Before the journey begins.
Five of our society joined with approximately 20 members of the Nelson Vintage Car Club on Sunday afternoon for a trip up Aniseed Valley to the Roding Dam. Wayne Price, who is a member, had arranged this for us. Some of us had the experience of riding in a vintage car while others enjoyed the luxury of a modern 4wheel drive vehicle.
The trip was extremely well organised with considerable historical background information on settlement and mining in the valley provided by the club and Mary Ann Mann.
On the way we stopped at several places of interest including an early cottage originally built by Hans Busch overlooking the plains, the Busch Reserve Picnic Area where Mary Ann provided details on the history of this family and their relationship with other neighbouring settlers, and the Hackett Picnic Reserve. We also noted on the way the Champion Bridle Track and the old Stratford homestead across the river.
We were ferried across the river to the dam and viewed he intake which takes water via pipeline through a 2.5 km tunnel to the head of Marsden Valley and then to the Nelson water supply. Afternoon tea was shared at the information boards rest area near the Caretaker’s house.
Lack of time prevented us from continuing by back roads and the Wairoa Gorge to Wakefield.
It proved to be a very interesting and enjoyable day spent with friendly, hospitable people who, like us, have an obvious interest in history. (We are not the only ones!) We need to extend to them our thanks. Possible future combined fieldtrips should be considered.