Category Archives: THIS YEAR’S TRIPS

Our Visit to the Wakefield Steam Museum – now Higgins Heritage Park


On a rather unpromising Tuesday in September several of our members travelled to Wakefield to visit the Steam Museum in Pigeon Valley.

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The three vintage cars used to transport members to the Heritage Park from Wakefield. The one in the centre sports a petrol cap of a “Flying Quail”.

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Our tour guide, Allan Palmer, has a wealth of knowledge to impart without which the visit would have been much less valuable.

Our host,  Allan Palmer,  treated us to a very interesting and informative tour of the complex providing us with information that he had acquired over the years he has been associated with developing it.WSHS Higgins Heritage Park Visit 26th Sept 2017 006WSHS Higgins Heritage Park Visit 26th Sept 2017 008

The Park hopes to be able to establish on the railway reserve beside the Wakefield Pharmacy on the corner of Edward Street and Clifford Road  with Council approval,  a replica of one of the steam engines as an advertising signpost to the site in Pigeon Valley.

 

If you haven’t been to the Park, the best time to pay a visit is when some of the machinery is working which is on the first Sunday of the month from September to March.  This is also the time that the heritage village of ‘Willow Bank’ (see article on this site) owned by Christine Grieder (just up the main road over the Jimmy Lee Bridge) is also open to the public – another “must see” venue in Wakefield – a settlement planned by Edward Gibbon Wakefield and the New Zealand Company 175 years ago this year.

 

 

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“The Grange” Hosts History Groups of the Nelson Region


On a still, sunny autumn day in March, members of the Nelson Region’s history groups met at “The Grange”,

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History group members gathered in front of the main house. The oak tree is behind the camera.

just outside Motueka, built 170 years ago for Motueka’s first doctor, John Danforth Greenwood, his wife Sarah and their 9 (eventually 13) children. About 42 people from Nelson, Waimea, Tapawera, Motueka and Golden Bay gathered on the lawn near the largest English oak tree in the South Island, planted in 1864 and at 33 metres one of the tallest in New Zealand.
We were treated to an interesting, fluent and very knowledge talk about the Greenwoods and the house by the current owner, Martyn Whittaker,

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Our host, Martyn Whittaker, whose passion is to share this historic house with others.

after which we were able to wander around the property and the house which, as you can see from the photographs, is really two houses linked by an enclosed passageway – the first a typical settlers’ cottage and the second a two-storey addition built in the front. This allows the smaller house to be let for holiday accommodation.

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The original house facing north. Window near chimney shows position of the linking passageway

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The original house facing west. This is the back entrance.

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The kitchen and dining area in the cottage looking towards the back door.

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The sitting room in the cottage.

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The south end of the main front lounge.

 

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The north end of the main front lounge.

After lunch members of each group shared their more recent activities and concerns. Waimea South were particularly dissatisfied with the attitude of the local authority towards the celebration of Nelson’s Anniversary Day on 1st February and expressed the view that recognising this event should not be solely the responsibility of Nelson city. The whole district should celebrate in some way the arrival of the first settlers and that this should be planned for each year well in advance. It should be a yearly on-going activity and not just reserved for special anniversaries.

It was a most enjoyable day – a perfect venue to showcase and appreciate our colonial heritage.  Coralie Smith and the Motueka and Districts’ Historical Association deserve our thanks for organising this event.

Whitefriars Enjoys 141 years of History


Waimea South members held their first meeting of 2017 in a house built in 1876 on land purchased by Jacob Watson who, together with his wife Alice, arrived in Nelson on the Clifford in May 1842.
This was particularly appropriate in a province which, this year, celebrates 175 years of European settlement.
The two storey wooden structure built of pit-sawn timber and more recently added to by

Whitefriars about 1915. A young Gordon Wadsworth being held in the arms of his father.

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Whitefriars – view of the north-eastern side.

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All the way from Fife. A grandfather clock stands proudly in the sitting room

American boat builder Brian Bennett, is the second house on this block of land. The first (site not yet discovered) was built of cob by Jacob who at 23 was extremely competent in this medium as well as stone. He constructed the first Wakefield School, part of which lasted until the 1970’s.
The house was first called The Pines but in the 1960’s the named changed to Whitefriars.
Jacob and Alice had 5 children. The youngest, Violet, married Thomas Wadsworth some time in the 1890’s.

