Wednesday, the last day of Autumn was a glorious day, with clear blue skies and no wind. Just the sort of day to take our SLG friends on an outing. It was Robin’s turn to arrange the day for our friends, and we met in Foxton for lunch.
Lunch was at the Vines Café, first time for us and also for our guests. Our lunches were great, and the choices ranged from toasted sandwiches, burgers, potato wedges, and French Toast with bacon, banana and maple syrup. All delivered piping hot to our table, and all enjoyed and consumed with hearty appetites
Waiting for lunch to be served
After lunch Robin had arranged a visit to Mavtech, the Museum of Audio & Visual Technology. Set in the lovely old Coronation Hall in downtown Foxton, our hosts Jim and Sarah were waiting to welcome us inside.
Mavtech Museum, in the Coronation Hall
Stepping inside and walking up the wide carpeted staircase was just like stepping back in time to go to the weekly “pictures” like we did in our young days. You can remember what it was like, we used to get dressed up for a night at the movies back then. Jim showed us several old cartoons, featuring Daffy Duck and a fat little pig getting up to all sorts of adventures.
The movie theatre
All a bit of a laugh – Trish, Helen and Calvin
Then we headed downstairs to check out the museum. The bottom floor was full of cabinets containing radios, cameras, cinematographic and communication equipment.
Glass cabinets chock full of items
Movie projector and a film editing machine
New Zealand music was well represented, including these early New Zealand recordings, and the legendary song “Blue Smoke”. Written by Ruru Karaitiana and sung by Pixie Williams, became the first record wholly produced in New Zealand from composition to pressing. It provided a debut hit-seller for the New Zealand-owned TANZA (To Assist New Zealand Artists) record label. Karaitiana wrote 'Blue smoke' on the troop ship Aquitania, in 1940 off the coast of Africa when a friend drew his attention to some passing smoke.
Early New Zealand recordings
From here we went to Jim and Sarah’s workshop and they showed us some early musical instruments. Everyone just loved watching the curtains come back and the world’s smallest band start performing - we had never seen anything quite like it!
Jim then demonstrated several of his other marvelous instruments from years gone by. Music magically appeared with the aid of metal discs and cardboard books – the early technology to make music happen way back then was astounding. How did the makers come up with these ideas? It is all such a wonder to us in this modern age.
Making music the old way
We said our thanks to the hosts then we wandered back to Villa 50 for a much needed cuppa and yet more chatting. It was a great day out with our SLG friends.