He is the guy who taught many of us how to drive a tram in the city. I recall Joe moving further back in the tram as his confidence in my efforts grew. Did he reckon his life was no longer on the line? Over the past year or so he has had to find new things to provide a buzz. It hasn’t been difficult. With wife, Helen, he has made several excursions to Dunedin to catch up with a daughter and family. He has also been involved in the Ferrymead electric railway he instigated with colleague, Dave Hanson, in recent times. The overhead power supply gear has needed earthquake repairs. One of their DM/D English Electric two-car electric units has been seconded to the Wellington metro system to fill in until new Matangi units arrive from Korea. The Ferrymead units operated on much of the Greater Wellington metro system for four years. Joe was in Wellington recently for their last run on the Johnsonville Line. The 1940s English Electric units are expected back at Ferrymead about now. The electric museum, Joe says, is likely the only one world-wide operating main line electric locomotives. I was at the electric railway opening, photographing Joe proudly driving Ec 7, that trundled nearby on the Lyttelton line.
A long-time Tramway Historical Society member, he compiles the regular society newsletter, Tracts. Video is another prime interest getting special attention. He made excellent training DVDs for the Christchurch Tramway and Auckland’s Dockline Tram in Wynyard Quarter, also a Welcome Aboard attraction. A new project will relate to the return of the Christchurch trams, incorporating interviews with drivers on duty on the fateful seismic day, February 22, 2011.