[Blossom Festival Pilgrimage 1966]

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A female announcer introduces Blossom Festival Pilgrimage 1966. A description of the steam train journey from Dunedin to Alexandra and back again for the Blossom Festival with announcer, Don McCutcheon, and descriptions of the festival activities with announcers Eileen Cook, Kevin Mills and George Speed. Includes several interviews with passengers going to the festival, a railway historian and the station master at Alexandra. Some good sound effects and actuality.

McCutcheon describes the scene at Dunedin’s Railway Station as the Alexandra Blossom train service prepares to depart and notes a carriage specifically for members of the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society. The service that began in 1958 is being driven by two engine drivers today, Mr Logie and Mr Tahiwi. McCutcheon also briefly interviews a couple of female passengers waiting on the platform.

Jim Dangerfield, an authority on the history of the Otago Central Railways describes how the Wingatui Viaduct was constructed, tells how the railway provides a ride to school for some rural children in the Taieri Gorge, and history of the “AB” engines. McCutcheon describes the spring flora and vista along the rugged gorge and excitedly comments on marks left in the rock face from drills and blasting.

McCutcheon interviews a couple of young passengers, the coach of the drum majorettes and member of the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, before arriving in Alexandra. McCutcheon estimates there are between 21,000-25,000 people at the festival which is a “rainbow of colour”

Commentary from the procession with Cook, Mills and Speed who describe the ‘Mississippi Showboat’, the Dunedin Marching Team and Silver Band, ‘These Are Your Jewels’ and ‘Dutch Fantasy’ themed floats. McCutcheon speaks with the Secretary of the Blossom Festival Executive, Mr Johnson who outlines the festival’s objectives. The Blossom Festival Queen, Alison Dundas is crowned by the mayoress and interviewed by Cook.

Station master, Mr [Couling] explains the demands on the railway at this time of the year. McCutcheon boards the express and interviews a spectrum of tired passengers on the return leg.

Once at Dunedin Railway Station he sums up the general feeling as everyone departs home for the day. Unidentified female announcer provides the programme outro.

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Year 1966

Reference number 24957

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Cook, Eileen, -2020, Reporter
MCCUTCHEON, Don, Reporter
MILLS, Kevin, Reporter
Speed, George, Reporter
Joyce, John, Producer

Duration 00:30:52

Date 1966

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