25 April 2011

T is for Trentsworth

"I fear they have uncovered my secret.This journal was moved since I last wrote in it. I will have to jump ship at the soonest opportunity. We are currently circumnavigating a new land full of lush forest and high white peaked mountains. One could not imagine a better example of paradise." - Trent's lost diary entry the night before he became the first European to set foot on New Zealand soil.
From the West Coast he travelled inland and scaled the high mountains finally ending up in a valley "Paved with gold." There he settled, building himself a castle to reside in, the only evidence of his lonely existence.
Of course this is totally fictional and the story was created to explain why a castle was on an island in the middle of my train set. I called my train set "Trentsworth" and made a unique history up also to explain why the gauge of the railway was bigger than the normal New Zealand railway.
The story continues that a couple of pioneers found the castle and a valley scattered with gold. On reporting their find a gold rush ensured and this enabled the people to start their own private railway separate from the government's network and also a larger gauge to help transport the heavy cargo. They named the valley Trentsworth after finding the journal, which has never been seen since.
This was when I was fourteen and the valley's location was in the basement of my family house. The house has since been sold a few times, but recently I had the opportunity to look around and was surprised to see that a section of track had been left behind and the waterfalls painted on the piles and walls were still visible.
The actual location was never specified except for "Somewhere in the Southern Alps." I have since located exactly where the valley would be. The height is 1800 metres and thus in winter the valley would be under snow, but this little fact is forgotten about in the books. (Not one has taken place in winter yet).
IVRRAC takes place there, but the original story to be sited there is the "Trentsworth Terrors." A series of children detective books. The first "The Ghost of Trent's Castle" is almost completed to final editing stage.
Trentsworth is and has always been based on my "Second Home" Queenstown. A tourist town full of thrill rides and activities.  As with Trentsworth in the books, Queenstown was only accessible by Railway. People rode the train (Kingston Flyer) to Kingston, there they would disembark and sail across the Wakatipu on the Earnslaw or her sister steamers to the Queenstown bay. Once it became more popular a road was put in. The Kingston Flyer is awaiting a new owner and only has a very short track now, but the Earnslaw still ploughs the lake, but only on circular routes in and out of the Queenstown bay as the Yohanne does in IVRRAC around the "Lake of Worth."
But as I said in IVRRAC, if you want to experience Trentsworth, the closest you'll get in reality is Queenstown.

3 comments:

  1. Amazing that you remembered all those details from when you were fourteen! Though I guess I remember some things I wrote about when I was fourteen, too. I think that's about the time I wrote my first horror story.

    Cool that you got to go back and look at your childhood home. I'd love to visit a few of mine and see what's changed or, more importantly, what's stayed the same.

    Good luck on the rest of the A to Z Challenge!

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  2. Here's to making it this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!

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  3. A valley paved with gold sounds wonderful. True or not, I would love to visit New Zealand.

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