Capturing the history of how transport made the Waitaki Valley strong and independent before tales of old die with those who remember them is one of the core reasons behind the recently released book, Waitaki Wheels
The book, with stories and photographs compiled by Dorothy Duffy with assistance from Bob Watherston and Mike Sargeant, was launched at the Kurow Museum on June 23.
Former transport drivers were present at the launch and reminisced about times gone by.
Waitaki Valley Community Society executive committee member John Sturgeon said the book covered transport developments right from the very start when Waitaha people used the Waitaki River.
Later on, when the Government needed people to move up into the valley, they had to provide heating so transport had to evolve to get people and items to places, he said.
Ferries were used. Bullock teams were there and then there was the introduction of rail and trucks.
He said of note was the fact Kurow was also the final resting place for the country’s first imported Model T pickup.
It sat in a shed and, while it still ran, it was not an advertisement to encourage people to drive, he joked.
The book took three years to create, Mr Sturgeon said.
The museum’s volunteer curator, Jon Brocas, said transport had always been a major issue in the valley.
“There’s some really interesting people around here who remember things. It’s really important to get it all down now before it’s too late.
“Unfortunately, a lot of our history is getting lost these days. We’re not a strong oral history culture. This is where Dot’s book is very important.”