Jacob died in 1888 and after Violet’s marriage, Alice moved into a house on a terrace across the main road overlooking the Wai-iti Church of Christ. She had been acting as a midwife for the local women and had passed these skills on to her daughter who, as well as bringing up 5 children of her own, continued in her mother’s profession.

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Susie, Bryan and their pet dog.

Bryan and Susie Houston from Fife, Scotland, are now the proud and energetic owners of Whitefriars. They are lovers of old houses and have plans to develop the lifestyle block with heritage plants and trees: roses, fruit trees and possibly (if conditions are right) a truffle woodlot. Animals, cats, dogs (one a Leonberger), and peacocks are also part of the picture.

Our group enjoyed their friendly hospitality on a sunny and warm autumn afternoon.Whitefriars - Colin Mann 035 It was a wonderful way to begin a heritage year in Nelson.

George Harvey’s Hop Kiln


Early spring rain had turned to a bright, sunny afternoon when about 12 of our members visited George Harvey’s hop kiln in Mahana on 27th September.

Our guide, Eileen Thawley is a third generation descendant of George who had build the kiln on land granted to him by the Crown in 1913.  When that kiln was destroyed by fire in 1938, it was quickly rebuilt according to the original plans and on the original footprint the following year.  It therefore still qualifies to be registered as an historic building with the local council and Heritage New Zealand.

Since hop growing is no longer carried out on the farm, it is set up as a small museum with original tools and equipment together with historical items connected with the Harvey family.  Many photos copied and enlarged from  family albums adorn the walls, illustrating how this cottage industry worked.

Eileen is a mine of information and we greatly appreciated her easy recall of facts and incidents relating to the workings of the hop garden and apple orchard over three generations. It was satisfying to think that her knowledge will not be lost but will continue to be told by other members of the Harvey family in the future.

Later that same afternoon we visited the Moutere Hills Public Cemetery in Gardeners Valley Road where Eileen was also able to be our guide as her family had been the guardians of this public amenity over the years.

A very informative and enjoyable afternoon  concluded with afternoon tea at the Upper Moutere Cafe.

Members gather to listen to Eileen Thawley (Harvey) give some background to the family farm's operations.

Members gather to listen to Eileen Thawley (Harvey) give some background to the family farm’s operations.

The second kiln building built on the the original footprint about 1900 after the first kiln was destroyed by fire.

The second kiln building built on the the original footprint about 1900 after the first kiln was destroyed by fire.

Two young figures at work picking hops into a portable bin which could be moved around the garden as the hops were cut. Note the bushel measure used for measurement. (36.37 liters)

Two young figures at work picking hops into a portable bin which could be moved around the garden as the hops were cut. Note the bushel measure used for measurement. (36.37 liters)

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An invoice from Buxtons, the local buyer, for a bale of hops from the Harvey farm.

dolphin-headstone

An unusual headstone in the Moutere Hills cemetery in Gardener’s Valley Road. Sadly there is no name.

Celebrating 100 Years of Coastal Shipping at Motueka


“On 14th February 1916 the steamship Nikau ceremonially entered Port Motueka by breaking a white ribbon tied between the Motueka wharf and Jackett’s Island.  It was a day of celebration for Motueka, the culmination of four years of planning and building a new harbour entrance and wharf.”

On 14th February 2016  members of Waimea South Historical Society gathered with 100-200 locals from the Motueka area beside the marina to celebrate the

Carol Dawber explains the background to her new book

Carol Dawber explains the background to her new book

publication of a history of that wharf written by Carol Dawber.

The front cover of Carol Dawber's new book on the History of the Motueka Wharf

The front cover of Carol Dawber’s new book on the History of the Motueka Wharf

The book project is a collaboration between the Motueka and Districts Historical Association book committee who arranged funding, selected images and researched the information; writer Carol Dawber who wrote the photo captions; and Picton-based publisher River Press which co-ordinated and produced the book.

