Retirement village patrons have been jolting their memories of Christchurch’s central city. Welcome Aboard’s Christchurch Tramway has been hosting A Trip Down Memory Lane tours for local retirement complexes, with the most recent comprising 11 residents of Fendalton Retirement Village. There was no doubt that they enjoyed the experience: their smiles and comments said it all. They were informed and pampered by motorman Ken and entertained by exuberant tram host Masa. In New Regent Street they met the Wizard and his apprentice.

Rolling through Cathedral Square and onward over Worcester Street bridge and through the boulevard, bright faces took in the vistas in various stages of demolition and rebuild. The Arts Centre rebuild offered plenty of views as did the dyslexia garden and the Art Gallery under repair. Widest eyes were kept for the former Anglican Cathedral and its surrounds when returning through the Square. Back in Cathedral Junction Masa had been busy transforming the group’s tram tickets into a collection of animated origami. He presented one to each of the residents, explaining how some of them worked. A delighted woman discovered her folded paper bird had flapping wings when its tail was gently pulled. Another resident told Masa about a trip she had once taken with her husband to Otaru city in Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island.

The tour concluded with afternoon tea nearby at the delightful Seasons café. Tables were soon agreeably scattered with tea pots, steaming coffee cups and yummy slices.

A Trip Down Memory Lane tickets cost $10 per retirement home resident and include a free memento. Afternoon teas can be organised with Seasons café at residents’ own cost.

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