Friends of Opapa Station 1996 Newsletters

Newsletter of

Friends of Opapa Railway Station Inc.

Issue 1

July 1st 1996.

Hello members and future members.

Welcome to the first newsletter of F.O.O.R.S. inc, it has taken us three and a half years of grind to get our group incorporated and to secure the lease of the station and grounds. After some ‘groundwork’ meetings with Warren Blackburn, Ray Beattie and Spud Langley, we have set up the first gathering of interested people at the Railway Manor at Opapa to vote on the constitution which was adopted after one paragraph was altered. We became an incorporated Society on January 30th 1996.

On the 21st May, the first meeting of the committee and members was held at the Te Aute Store Museum, to discuss the raising of funds and the payment of the legal fees to the District Council which came to $247 and has been paid by a member to be repaid to that member when funds become available. Other costs include $26 for the Common Seal and insurance cover for public liability. At the time of the printing, the station surrounds had been cleared of blackberry, weed and rubbish and a start on the station building with a mainroom and waiting room being swept and scrubbed from top to bottom. Working bees will be advertised in newsletters and phone calls.

The meeting decided that subscriptions be set at:

$25 per year for full members
$10 per year for spouses
$5 per year for school age children

A joining fee of $10 for each and every member to help establish a fund to pay legal fees etc.

The financial year is set to begin on March the 1st and end the next calendar year at the conclusion of February.

Anyone wanting information on the group please contact Spud Langley (Chairman). [Address and phone number withheld – KB]

Subscriptions to Mike Betts. (Secretary/Treasurer) [Address and phone number withheld – KB]

Now we have come this far we hope that the station group may succeed and grow and eventually become a Historical piece of Hawkes Bay.

All the best.

K.R. (Spud) Langley





Welcome to the second newsletter of The Friends of the Opapa Railway Station. Some more progress has been made at the station with the blackberry and all weeds around the station and along the fence to the north have been removed.

We do need some help on the weekends to prepare the station for painting as the small group when keeping the lawns and surrounds tidy we have no time left for the station itself. As in Newsletter No.1 it was explained that the legal account for the seven year lease from Tranz Rail via Hastings District Council for $247 plus the stamp for the common seal for $26.50 was loaned by one of the members. Another member has advanced money to cover public liability insurance which the council demands and this works out at about $20.00 per month, so anyone wanting to be a financial member please fill in the membership form enclosed.

To pay for stationary [stationery] and postage we have sold aluminum [aluminium] cans which covers this and means there is no need to use subscription money. Anyone who has cans, please bring them to the station or give them to Spud. We would welcome any ideas for raising extra cash which is badly needed.


Tom Wheeler has been doing some work for the Ormandville [Ormondville] Station Group by rebuilding two platform seats and a gas lantern for the end of the Verandah. Now Tom is also taking some damaged pieces for Opapa and repairing them at Home, so we all have to agree that Tom’s Takeaways are a lot healthier than usual. At the moment Tom is at home repairing his broken leg after a slip up at Mangakuri beach so lets hope the recovery is rapid for our valued member, so anyone else who has skills in repairing damaged station parts and would like to help, it would be very much appreciated.

On the 15th September, committee member, Ray Beattie traveling back from Paraparaumu on the Bay Express noted the Train Manager announced on the public address system when passing Ormondville that the Station was being preserved by a Preservation Trust as well as private members and will be used as a home stay unit. He also quoted the Opapa Station was being restored by a private organisation and a great deal of work has already been done, so that explains why we see passengers goose necking out the windows.


We have collected a few items to make our station feel more like a station and would like to thank the following people who donated these items.

Cassandra Cassidy and Rodney Gray.
N.Z.R. Office clock-glass for Louvers in the Toilet.
Paul Priestley. hand held and exchanger tablets. Tablet switch, Makers badge for Tyers patent for Train tablet apparatus. Green and Red Flags. Green and
Red hand held lanterns.
Wall mounted N.Z.R. first aid kit. N.Z.R. book of rules and regulations.
Warren Blackburn and Keirunga Park Railway, Platform Tablet exchanger.
Melva Barr. N.Z.F. Single mans red oxide hut,(ex y-puk [Waipukurau])
Brian Rickard. N.Z.R. Road Services posters.
Spud Langley. Lineside telephones. – N.Z.R. Newsletters.

Ormondville Group. – (Paul Mahoney) Platform semaphore signal levers and a temporary sign for the station front which was removed by a collector for his own use while a few dedicated people were struggling to save the station early last year. He now says he does not know its whereabouts so if anyone has any information on this sign please let us know so it can be returned to its rightful place.  As it belong to the people of the Hastings District.


While clearing weeds on private property at the back of the station I came across pieces of crockery from the refreshments rooms that once were at Opapa. The writing on the cup, saucer and plate fragments read, Te Aute Railway Refreshment rooms in green lettering and design. Also found with the same design were Kaitoke R.R.R., Woodville R.R.R., Waipukurau R.R.R. and another with just Ota”” which we suspect is Otaki.

Mr. Joe McCardell who is a long time bottle collector of Hastings has volunteered to locate old dump sites around the station and house to see what History can be dug up. And lastly a special thanks to Ray Beattie for looking after the lawns, removing weeds and blackberry. Also Viki [Vicki] Robinson and the Sutton Family for stripping all weeds around and to the North of the Station and planting Iris’s ect [etcetera].





SPOUSE   PER YEAR   $10.00




MIKE BETTS.  [Address and phone number withheld – KB]

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Friends of Opapa Railway Station (FOORS)

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  • Melva Barr
  • Ray Beattie
  • Mike Betts
  • Warren Blackburn
  • Cassandra Cassidy
  • Rodney Gray
  • K R (Spud) Langley
  • Paul Mahoney
  • Joe McCardell
  • Paul Priestley
  • Brian Rickard
  • Vicki Robinson
  • Tom Wheeler

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