Monday, 19 October 2009

Auckland Luge Video

Riding with Ant down the luge track at Auckland Luge during the recent club run.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A Country Run

On a lovely spring day the club did its September run, devised by John and Bob to areas south of Auckland that had seen fighting in the Maori Wars.

The run took us into Drury to St. Johns Anglican Church 1862 where women and children took shelter while soldiers protected them. This church was built on land set aside by Bishop Selwyn.
There is a monument at the rear erected by officers and men of the 1st Waikato Regiment, which was mainly recruited in Melbourne.

From there we proceeded south to Runciman to the Pukekohe East Presbyterian Church which is on a high position to give a good view of the area. It was built in 862 of Totora and Rimu on
the edge of a volcanic crater, and was the scene of a violent battle 14th Sept 1863 between the Kingite Maoris and seventeen men who held the position until help arrived from Ramarama and Drury. There were many Maori casualties, six of them are buried near the church there is a large stone memorial in the church grounds, but there were a lot more taken away, at one stage during the battle a Kereru flew on to the roof and stayed there awhile. There were no European casualties even though the stockade was not finished as well as the defenders would have liked and the Native Bush came up too close to the church.

From there we went down Harrisville Road through Tuakau to Alexandra Redoubt Road tom the Cemetery at the end of Alexandra Redoubt Road. This cemetery is named after King Edwards VII wife and has a lot of restored fortification for the Maori wars visible and one and possibly 2 VC winners buried here. It was built in July 1863 by part of the 65 regiment it is on a hill 300 feet above the river. In the cemetery there is a large monument to the British soldiers who died in the district in battle it was erected in 1915 by the NZ Government.

The next stop was the Queens redoubt in Pokeno there is not much to see here there is a wall and not much else but it was the headquarters for the British invasion in the Waikato it was
finished in 1862. It was a very large fort it was never attacked, the first advance into the Waikato took place on 12th July 1863 from here place as the war moved south the troops reduced and the buildings sold off by 1864 the area around the Fort was for sale. The site is having work done to make it a Major Historical Place.

From there we proceeded south along the southern Express way to just south of Mercer to the Whangamarino Redoubt which was situated on top of a very steep hill just above the Waikato River where they had two 40 pound Armstrong Siege Guns which came up the river on the Pioneer a paddle steamer. Installed to shell the Maori settlement near where Meremere is now. The guns had come from Sydney on the ”Curacoa”. This was a ship designed to be used in shallow waters, the iron turrets on the deck contained guns one of these turrets now stands at Mercer as the lower part of the 1914-18 soldiers memorial.

From there we went for a drive around Meremere exiting at the rear and driving parallel to the SH1 so we could have a good look over the new race track being built there (Hampton Downs) on the old swampy ground. By devious means we ended up at Rangiriri where there was a question relating to sailors and their ships, there were a lot of ships on the river at the time.

After Lunch we made our way over the river to the Glen Murray Road, then by Churchill Road right through to Pukekawa. We then made our way back to the river and once across the bridge
turned towards Tuakau then we followed basically the same route back to Pokeno that we had used in the morning. Where those that wanted to had refreshments, went to the market, ate ice cream or bought some very expensive Pokeno Bacon, before making there own way home. Pokeno is a town that has reinvented its self since the highway bypassed it very successfully
its always crowded.

Thanks to the organizers.