Tales of the 20th Century Story Competition Winners
Enjoy a trip down memory lane with the winning entries from our recent ‘Tales of the 20th Century’ Story Competition. Prizes were awarded at a ceremony held in Friday 6 August at the Central Library.
20th Century by Isharn Tarawhiti
Summer Surprise by Tom Poland
Who would have thought there would ever be a pool under the Silverstream bridge?
During the summer holidays of 1976 it was driving rain for what seemed like days. All the children were stuck inside playing cards. On the day when it seemed like it was raining the most Nana got all the children to get their coats and gumboots on and they walked up to Silverstream railway station. From there they could see that the underneath the Silverstream bridge was full of water and it was very loud and getting higher. The water was dirty brown coming down from the hills. The children had never seen that much water before. They walked back home and took off their jackets and Nana put the heater on. They sat down and all had nice hot chocolates and started playing cards again until Pop came home.
He had a story to tell us. On his way to work that morning the weather had caused a landslide on the Stokes Valley hills. As he drove past a large piece of wood was flying down the hill and he did not see it. It went right through the passenger window, across to the driver’s side and just missed his eyes. He was very shocked and the children were very happy he was safe.
The Old Railway by Kate Gray
It was a cold winters morning as I walked through the gates to the Silverstream station of the Wellington line, which stretched right up to the Wairarapa. I was one of the very few workers that turned up at six thirty in the morning! Our job was to get the steam trains boilers filled, get the ticket booth ready and connect the carriages onto the engines, which to be honest is an extremely tough job since the tracks were laid down almost 99 years ago in 1875.
People came hoarding into buy there tickets and find their spot on the train, and the 8.30am train left like normal. The horrendous smell of smoke filled my nostrils and the sound of locomotives chugging faded into the distance. Slowly and silently I slipped through my office door to get a well deserved cup of tea, that’s when it happened, the horrendous smell of smoke filled my nostrils once again, but too early, the train had only left 3 minutes ago. I peered outside and felt the temperature rise rapidly, flames were appearing everywhere, and my fellow co-workers were fleeing the buildings. I had to do something or everything I saw before me would be history.
As I ran towards the flames the only words that were going through my head where “what am I doing this is stupid, I must be mad!” The pain of my skin being burnt to crisp made me run back out of the flames. As the world faded into darkness I pictured the flames dancing before me and dressing the crumbling buildings in thick coats of ash.
As I open my eyes slightly I saw the blurred silhouettes of many people rushing around. All the blurred figures soon became as clear as gleaming crystals, and it was all my co-workers standing around me pelting comments at me like “what were you thinking?!” and “you idiot!” It must have been a few weeks since the fire because all my burns had nearly healed.
The one thing all the workers knew was that it was going to take a long, long time to fix the mess that was made by the dancing flames. But on top of all that, all of us workers were wondering how the fire started in the first place?
Elmslie Road Flood by Anneka Gurney
December 1976 Elmslie Rd Pinehaven 6:30am
There was a loud insistant rap on the front door. Judith got to the door in a hurry. Curiously, she opened the door to find two of her neighbours, Magret and Jean just standing there.
Margret suggested “You had better shift your car.”
“Why?” Judith questioned.
“Didn’t you hear the heavy down pour during the night?”
“No” Judith replied.
“You stream (which was at the bottom of her property) is going to flood very soon and you won’t be able to drive onto the road!”
With that, the two neighbours left to warn other houses. Judith herself ran up their carpeted stairs, shocked from what Margret and Jean told her. She scurried through their hallway and reached her bedroom. She gave a little knock and opened the door to find her husband, John putting his slippers on.
“There’s going to be a flood.”
“How and why?!” John questioned. “Apparently it’s been pouring all night” Judith stated.
“Should I put my gumboots on and check it out?” John asked.
“If you’re going to, you better put your rain coat and hat on, and be careful” Judith demanded.
So off John went down there section and onto the bridge. He watched for a very long time until he saw the dirty water come down so fast, it knocked the big, brown punga tree in the middle of the stream onto the bridge.
John and his hat got flung into the torrent of water. He quickly grabbed a tree root which was hanging from the bank. With that, he pulled himself up and made his way inside, shivering. John had lost his hat ad gumboots and felt extremely cold. Judith came speeding towards him with warm and thick blankets to wrap John in. By that time, their son, Justin woke ad gave John a big hug after hearing what happened. People were trapped in their houses until the next day.
Darcy the Pug and the Wahine Storm by Fergus Cameron
It was a cold morning. Darcy was eating breakfast in the kitchen, when suddenly Oscar came rushing through the kitchen door shouting “I’m late, I’M LATE”!!! Then Oscar snatched his bag off the kitchen table and quickly patted Darcy goodbye. Darcy barked. “Well I’m off” said Oscar. “Bye darling” said his Mum. BAM! Oscar slammed the door on the way out so hard that it made everything shake.
