Lifetime love of trains for railway resident


Former Reefton local Graham Gollan says he’s one happy ‘railway resident’.

Happy that he’s been able to bring his love of trains with him into Bupa Ashford Retirement Village. Along with his wife Marie, the couple are the first residents to settle in the newly opened retirement village located in Prebbleton, Christchurch.

Graham grew up in the road next door to the village, on a 17 acre farm in Blakes Road and was there until 1955. He then moved away for his job when he worked for Linwood Logo Railway, cleaning five steam engines used for the South Island Royal Tour of 1953 and 54.

After 12 years working for NZ Rail, the retired Graham is pleased to be nearby the land he grew up on, and that he gets to keep his prized train possessions around him.

“I have my framed photo on the wall of the last steam engine I drove from Springfield to Christchurch in 1965. I also keep my engine driver hat close by. It’s funny to be living in a village on a street called Stationmasters Way. It’s like it was meant to be,” Graham explains.

The couple say they chose their two bedroom villa in Prebbleton as it was close to the supermarket and was ‘nice and cosy’. The 83 year old is also excited to be able to continue his long association with a Workingmen’s Club. The village manager has organised a new membership for Graham to the local club in Hornby.