Disaster of the Wellington Express

River In Flood




On Christmas Eve in 1953, Cyril, his wife, and mother in law, were on their way to visit his parents at Rangataua. They were going to spend the evening and Christmas Day with his parents. They planned to return the day after Christmas. It was a pleasant ride and only 60 km away. He was born in Rangataua, New Zealand and had lived only a few kilometers from the foot of the largest of 3 volcanoes, that was locally known as Ruapehu. Although he had a lovely childhood, fishing with his father in the streams, he also knew the danger of the volcanoes. The road was quiet, when he stopped to get his jacket from the boot. As he opened the car door, he heard a roar that was growing louder. Then he realized it could only be the river at Tangiwai, which was a few kilometers further.

It was already early evening when they reached the river and saw at once that it was in flood and starting to overflow the bridge. As there had been no recent heavy rains, he knew that the flood could only be caused by the Ruapchu mountain.

Heading For Disaster

Ellis was surprised at the speed at which the river was rising. As he stared at the road and the railway bridge a bit further down he saw a yellow surge of water and the whole bridge disappeared in front of them. He thanked his lucky stars that they had been going slowly and had not been on the bridge. The noise was unbelievable and Ellis swung his torch and was amazed at the power of the roaring river. As he looked towards the Railway bridge, he was filled with horror. The concrete pillars supporting the bridge had washed away and only the rails remained. The rails were breaking away in slow motion. As if that was not enough he could see the approaching lights of a train.

Read the complete story by clicking on the link http://hubpages.com/politics/Disaster-of-the-Wellington-Express



Hawaii’s Pineapple Plantation Makes Way for Playground of the Rich

  • Hawaii badly needed another source of income besides sugar cane, then their principal crop.
  • When sugar prices were up, everybody had money, when they fell, Hawaiians were broke.  Millions had been spent experimenting with new crops. Jim Dole decided that pineapple was the crop.
  • Captain John Kidwell, an English settler in Hawaii, had imported slips from Jamaica and Australia some time before, and demonstrated that pineapples would thrive in Hawaii’s red soil. But there was no market for his fruit.
  • However, that did not stop Jim Dole he announced that he would soon be growing pineapples by the million. He would then market them.


  • Dole set out 75,000 plants on 12 acres at Wahiawa on Oahu Island. The Islanders said Dole was wasting his time.
  • Hawaiians don’t belittle Jim Doyle’s dream.  Since 1901 the fabulous and exotic fruit has brought more than two thousand million dollars to Hawaii. The modest planting he launched at Wahiawa grew to 73,000 acres, which produce 70 per cent of the world’s supply of tinned pineapple.
  • The Hawaiian Pineapple Company he founded was Hawaii’s largest employer. Click on link to read the rest of the article.


How The Best Goose Down Comforters Are Made

The geese get plucked when they start pulling at their own feathers and feathers are left on the grass. The final test to know whether the feathers are right to pluck is when there is no blood on the tip when it is plucked.





  • First the feathers are lightly plucked starting from the goose’s tail to the neck. After that the down is plucked in the same manner.
  • The geese get plucked every six weeks. On one farm they have six hundred and fifty geese. Every six weeks 35 casual workers pluck the six hundred and fifty geese in one day. They remove 27kg feathers and 9 kg down with each plucking. The geese are very tame and get plucked in a large shed. They are handled gently and do not need to be tied up.
  • The next day the feathers and down are weighed and placed in strong see through bags that are closed by stitching.

Read the complete article by clicking on the link.