“Well Darcy, I’m going shopping. You know what that means” said Oscar’s Mum. “Oh no” said Darcy. “You’re coming with me” said Oscar’s Mum. Darcy was planning on sitting the couch and watching TV.
Oscar’s Mum placed Darcy in the back seat, and they were off to the mall. Squeak!!! went the brakes of the car as they parked in the carpark. Darcy said to himself with a sigh “what kind of mayhem is going to happen THIS TIME!!! Last time at the Mall Darcy went crazy over a hot dog stand and he jumped out and grabbed the hotdog out of the man’s hand. Anyways the hot dog stand wasn’t THERE! “NOOOOO!!!” said Darcy to himself. He was used to snatching hot dogs out of the man’s hand. Suddenly the radio said “Good morning, breaking news. There is a big storm heading to Upper Hutt. Remain CALM!!!” “Oww, that made my ears ring” said Darcy. “That was loud”.
Meanwhile, at Oscar’s school they were doing the roll when Oscar came bursting through the door shouting “Am I late”? “No” Replied the Teacher. “Phew” said Oscar as he put his bag on the hook and sat on the mat.
Back at the Mall Darcy was yelling the “END IS NEAR”! But Oscar’s mum didn’t understand a word he said. Wanna know why? REMEMBER, Darcy is a P-U-G D-O-G. A Pug dog! You knew that right….right. Anyways, Darcy was worried that the storm could hit any second now.
“Calm down Darcy” said Oscar’s Mum softly. “Here it is, the hair spray I’ve finally found it. Well Darcy we’re shooting off now.” “YES”!!! said Darcy. They got into the car and they felt the car shaking a bit. They could also hear the wind howling. They could see the branches that had come down with the force of the wind and leaves and rubbish were blowing everywhere. The rain was pouring down. Oscar’s Mum started the car and the radio came on “BREAKING NEWS> The storm has reached Upper Hutt. If possible try to stay at home as the road conditions are dangerous”. “Oh no” said Oscar’s mum.
Back at Oscar’s school. Oscar looked out of the window where they were building the school’s new library watching the wind blowing everything around the place. Suddenly the builder’s new hut went flying up over the library and crashed into the classroom on the other side. SMASH!! “OSCAR” yelled Mrs Fluffball. “Please stay away from the windows because the wind pressure might smash them.” Just then they heard the sound of glass shattering in the classroom next door. Oscar could hear the children screaming in fright.
In the car Darcy was barking like mad. He was scared of the storm. He was frightened of the loud noises. Once they got home Oscar’s Mum turned on the TV to watch the news. “BREAKING NEWS. A ship has blown onto some rocks in Wellington Harbour”, “This doesn’t look good” said Darcy.
At school everybody was freaking out because of the wild wind. Suddenly the Principal came butrsting throught the door “EVERYBODY has to go home NOW because the wind is getting even stronger and you eill be safer at home.” Everybody ran out of the classroom with their stuff. “Hmm…” thought Oscar. Maybe I could go check out the river on the way home to see if there is any flooding with all of the rain that’s coming down”. When he got to the river he went close to the edge and looked over. The water was moving fast as lightning. There were tree branches shooting down the river. “Woah”. Suddenly the ledge cracked and he fell in.
At home Darcy decided to go outside to see if Oscar was coming home. He was worried about him. Once he was outside he heard a yell coming from the river. A familiar yell. “Uh oh. Oscar is in trouble”. Darcy quickly ran down to the river. To his horror he saw Oscar being carried away by the raging water. He knew what he had to do. Darcy jumped into the water and doggy paddled his legs so fast that he was beginning to catch up with Oscar. Suddenly a tree fell into the river. Oscar managed to grab onto it and pull himself up. “Come on Darcy” yelled Oscar. “Woof” replied Darcyhe was so scared he didn’t know if he was going to survive, then Oscar reached out and grabbed Darcy’s collar and pulled him up. “Phew! We are ok. Thanks for saving me Oscar” said Darcy. “You’re welcome” said Oscar. “Lets go home now.”
When they got home his Mum was horrified to hear what had happened. She had been worried that he had not come home straight from school. After they had a shower and dried off. Oscar’s Mum made him a hot chocolate. They sat down in front of the heater to watch the news about the ship. It was sad news. So many people had died trying to get to safety from the ferry. Oscar was upset. His Mum gave him a hug. Darcy snuggled into Oscar to try and comfort him. Then they waited hoping that Oscar’s Dad was one of the survivors.