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Quality Furniture

New lease on life: you don’t have to say goodbye to old favourites anymore thanks to McDonald and Hartshorne

There is much satisfaction in bringing a new lease of life to a well-loved piece of furniture and that is McDonald and Hartshorne’s specialty.

“Customers are often amazed at our ability to return furniture to its former glory, or even better,” says Steve McDonald. “The work may be painstaking and require absolute attention to detail, but seeing both the finished article and the customer’s reaction is the real reward for us.”
Delight and amazement was the reaction from a customer recently at the sight of her restored traditional wing chair – handed down to her from her grandmother. “The chair was just a bare frame when it arrived in our factory, so it was almost like making a completely new chair,” Steve says.
“Over some 20 hours we built the frame up again with new springs, new webbing, foam and tetron. The frame was also reglued and cleaned and the legs were repolished. And finally, the chair was covered in a simply beautiful fabric.”
The stunning Designers’ Guild Palasini Cobalt velvet-style fabric was very carefully selected. “The customer wanted a colour and style that would represent her grandmother – a floral influence, but still modern, contemporary and slightly avant-garde. With its very wide wings and the eye-catching fabric, the chair now really makes a statement as a feature piece in the home – a ‘useful work of art’ is the way the client describes it.”
If you have furniture in need of restoration, enquiries are welcomed at McDonald and Hartshorne’s re-upholstery factory and fabric showroom at 430 St Asaph Steet by appointment – phone 03-371 7500. Or you can visit www.qualityfurniture.co.nz.

Tram 1888

City’s new centrepiece: the beautiful new blue Tram 1888 hits the tracks

The inner city’s trams are iconic Christchurch at its best. But the latest addition to Christchurch Attractions’ eye-catching fleet is Tram 1888 – a handsome blue R-class with a very colourful life.

Tram 1888

Built in 1934 and leased from the Sydney Tramway Museum, Tram 1888 started life at the Fort Macquarie Depot – now the location of the Sydney Opera House. It was used on the city’s Watson’s Bay line until the Fort Macquarie Depot closed in 1955 and even received air raid precaution modifications to minimise window damage during World War II.
From 1955 to 1960, the tram was shuffled around Sydney depots until the body was written off and sold to a tobacco farmer in New South Wales, where it accommodated seasonal farm hands for 24 years until 1984, when the farmer donated the battered tram body to a local council interested in its preservation.
The restoration involved removing hundreds of nails that had been hammered into the inside of the body for coat hooks, lantern holders and clotheslines. The tram was furnished with original R-class seats before being put on display in Bondi Junction for five years. In 1993, it entered storage before the Sydney Tramway Museum took responsibility for it in 2000.
The museum shipped Tram 1888 to Bendigo, where it was restored to an operational level. In subsequent years, it was put on display in Melbourne, repainted and used on a tour around Melbourne’s tram system. In 2009, Tram 1888 was leased to Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology, before being leased to Christchurch Attractions late last year.