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Fitzgerald's Town

the League met in the

the League met in the Christchurch City Council chambers at which A.P. O’Callaghan of Lincoln, who had finally read the report, was now prepared to support the cause. The League’s purpose was to press for the abandonment of the proposed Picton line and transfer the money allocated to it (180,000 pounds) for the construction of the Canterbury - West Coast line. However there was a general lack of support and it was only in 1886 that the Midland Railway Company was formed in England to construct the line following approaches by the League. The Midland Railway Contract Bill was passed into law the following year, with the condition that the contract be completed by 1895. Progress was slower than expected and in 1895 the government seized the railway on the grounds that the Company had failed to keep its contract. The Southbridge line served the district well, but as roads and transport improved, and government policies changed, the railway faced more and more competition until eventually it became uneconomic. In 1951 the Little River and Southbridge lines were closed to passenger traffic and ten years later the Little River and the Lincoln to Southbridge lines were closed completely. In 1967 the line from Hornby to Lincoln was closed and the rails between Prebbleton and Lincoln were lifted. The track from Racecourse (Hornby) to Lincoln and Little River has been transformed into a safe and popular cycle way which brings custom to the small towns along the way. The Post Office Although there was no official Post Office at Lincoln in the early years, mail was apparently carried to and from Christchurch by William Rayers and distributed from Rowell’s accommodation house on the Springs Road-Boundary Road corner as early as 1863. It is not known for how long this arrangement lasted, but by November 1868 J.J. Herrick of Tai Tapu was advertising his mail run from Christchurch to Lincoln via Halswell and Tai Tapu, leaving Lincoln twice each week at 7.30 am and returning from the White Hart Hotel, Christchurch at 3.30 pm the same day 22 . The first official post office in the village opened shortly afterwards in January 1869 when H.C. Jacobson, the local school master, was appointed postmaster, no doubt supplementing his income by doing so. Jacobson filled the position until 1 July 1874 when Samuel Fleming succeeded him. The location of the Post Office is not known, but it is probable that in Jacobson’s time it was at the school house and that it moved to Fleming’s store and bakery in Leinster Terrace when he took the job. A year later the post office was moved to the railway station when the Southbridge line 84

opened. The post office worked from the railway station for eighty years and was under the control of a postmaster-stationmaster for fifty of those years. A long serving postmaster, J.C. Revell, took up his appointment on 1 January 1878 on an annual salary of 152 pounds - postmaster 12 pounds and stationmaster 140 pounds. Mr. Revell remained in control until February 1900, and during that time money order and savings bank and telegraph facilities were provided, the first on 3 January 1887, and the second by April 1888. It was another ten years before full-time staff worked at the post office to deliver telegrams under the supervision of the postmaster-stationmaster, a role that remained in place until the first full-time postmaster, A.J. Lysaght, took up the position on 27 October 1928. Despite continued agitation for a separate post office, it was only in 1953 that a purpose built office was opened on the corner of Gerald and Lyttelton Streets under the control of A.E. Davis. The office operated from this site until the reforms of the 1990s resulted in its closure and a postal outlet was opened in Lincoln Hardware, now Hammer Hardware, on 17 April 1989. The franchise now operates from the adjacent Post Shop on Gerald St where it offers full postal and banking facilities. The Police Law and order is always a good talking point, and it would have been no different in the early days of settlement in and around Lincoln. Then there were practical difficulties affecting the efficiency of the law enforcing authority. Police pay in the 1860s was poor and officers were resigning to join the gold diggings in Otago. Country police too, had to cover large areas and besides keeping the peace were required to check the standard of the scattered public houses and to keep an eye out for runaway sailors. Probably the greatest concern for locals during the early period would have focused on the large itinerant population looking for work during the shearing and harvest seasons. Although the Road Boards put pressure on the Provincial Government to increase the police presence in the district it was not until 27 January 1876 that a police station was opened in Boundary Road on a reserve 23 which is now the site of the Lincoln Golf Club parking lot. This was not a particularly convenient location and in 1879 The Press reported that a decision was made to shift the station to a section near the bridge over the L1 24 , possibly the land on which the Fire Station now stands. 85

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