It is the fruition of over 12 months researching, fund raising, writing and proof reading.

Robbie Williams entertains the crowd with a folksong about the wharf written especially for the occasion

Robbie Williams entertains the crowd with a folksong about the wharf written especially for the occasion

The afternoon was a brilliantly fine one such as only Nelson can provide and those without suitable protective hats sought out the few pockets of shade available.

A folk song especially composed and sung by a member of local band Jiggery Folkery,  accompanied by piano accordian and recorder, about the old wharf, aptly set the plaintive mood of a bygone era.

A section of the crowd at the book launch

A section of the crowd at the book launch

The occasion began with refreshments and food on tables laden with country fare, music played, speeches were made and the author provided background details to her work.  Then a very long queue formed of those who had come to purchase and have their copy signed.

Motueka and districts committee members who worked hard to research photos for the new book

Motueka and districts committee members who worked hard to research photos for the new book

All credit is due to the Motueka District and Valleys’ Historical Association who had organised the event as well as working to collect the many photographs with which the book is illustrated.

It was a very pleasant and enjoyable afternoon and one which we shall remember.

 

Waimea South Meets Tophouse


On Saturday 31st October, 2015, our group travelled south to the Tophouse Hotel to meet with the St Arnaud history group led by Chris Richards.and Helen Campbell to learn more about the area and the historic hotel – now for sale.

Chris Richards makes a point to the group during morning tea.

Chris Richards makes a point to the group during morning tea.

After being treated to an excellent morning tea, Helen talked to us about the accommodation houses which had been established in the area from the earliest times of European settlement.

Front entrance to Tophouse. The bar -small building far right.

Front entrance to Tophouse. The bar -small building far right.

The current hotel is not the first and only but the fourth to serve the needs of the drovers and travellers moving between Beavertown (Blenheim)  Canterbury, the West Coast and Nelson.

Helen Campbell discussing the work of Ned James, builder of Tophouse

Helen Campbell discussing the work of Ned James, builder of Tophouse

 

 

 

Helen spoke  of  the “master  builder in cob”of Tophouse, Ned James, and described the method he used: not clay bricks or rammed earth in wooden forms but by simply piling up the wet clay from the foundation which meant that the walls had to be wider at the bottom and narrowed in at the top.   It has certainly stood the “test of time” having survived both the Murchison and Inangahua earthquakes without any apparent damage.

“The hotel was completed for the Longneys in 1888 “in the middle of winter” and “dancing went on all night”. In the morning 17 inches of snow and 2 miles of downed telegraph wires to Rotoiti meant that William White and many others of the dancing party were marooned. White made temporary repairs to the lines in his party clothes and many wore William’s spare clothes – quite a sight as he was a very short man! The party went on as they were snow bound for a week with dancing every night with musicians.” (Helen Campbell from her text ‘Tophouses’)

Ned James the builder of the present day Tophouse

Ned James the builder of the present day Tophouse

Ned James constructed many of the accommodation houses in Nelson and Marlborough, including Tophouse, Rainbow, Tarndale and Acheron (Homestead 1862/63- built with tussock-thatched roof with beech rafters tied with flax) and the Molesworth Cob Cottage 1885.
He had been at various times a ships builder/carpenter, blacksmith, house builder, stationhand and rope maker.

The group expressed their concerns about the future of the hotel,  which is currently for sale,  and how it might be managed and run as a focal point for the history of the area.

Helen’s talk was followed by one from a local archivist who explained how she was gathering together and storing archival material from the  area in a room which had been set aside next to the hall in the St Arnaud village.

St Arnaud archivist discusses her work.

St Arnaud archivist discusses her work.

After lunch we visited the earlier sites and an old school building where one of our members, Neil Puklowski, had attended primary school.

It was a sunny, clear and warm spring day and everyone left with a better appreciation of the history of the area and one of the oldest buildings in the district.

 

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LS Showing the relationship between the school and the cob cottage.

Lake Rotoiti Trip Nov. 2015 101

The house containing the schoolroom where Neil Puklowski went to school in the 1940’s.

