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    Lyttelton: an old lady reaches 100
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Sep 20, 15:46 +0100

    A kind friend has just sent me a page from the Canterbury Star, the local
    paper for the area surrounding Christchurch in New Zealand. This
    commemorates the Lyttelton, the twin-screw steam tug named after her home
    port. She arrived in Lyttelton on September 10, 1907, after a 69-day voyage,
    halfway round the world, from her birthplace in Glasgow.
    
    She is kept afloat, and in working order, by the efforts of a Preservation
    Society, and runs harbour trips every Sunday afternoon in Summer. Indeed,
    when I visit New Zealand, I always make a point of taking an outing on
    Lyttelton. The public are allowed (encouraged, indeed) down into the engine
    room, and there's little I know of to compare, for sheer excitement, with
    standing in the narrow passage, with its two compounds pounding away on
    either side. Others prefer the fun of helping the stoker by chucking
    shovelfuls of coals into the furnace.
    
    One aspect of the vessel that I particularly like is that she is not in any
    way "bulled up" as a museum display; just kept in the good working order
    which you would expect of a tug.
    
    There are some interesting characters aboard, as well. Her senior master
    started his sea career with two years as deckboy on the four-master,
    "Pamir". In 1971 she was effectively condemned by a surveyor, which led to
    her preservation by the society, of which that surveyor is now an active
    member.
    
    If any listmember happens to visit the beautiful South Island of New
    Zealand, I can only urge a visit to Lyttelton, and a trip on board
    "Lyttelton".
    
    Mind you, she is not by any means the oldest working steamer, but perhaps
    the oldest in salt water. I've enjoyed an outing on "Hjejlen", a beautiful
    paddler, which operates on lakes at Silkeborg Denmark, never having missed a
    Summer season since she was built in 1861. What a record!
    
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable at george---.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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