricot filo pies
and zucchini slice.
The book covers lunches, wine and
cheese with the girls, gifts from the
kitchen, children’s birthday parties,
and the family picnic as well as
some tips for the home baker.
Next time you want to put on
an afternoon tea or a party try the
wonderful recipes in this book.
Alice Arndell is the baking
contributor for Cuisine and is also the
craft editor for New Zealand Woman’s
Reviewed by Susan Aynsley
Majestic New Zealand
these pages, you might
be forgiven for believing
that the sheer profusion of
New Zealand’s beautiful
photography a relatively
The book’s introduction sums
up the hard work that goes into
photography books like this. It is
easy to sit back and look at the
images without realising the effort
that goes into taking them.
Photographer Rob Suisted has
covered the entire country and
traversed mountains and rivers to
compile this collection, capturing
some of the most famous scenic
places as well as a few hidden
The book is broken down into
four main sections: Mountains and
Volcanoes, Rivers and Lakes, The
Coast, and Farmland.
The West Coast fits those
categories and features through the
book, mainly the southern areas,
with a golden picture of Gillespies
Beach, Franz Josef Glacier, the
Burke, Haast, and Douglas rivers,
Mount Adams, Punakaiki and
Throughout the book you will
notice bold colour shifts from the
white of snow cover plains and
snow capped mountain tops, the
yellows and oranges of sunrises,
lush greens of the bush, the cold
blues of rivers and moody greys
and blacks of clouds and rock.
The role of weather in New
Zealand is clear, with a real sense
of the forces of nature coming
through in pictures of storms
brewing, sun shining and fog
Prior to taking up a career in
photography, Rob Suisted spent
12 years with the Department
of Conser vation as the national
marine mammal co-ordinator.
He is a frequent visitor to
the subantarctic and polar
regions where he has worked
as a professional guide, lecturer,
researcher and photographer.
His co-contributor is award-
winning travel writer Liz Light
is a contributor to North and
South, and Herald on Sunday
with 20 years’ experience in
Reviewed by Nicholas
Blood, Wine and
I do not usually
mysteries but the
flow of this book had
me hooked from the beginning.
This is the story of three schoolboys
who connect during the early years
of their childhoods, their families
and their lives as they grew: Vinnie
Whitney-Ross whose father ‘does the
books’ for a local crime boss in the East
End of London; Marcus Lane whose
grandfather Tobias is that boss; and
Tom McGregor who is part of Marcus’s
gang at school.
Things change when Vinnie’s father
Tobias Lane offers to pay for Vinnie’s
schooling and Mary his mother accepts
on the condition she can move away.
Over the years the boys grow into their
When Vinnie witnesses Marcus kill
two men and then helps convict him,
he is put in the witness protection
programme and goes to live in New
Zealand with his wife.
This is when the story heats up as
Marcus’s family try to find who the
mystery witness was, and where he is.
Be sure you have nothing else
planned because this book will carry
With Blood, Wine and Chocolate,
New Zealand writer Julie Thomas has
penned her first crime novel.
Reviewed by Ollie Witton
The Lightning Tree
Faber and Faber
Tree is a boy meets
girl story with a lot
This is Woof ’s
second novel, after
her debut The Whole Wide Beauty.
Set in Britain, Ursula is raised in a
matriarchal household with a mother
obsessed with the campaign for nuclear
Across town, Jerry is a left wing
intellectual from the wrong side of the
They meet, fall in love — and leave
school. Jerry goes to Oxford and
Ursula to India. Hence their very long
journey back to each other begins.
The novel’s opening pages are a little
schizophrenic, but soon build into a
compelling, cohesive narrative.
It moves far beyond nostalgia and
offers a complex look at love and
families through the generations.
The middle section is not as successful
as the beginning and end, but Woof
manages to steer away from predictable
love story with a lot that creeps up on
Reviewed by Laura Mills
A God in Ruins
Penguin Random House
acclaimed Life after Life
explored the possibility of
infinite changes as English
woman Ursula Todd lived
through the turbulent events of the last
century, again and again.
A God in Ruins is a companion novel,
focused on Ursula’s beloved younger
brother Teddy, an RAF bomber.
Also set through many ages, a large
part hinges around World War Two.
Life after Life was large and joyful,
perceptive and heart breaking.
A God in Ruins feels smaller,
more a novel about family. In
writing about the most loved
member of the Todd family,
Atkinson is created with one great
challenge from the outset — he is
not hugely interesting.
Yet the characters around him are,
especially his daughter, wife and
grandchildren, which helps atone.
However, at times the novel drags in a
way Life after Life did not.
Having said that, it comes to a
A God in Ruins is an impressive piece
of work, but if readers were to pick, Life
after Life is the superior read.
Reviewed by Laura Mills
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 7
four main sections: Mountains and
Four books to win!
WEST COAST TRAINS
The journey of love
Hooked from the start
A family novel
Delicious everyday recipes
Majestic Kiwi scenes
We have a mix of baking, photography and Kiwi slang books to give away to
readers in this month’s Book Shelf.
Two copies of Bake Me Tonight, by Alice Arndell.
One copy of Majestic
New Zealand, by Rob
One copy of Dictionary
of Slang in New Zealand,
by Noel Kelly.
To go in the draw, your
entries must include your
name, address and phone
Send them to. —
C/o Greymouth Star
or e-mail email@example.com with Bookshelf in the subject line.
One entry per household. Entries close on June 11.
The slang we use
PICTURE: Ian Tibbles
The 819 train heads to Tawhai in the 1960s.
PICTURE: NZR Publicity, NZ Railway and Locomotive Society Collection
The Greymouth wharf full of coal wagons.
PICTURE: D L A Turner
The A425 train leaves Greymouth for Hokitika in 1962.
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