 

Acknowledgements:

Helen Campbell  for her information on the history of the Top Houses

Nelson Provincial Museum for the Photograph of Ned James.

 

This is the House that Busch Built


On October 28th our members met at Hoddy’s Orchard in Aniseed Valley Road to view an early (1860) cob house built by members of the Busch family.

The house at Hoddy's Orchard, built in 1860  by the Busch family is a typical two storeyed cob cottage with dormer windows in the upstairs bedrooms and a cellar in the centre which provided the earth for the walls.

The house at Hoddy’s Orchard, built in 1860 by the Busch family is a typical two storeyed cob cottage with dormer windows in the upstairs bedrooms and a cellar in the centre which provided the earth for the walls.

A view of the house facing west.

A view of the house facing west.

It is unclear whether it was constructed by Hans Busch who arrived in Nelson with his wife Dorothea and 5 of their children in 1844 on the German immigrant ship the Skiold or by one of his sons. It is a real gem, a typical early cob house with cellar

In the cellar showing earth walls faced with river stones.

In the cellar showing earth walls faced with river stones.

A corner of the lounge.

A corner of the lounge.

Some of our group gathered on the front lawn with our host Joanne Kininmonth (nee Hoddy).

Some of our group gathered on the front lawn with our host Joanne Kininmonth (nee Hoddy).

A dormer window in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

A dormer window in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

View looking north from the lounge.

View looking north from the lounge.

Maryanne and Wayne explain their connection to Hans.

Maryanne and Wayne explain their connection to Hans.

and dormer windows and is currently listed by Heritage New Zealand with a category B rating. After viewing the house (and for some the cellar also) we travelled over the Aniseed Valley hill to the Hans Busch Memorial Reserve

Information board at the Busch Family Memorial site.

Information board at the Busch Family Memorial site.

Wayne Price and Maryanne Mann are both connected to Hans Heinrich Busch.  He was Wayne's great,great, great grandfather and his eldest daughter married a Webby from whom Maryanne is descended.

Wayne Price and Maryanne Mann are both connected to Hans Heinrich Busch. He was Wayne’s great,great, great grandfather and his eldest daughter married a Webby from whom Maryanne is descended.

where Hans and his wife lie buried in the garden of the family farm (though where exactly is uncertain).  Two of our members: Wayne Price (a direct descendant of Hans) and Maryanne Mann spoke of their connection to the Busch family.

The plaque at the entrance to the Busch Memorial Reserve in Aniseed Valley

The plaque at the entrance to the Busch Memorial Reserve in Aniseed Valley

Afternoon tea was enjoyed together and we concluded a very enjoyable afternoon before the threatening rain began.

George Kidd 1867-1950: Gentleman, Mayor and Man of Property


George was the son of Robert and Sarah Kidd of Hope.

George Kidd land agent, man of property and Mayor of Richmond 1925-27

George Kidd land agent, man of property and Mayor of Richmond 1925-27

In 1894, at the age of 27 he married Chrissina Edith Newth.  They had one child, Merle, who later moved to Christchurch where she died unmarried.

Jean Sutton in her book How Richmond Grew describes him as a very tall, stately gentleman.  He was meticulous in dress, and sported a well-trimmed beard.  The wags of Richmond called him “Billy Goat Kidd.”  He worked for some time as a real-estate agent for F. & D. Edwards.

George served one term as mayor of Richmond from 1925-1927.  He owned a motor car and with his wife would chaperone elderly widowed ladies on outings into Nelson to fulfil appointments.  He aslo acted as an accountant for these folk.

On 10th March, 1910, he moved into a new house at 8 Edward St, Richmond.  It was an elegant villa built entirely of heart rimu, probably by W.E. Wilkes.  It had high panelled ceilings, ornately carved mantels, polished floors, high skirting boards and solid timber doors.

No 8 Edward St (formerly Roseneath) named Mapledurham by the Grigg family after their home village in England

No 8 Edward St (formerly Roseneath) named Mapledurham by the Grigg family after their home village in England

A curved carriage-way led to elegant two-storied stables at the rear.  These were converted into a residence by Mr C. Wiren in 1938 who later sold to Mr Simpson.  In the 1950’s Ron and Merle Craig bought the Stables and lived there with their family for 43 years.

