Alarming things we did last century #1

"In December 1955 as a skinny little 12-year-old I had to travel from Christchurch to Hamilton entirely on my own," writes Adrian Muller. "Elsie Locke the author and a family friend, with her family drove me over the Port Hills to put me on the overnight ferry, the Hinemoa, which would arrive the next morning in Wellington. Later that evening I decided to explore the ship. It must have been quite late because it was pitch dark when I went up on to the foredeck. I walked out towards the bow of the ship as it buffeted through heavy seas and a strong southwesterly wind. Suddenly I was picked up by the wind and blown right across the deck to be slammed against the ship's railings on the right-hand side of the boat. Lucky for me those iron pipes were spaced close enough together that I was not blown through them and over the side of the ship. The wind carried my thin body so fast that when I hit the railings they cut deep into my right shin. I had to crawl back to the doorway and into the ship, blood pouring from my leg. Someone found me, and I was carried to a nursing station where an aide looked at the wound, told me I would need stitches, but she was not qualified to put them into me. She just bandaged me up, put me in the sleeping cabin, then next morning saw me off the ship where I was met by the brother of Jack Locke who took me to the hospital for stitches, then put me on the train to Auckland."

Alarming things we did last century #2

Ann Palmer of Tauranga writes: "In 1948, aged 9, I began singing with the Sankey Singers in Uncle Tom's Choir. Our practice was at 4pm on Thursdays at 1ZB in Durham St. After tea on Sundays, I walked the half mile to catch the tram into town for our evening broadcast at 6.30pm, afterwards catching the tram home along with a few other children. I was the last child off the tram and walked the half mile again alone. Fine in the summer but in winter it was pitch black by almost 8pm when I reached home. No parent would be comfortable with this today, I'm sure."

Closure for tiger's tale

Linda Lang was chuffed to read Ted's story on the tiger escape from Auckland Zoo. "My parents and I had not that long been living in NZ when it was decided we would make a trip up to see 'the big smoke'. We were staying in Avondale Motor Camp in a tent when the camp owner broke the news. There was much consternation about the flimsiness of the tent when it came to dinner time for the escaped tiger. So thank you Ted, after all these years it was good to know what the outcome was. Life was so different then without modern communications."

Quick Links

1. These Chinese MagLev trains pass one another at an eye watering combined speed of 700km/hour…


2. Guy applies prestigious $50K-a-year music scholarship. Girlfriend didn't want her boyfriend to move away. Girlfriend deletes his acceptance email, creates a fake email pretending to be him and REFUSES THE OFFER.Guy finds out two years later. And yes, it heads to court.

Video pick

Shy 13-year-old channels Janice Joplin…

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at