Canterbury Capers.

Some of us will live to what would be deemed ‘a ripe old age’, boring others with our own personal stories of how good life has been, reminding todays youth of how easy they have it, whilst others will not be so fortunate. This would never be more true than for the residents of Christchurch and more so for those who perished in the recent earthquake on February 22nd. From the innocent life of a 9 month old baby through to people in their 70s the quake was random in its destruction, deadly in its blow. If there is one thing that has come out of this disaster is unity, locally from caring neighbours, to those who have no names but are visible by their actions, to the whole of New Zealand, and then the rest of the world. It will take a long time for the wounds to heal, and for some this will never happen, but one thing that will remain unchanged is that for the 168 people declared dead (so far), and for the 50 that are still missing and may never be found their families can be rest assured that they will not be forgotten.

Barnstormers are not interested in showing any of the devastation that has resulted from the earthquake, there has been enough stories, pictures, and film footage blasted around the world from the hordes of rough neck reporters who are all after ‘that personal scoop’. Instead we would much rather look upon gentler times and what it meant to be a pioneer motorcyclist. With this in mind we would like to share a photograph album with you that came our way of one mans love for his motorcycle and friends. It is from around the Christchurch area, circa 1921 to 1925, and includes road trips, excellent rider/machine photographs, and some early racing. Sadly we have no information on the rider/riders nor family and only acquired the photograph album after it was discarded in the rubbish however by the amount of photographs of motorcycles and places the owner must have loved riding. A couple of the place names may seem different from modern day however these are as written by the owner. Enjoy.

An Indian, A Tent, A Perfect Weekend?

An Indian, A Tent, A Perfect Weekend?

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Relaxation.

Little River Road, Akaroa 1921

Little River Road, Akaroa 1921

Pui River Ford, Kaikoura

Pui River Ford, Kaikoura

Kaikoura Coast Road Tunnel

Kaikoura Coast Road Tunnel

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Beside Pui River Kaikoura

Beside Pui River Kaikoura

Coast Road Kaikoura

Coast Road Kaikoura

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The Roads

No traffic congestion and those exciting metal roads that made men real motorcyclists.

North Brighton Beach Dec 1921

North Brighton Beach Dec 1921

Coes Ford? March 1924

Coes Ford? March 1924

Place Unknown - Nice Indian Though

Place Unknown - Nice Indian Though

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Waipara Dec 1924

Waipara Dec 1924

Greta Cutting And a Rare Harley Flat Twin

Greta Cutting And a Rare Harley Flat Twin

Off to Kaikoura Christmas Eve 1921

Off to Kaikoura Christmas Eve 1921

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Ashley Concrete Bridge Rangiora 1923

Ashley Concrete Bridge Rangiora 1923

Little River, Akaroa 1921

Little River, Akaroa 1921

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

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Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

Waimakariri Gorge Dec 1922

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The Riders – The captions say it all.

Cashmere Hill Climb Track 1925

Cashmere Hill Climb Track 1925

Geo Lambert Indian Chief Cashmere 1925

Geo Lambert Indian Chief Cashmere 1925

Les Monckman Harley Davidson 7/9 Cashmere 1925

Les Monckman Harley Davidson 7/9 Cashmere 1925

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The Racers

Hill climb at Mr Cracroft Wilsons farm at the Cashmere Estate, just outside Christchurch circa 1925. Organised by the Pioneer Motor Club the event ran from 1922 to 1931 and provided some very competitive racing, especially between rival motorcycle dealers. Photograph 1 is looking up the hill following a rider who is about ¾ the way up. Not an easy ride for any motorcycle with early type suspension.

One of the good things (if you can call it that) that has come out of this disaster is the display of generousity of people. From the big corporates who have donated tens of thousands of dollars to children who have organised fund raisers there has been an overwhelming support for the residents of Christchurch, and one such fund raiser that warrants mention is that from the family of Burt Munro (The Worlds Fastest Indian). Burts son John, and his sisters June, Margaret & Gwen have put up for auction on New Zealands auction site www.trademe.co.nz a piston from Burts collection of parts which formed the “Offerings to the God of Speed”. A most generous gift for what would no doubt be a treasured family heirloom. As the family stated in their auction €œThis piston is being donated by Burt’s family as he would have himself recognised the need to assist the people of Christchurch€. Bidding was tight to the end and finished off with the new Auckland owner sending $7000 (yes, seven thousand dollars) south for the benefit of those in Christchurch. Won’t be too many of these out in the public arena. Many thanks to the Munro family and well done to the new buyer.

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The piston as advertised on Trade Me with Certificate.

It is so good to see that people still do care.

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