Bill Fraser Interview - Railways

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Tono kōrero mai

Bill Fraser is interviewed by Jim Breeze about his life on the West Coast.

At age 94 years, he is claimed to be the oldest retired locomotive driver in New Zealand. He is also renowned as a photographer and recalls his career in the railways from when he began on the Coast in 1910.

Jim recalls several stories about Otira and the people who lived there.When he became the senior driver to operate the electric trains through the Otira tunnel,l which also gave him the chance to photograph and study the alpine regions.

Jim also recalls his musical and mountaineering interests and talks about the opening of the Otira tunnel and how 'there was not a sober person in Otira that day'!

Driving King George VI (the Duke of York) through the tunnel and teaching the King to drive the train himself. Also talks about Prince Edward in the 1920's driving the train up the Buller Gorge. Jim mentions how he sang at the Prince's reception held in Reefton and remembers his association with Newman's coach line.

Jim has many more stories about the railways and his life and times.

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Year 1982

Reference number 24963

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Breeze, Jim, 1928-2004, Interviewer
FRASER, Bill, Interviewee
George VI, King of Great Britain, 1895-1952
Windsor, Edward, Duke of, 1894-1972
New Zealand Rail

Duration 01:13:09

Date 18 Mar 1982

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