1938: Awarua Radio’s 400ft tower demolished

The original 394 ft mast at Awarua Radio being felled on 24 March 1938

The original 394 ft mast at Awarua Radio being felled on 24 March 1938

The 394ft steel tower of the original Awarua Radio spark gap station was felled on 24 March 1938. Charles Rillstone, who first worked at Awarua Radio ZLB in 1916, was the engineer in charge of dropping the tower.

Awarua Radio tower demolished in 1938

"RADIO MAST CRASHES TO THE GROUND – The 400 foot steel tower of 120 tons crashed to the ground at Awarua wireless station last week. It has been demolished to make way for modern equipment."
Auckland Star, 30 Mar 1938, p10

I believe the photograph above must have been taken from the east end of the cook house / accommodation building somewhere near the intersection of the road that leads to the receiving office built in 1940, looking west towards Greenhills.
– Alex Glennie, Awarua Radio historian, 2016

Felling of the 400' mast at Awarua Radio. Auckland Weekly News, 30 March 1938

The end of the 400 foot mast at Awarua Radio. Auckland Weekly News, 30 March 1938

The fallen tower at Awarua Radio ZLB

The fallen tower at Awarua Radio ZLB. Click to enlarge.

The fallen tower at Awarua Radio ZLB

The fallen tower at Awarua Radio ZLB

Names of the workers who demolished the original Awarua Radio tower in 1938.

Names of the workers who demolished the original Awarua Radio tower in 1938. Southland Museum

Awarua Radio tower demolished

This clipping, referring to the felling of the Awarua Radio tower on 24 March 1938, is from an unidentified newspaper. The clipping was in poor condition, so Awarua Radio historian Alex Glennie has overlaid better copies of the same photographs.

Strangely, it wasn’t until three years later that the three 150 ft steel replacement towers were installed.