A book focusing on the fascinating history of crockery used on the railway system in New Zealand has been produced.
The book has been compiled from an extensive amount of writing by Christine Johnson, from Paekākāriki, who passed away in September 2020.
Kakariki Bookshop owner Michael O'Leary and Christine's husband Dave Johnson sifted through the documents and images, choosing various information for the book, titled "Railway Refresh in New Zealand".
"Christine had put so much work into it and we didn't want to see it go to waste," Dave said.
"She had done an incredible amount of research."
Christine came from a "railway family" and worked in railways for most of her life.
In the early 1990s she became fascinated with railways crockery after digging up various cups from the Paekākāriki railway station yard.
She amassed a large collection of crockery dating back to the 1890s, from throughout the country, along with many documents about individual items and refreshment rooms.
Railway crockery was an industry within itself, with a vast amount being produced over the years.
Initially, china was imported from Britain destined for the many refreshment rooms throughout New Zealand and featuring individual stations' own distinctive design.
New Zealand-made refreshment room crockery didn't start until World War II and would extend from refreshment rooms to railway hostels, workshop and station staff cafeterias, as well as buffet cars.
Years later when modern-look trains were introduced, a new style of crockery was introduced by New Zealand Rail.
"Gone were the legendary decent-sized teacups which had become folklore in the history of NZR, although these continued to survive in larger station refreshment rooms," the book states.
When refreshment rooms slowly shut down, especially in the mid-1980s as part of major restructuring and downsizing, the crockery was slowly phased out.
Sometimes there was cause for celebration when special commemorative cups and saucers were produced.
One of those was produced by Ontrack to celebrate the centenary of the North Island main trunk railway in 2008.
A total of 2400 cup-and-saucer pairs were produced by Crown Lynn, now based in Malaysia, for the occasion.
Dave said the book was "like a beginner's guide and to whet people's appetite".
"We couldn't put it all in the book.
"If she had done the book there would have been a hell of a lot more information.
"It's also an appreciation for all the work she had done over the years.
"We hope it will have a bit of interest for the general rail fan and people interested in crockery."
The book is available at Kakariki Bookshop, located at the Paekākāriki Railway Station, and Paper Plus in Coastlands.