South of the Fraser

Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langleys

Crazy parking lot

parking lot


Everytime I get groceries at PriceSmart I marvel that I have never seen an accident in this crazy, crazy parking lot.

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Cloverdale Blueberry Festival and Show and Shine 2013

A two-for-one festival

It was a two-for-one festival: a community gathering themed on blueberries and a classic car show.

The Blueberry Festival and the Show and Shine were put on by the Cloverdale BIA August 10, 2013 in downtown Cloverdale.

Several blocks of the town's core were blocked off and filled with shiny cars, a few motorcycles, and one tricked-out bicycle. Community organizations and vendors had tents up, and there were all sorts of activities going on.

Blueberries were also for sale, as were pieces of pie. 

 Surrey Show and Shine 2013


car interior at the surrey show and shine 2013 


Astre at the Surrey Show and Shine 2013


The Reenactors


historical firemen helmets 


A trip on the interurban, with The Reenactors

Welcome aboard » the Interurban, from Cloverdale to Sullivan

The original trains were run by the BC Electric Railway Company


The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway has spent years repairing and rebuilding the 1225, one of the last of the electric rail cars connecting Vancouver to Chilliwack, and now it's running again.

Sure, it doesn't quite have the scope of its heyday: it only runs on weekends and holidays, and only in the summer, but surely it's only a matter of time before it hooks up to Skytrain, right?

Another train being restored - the ConnaughtThe official opening day was Saturday, June 22, with all sorts of grand poobahs, ribbons being cut, and oratorical flourishes. We came on Sunday. When we finally got to the ticket booth, a few minutes before the 2pm train was scheduled to leave it was sold out. Apparently all the trains had sold out. No matter. I bought tickets for the 3pm train, the last train of the day.

While waiting we were treated by several presentations from The Reenactors, actors who stay in character during the course of the day. The two we encountered were Zennosuke Inouye and Mary Jane Shannon. These were real people, and they were absolutely amazing. Mr. Inouye was a Japanese Canadian, a veteran of the first World War who had a strawberry farm on -- are you ready? -- Strawberry Hill, which I thought was East of Tynehead in North Surrey but @SurreyArchives says is in West Newton. Thanks @SurreyArchives! Mr. Inouye had the unfortunate distinction of being the only Japanese-Canadian who got his land back after the Second World War. A remarkable story, and well told by the actor, whose Japanese accent was incredible.

Ms. Shannon was the daughter of the first Warden of Surrey, which is what they called the Mayor back then. She was a school teacher in Surrey for a while, and it was this character that was portrayed, although possibly in a more musical form than the original.

There still being a bit of time we were lucky enough to get a tour of the train shed in the back where another car, the Connaught, is being restored. This one had carried the Duke of Connaught during a visit out to this part of the world. And then, onto the train!

Ms Mary Jane Shannon take a break from teaching to belt out a tune on the trainThe trip goes from the Cloverdale station, a replica on the site of the original over substantially the same track the original took, to Sullivan Heights, and then back again. The Reenactors were on the car engaging passengers with period anecdotes and a few songs too.

The train has two sections. The main cabin has rattan-covered seats. They have a special pattern that I was assured would not rip silk stockings. Nice to know. Past a door was the smoking section, with wooden seats -- wood so the seats wouldn't catch fire. Smoking isn't allowed any more, but to  be authentic people sitting in that section don't get cushions. The seat backs on both types of bench can switch positions, so the crafty travellor can always face forward.

The whole trip took about half an hour, through farmland that in some areas would have looked familiar to travellors on the original line. 

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway's website is

A conductor in period costume 

Zennosuke Inouye - a Reenactor Surrey berry farmer - shows off a jam sample


Stripped down - the interior of the Connaught


No overhead power means the trains have to carry their own generator - cunningly disguised as a miniature car


Party for the Planet 2013

Earth Day » A City-sponsored event geared for families and young people

This is how the City of Surrey celebrates Earth Day: an event with concerts, activities and tents for community organizations. Plus food trucks.

 Party for the Planet seen through a few trees

Read more: Party for the Planet 2013


Info on South of the Fraser River: Surrey, Delta, White Rock, City of Langley, Township of Langley, Fort Langley. Maybe a bit of Abbotsford, just for fun.

This site is experimental. See About (top right) for more, or Blog for meta-information. The working goal is to create an almanac of items, tidbits of information and methods of gathering information.

Right now the site is biased to just south of the Fraser River, within the northern reaches of great City of Surrey, but there is some foraging further afield.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ideas or suggestions.