1926: Steel tower collapses

On 12 May 1926 the winds on Tinakori Hills proved too strong for the steel lattice tower erected just three years earlier at Wellington Radio ZLW.

Big wireless mast wrecked by violent gale in Wellington on May 13: Government radio station put out of action. In falling, the heavy wreckage just missed the concrete building occupied by the radio officers. That was 165 feet in height.

“Big wireless mast wrecked by violent gale in Wellington on May 13 [sic]: Government radio station put out of action. In falling, the heavy wreckage just missed the concrete building occupied by the radio officers. That was 165 feet in height.” Auckland Weekly News, 20 May 1926. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

Wreckage of the tower at Wellington Radio, blown down in a gale. Note on photo says c1929, but this looks like the mast destroyed in 1926

Wreckage of the tower at Wellington Radio, blown down in a gale. Note on photo says c1929, but this looks like the mast destroyed in 1926. Courtesy David Smith

Children peer at the wreckage of the Wellington Radio tower blown down in 1926

Children peer at the wreckage of the Wellington Radio tower blown down in 1926. Courtesy David Smith

One of the tower leg attachments at Wellington Radio VLW which broke in 1926

One of the tower leg attachments which broke in 1926. Courtesy Chris Underwood

Photos from the collapse of the VLW tower

Photos from the collapse of the VLW tower. New Zealand Free Lance, 29 May 1926. Click to enlarge.

Staff at ZLW in 1926: Seated L-R: D McMahon, JD Hampton [sic - should be JH Hampton] (Supt), RMA Thompson. Standing: JF Sullivan

“The operators who were on duty [when the mast collapsed]. Sitting L-R: D McMahon, JD Hampton [sic – should be JH Hampton] (Supt), RMA Thompson. Standing: JF Sullivan.”
Photo: AW Schaef, New Zealand Free Lance, 19 May 1926