Hutt Valley Workshops
(Written after a visit paid to the Hutt Valley Workshops by representatives of the firm of Messrs. Donald and Sons, Masterton. We are indebted to the Secretary, Mr. A. Clemas, for the following impressions.)
, and cleanly orderliness; a bewildering mass of machines and machinery; quiet, attentive forms; hurrying, busy figures; all these and much more pass across the vision and mind as the visitor enters for the first time the great mechanical workshops of the New Zealand Railways in the Hutt Valley, Wellington. A courteous official permit obtained us a ready entry and pleasant nod of welcome as we stated the object of our visit.
Our Scenic Express.
The Auckland-bound Daylight Limited leaving Taihape, North Island.
Soon, under expert guidance, we were being introduced to some of the world's latest mechanical wonders. Mighty goliaths of shining steel with a touch a gentle as a woman's hand, capable of accurate adjustment to the decimal part of a fraction of an inch, obeyed the bidding of blue-coated mechanics, the machine supplying the power, the man supplying the brains.
Process after process was explained to us as we hurried from machine to bench, and bench to tool rack, vainly endeavouring to follow the intricacies of “blue print” and expert detail. Here in this cockpit of continuous warfare—replacement against the ravages of time's wear and tear—one learns to appreciate the silent energy of electrical power and trained efficiency. The triumph of organised control proclaims itself on every side.
Export Of New Zealand Machinery.
Special train chartered to convey a consignment of wool presses (manufactured by Donald and Sons, Ltd.), from Masterton to Wellington, for despatch overseas.
There is some peculiar fascination surrounding a mass of moving wheels. From time immemorial Power has been the subject of hero-worship. The mind of man has schemed and planned to harness “energy” and make it subservient to his will. There is hope for the youngster who finds delight in taking a watch to pieces and more still for the one who tries putting it together again. Machinery is perhaps the greatest expression of man's supremacy over natural restrictions. Standing on the concrete floor of this modern emporium of power, the novice becomes painfully aware of how little he knows.
Unconsciously one learns something of the “wheels within wheels” of national enterprise. The smooth running of a great community commercial concern, the safety of life and limb, is enthroned under this vaulted roof—the acceptance of the responsibility is depicted on every face and in every attitude.
One impression lingers above and beyond all others, namely, that the “powers that be” when designing this up-to-date and model workshop recognised to the full that efficiency is best attained amidst light and comfort, and that the well-being and mental equanimity of the worker has been made a consideration of paramount importance.