Homeward bound for record bid

A musician who catapulted to internet stardom is hoping her first headline gig will help make her dream come true.

Singer Eden Kavanagh, 24, won fans across the globe after her appearance on the Voice UK went viral.

Now to raise funds for her first album, the talented songstress will perform at Escape to Picton boutique hotel & restaurant in Picton.

And she’s looking to make her dream of releasing a record a reality.

Singer Eden Kavanagh, 24, won fans across the globe after her appearance on the Voice UK went viral.

“I’m making the music and having that polished. I can’t afford to do the recording, yet. Recording is the goal,” she says.

Eden made it through the gruelling selection process for the popular talent contest, the Voice UK, in January this year.

Performing for the judges, Eden had the crowd’s backing and entertained the judges, but was ultimately unsuccessful in her bid to secure a mentor.

Eden says the song she performed on The Voice UK will feature at her upcoming gig.

She says it would be a “crime” not to perform Megan Hilty’s ‘They Just Keep Moving The Line’ for a New Zealand audience.

“It’s going to be a very intimate setting, candlelight, the piano outside in the courtyard,” she says.

Since performing on the popular UK television show, Eden has been using her talents for the greater good.

She took part in the ‘This is who we are’ charity concert at the SkyCity Theatre in Auckland  to raise funds for the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack.

Recently, she was a guest judge at the Voice of China South Island regional finals in Christchurch.

“The emotion and performances were unreal and I was honoured to be a part of it,” she says.

“I was honoured to show my support for victims and families affected by those horrific attacks.”

Eden  will be accompanied by accomplished jazz pianist Jack Page at her June gig.

“Jack’s brilliant,” Eden says.

“We have brilliant chemistry, I’m very happy to have him on board, that’s for sure.”

An Evening with Eden is on 1 June in Picton. Photo: Supplied.

Eden will also perform a mix of contemporary and classic songs.

“Songs that I resonate with, that have stories,” she says.

“It’s nerve-wracking but exciting”.

Eden says she hopes Marlburians would come out and “support a local girl and her dreams.”

“I hope to see a lot of familiar faces there,” she says.

‘Evening with Eden Kavanagh’ is on 1 June at Escape to Picton.

Tickets are $25.

A return bus will be operating from the iSite in Blenheim for $15.

Help needed to get tiny train attraction back on track

A Picton icon runs the risk of being cut back if more people cannot be found to help.

Picton rail and sail has been transporting happy passengers of all ages around its foreshore railway line for more than 50 years.

But it urgently needs volunteers to help ensure the iconic service can continue to run for the next half century.

Vice president Brain Henstock says that for the first time in its history, the service may have to be cut back.

The retired navy warrant officer wants to help ensure the sail boat and railway service continues to spread joy.

“You can’t help but smile when you see the train,” he says.

“We’ve been in operation for over 50 years, and our price is probably the cheapest in the world at only 20 cents per passenger or prospective Americas Cup sailor.

“We urgently need new volunteers, male and female to carry us into the next half century.

“The ­financial reward is abysmal, but the joy and excitement on the faces of kids from 2 to 95 years is payment enough.”

Volunteer Jean Henstock helps keep the facility shipshape. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Drivers and station masters are needed to add to the roster, which sees people help for three hours every three months or so.

More people are needed during school holidays and when cruise ships arrive in Picton.

Ideally 60 volunteers are needed, and the team are down to about 40.

“For the first time we’re looking at cutting back as we just don’t have the people to drive the train.

“Sadly, people are so busy now and our numbers have fallen,” he says

Volunteers are needed to help keep the grounds tidy, the pool clean and maintain stock.

Brian says the rewards are well worth donating some time.

“There was a little boy who was sailing one of the boats and he asked when he had to bring it back.

“I told him when he was finished, and he couldn’t believe his luck.”

Adrianne Healey has been a volunteer for the last five years.

“A friend of mine did it and it sounded like so much fun. It’s not difficult to learn and I love it.”

Contact Graham Low on 03 573 6356 or Brian Henstock on 03 573 5119 for more information.

Pathway volunteers go where army feared to tread

A near-vertical drop almost stopped the creation of a special Marlborough pathway in its tracks.

The pioneering team behind construction of The Link Pathway have revealed how a steep section almost ruined their dream of linking Havelock to Picton.

But when even when the NZ Army said it could not be done the team refused to give up and the section is now finished.

Project co-ordinator Rick Edmonds says the two kilometre stretch of pathway between The Grove and Momorangi Bay proved almost impossible to build.

“We explored the hill side between the road and the sea in this area, and identified it was a “must do” to achieve our overall vision of creating a quality pathway…

“In places, there was a near-vertical drop from the edge of the road to the sea below.

“Then we had what we thought was a great idea …. we wrote to the NZ Army, and suggested they might like to take on building this section of the Link Pathway as a practical exercise,” he says.

The Link Pathway project began in 2005 when some Marlborough Sounds residents came up with a plan to link local communities.

The vision grew to become a continuous pathway on public land between Havelock and Picton which extended the Queen Charlotte Track.

The team had hoped the army could take on building this part of the pathway as a hand-on practical exercise for their engineers.

But while keen to help, the visiting army team ruled the task too tricky.

“A group of officers came and after talking to us about our aspirations, spent a couple of days sussing out the hillside.

They indicated it couldn’t be done. And so…. we did it ourselves,” says Rick.

While the terrain tested their abilities, it was dealing with the weather that proved to be the hardest part of the challenge.

“With severe rain last winter setting us back a tad, consents proving burdensome, construction equipment being stolen, and dumped rubbish was encountered everywhere.

“But we are pretty chuffed with the finished pathway,” Rick says.

The pathway is complete from Anakiwa to Picton around 6 kms left to do around Mahakipawa and Linkwater.

It is with a great sense of pride they completed the challenge with funding from Kathmandu, Rata Foundation, and Department of Conservation, and donated engineering services from Davidson Group.

“The construction team of Nathan, Derek, Arlyn, Carlos, Brian, Wayne,  and lots of Outward Bound students achieved what the NZ Army couldn’t,” says Rick.