 This is how the stables looked when Ron and Merle Craig purchased it in the early 1950's

This is how the stables looked when Ron and Merle Craig purchased it in the early 1950’s

The stables at the time of our visit in September 2014

The stables at the time of our visit in September 2014

George died in 1950 aged 83 and his wife a few years later.  They are buried in Section 3, Row 5 of the Richmond cemetery and for a man who had been mayor of Richmond the inscription on their tombstone is remarkably brief.  It reads:  In loving memory of George Kidd and his wife Edith.

Deborah and Giles Grigg turned 8 Edward St into a B & B.  They changed the name from Roseneath to Mapledurham after their village in England.

Currently, Mapledurham is owned by John and Carol Syme and The Stables by Jonathan and Jayne Watkins.

AcknowledgementSutton, Jean How Richmond Grew, 1992.

THE STABLES and Mapledurham


Behind Mapledurham, linked by a curved carriageway,  was constructed at the same time as the house a stable and coach house with living accomodation above.

 This is how the stables looked when Ron and Merle Craig purchased it in the early 1950's

This is how the stables looked when Ron and Merle Craig purchased it in the early 1950’s

Members visit The Stables .

Members visit The Stables

This was converted into a complete residence by Mr C. Wiren in 1938 and later sold to Mr Simpson.  In the 1950’s Mr Ron Craig bought the Stables and lived there with his wife Merle and their children for 43 years.  Its current owners are Jayne and Jonathan Watkins.  In addition to the alterations made by the Craigs, who extended the lounge and created a verandah on the western side,  they have further extended the lounge, increased the size of the kitchen and added to it a pitched roof.  Currently they are busy developing the gardens.

When the lounge walls were being re-gibbed, some curious tallies were discovered written on the wooden sarking (see pictures).

Now covered behind wall linings in the lounge, these figures and dates record tallies achieved by someone - but what?

Now covered behind wall linings in the lounge, these figures and dates record tallies achieved by someone – but what?

The stables near the time when the Craigs sold the house 43 years later.

The stables near the time when the Craigs sold the house 43 years later.

More examples of the mysterious numbers recorded at the Stables

More examples of the mysterious numbers recorded at the Stables

The stables at the time of our visit in September 2014

The stables at the time of our visit in September 2014

This view shows the solid wooden ridge beam over the new kitchen extension built by the current owners Jonathan and Jayne Watkins

This view shows the solid wooden ridge beam over the new kitchen extension built by the current owners Jonathan and Jayne Watkins

A complementary view of the right hand side of the kitchen.

A complementary view of the right hand side of the kitchen.

It was very fortunate that Mr Craig was on hand to talk about his family’s time living there and how a disasterous fire was narrowly averted.  This added greatly to member’s appreciation of the building.

Wayne, our Vice President, thanked Jayne and Jonathan for their hospitality and presented them with a gift.  Members were then free to wander through the house and to appreciate the additions and restored features with items sympathetic to the period.  The Stables are fortunate to be in the hands of enthusiastic and dedicated owners who obviously love old houses.

MAPLEDURHAM and the STABLES Turn Out Tops


Society members gather prior to a tour of the house.

Society members gather prior to a tour of the house.

Richmond from the eastern hills showing The Stables and Mapledurham behind

Richmond from the eastern hills showing The Stables and Mapledurham to the right.

Members were treated to some wonderful Kiwi hospitality on 23rd of September when they visited 8 Edward Street, Richmond – Mapledurham (formerly Roseneath), the home of John and Carol Syme.

No 8 Edward St (formerly Roseneath) named Mapledurham by the Grigg family after their home village in England

No 8 Edward St (formerly Roseneath) named Mapledurham by the Grigg family after their home village in England

Their house which is listed in the Tasman District Council’s District scheme as a house of “Historic Interest” presented its best face to about 20 members on a day of bright and windy sunshine.

It was built of heart rimu between 1909 and 1910 by Richmond’s well-known builder W.E.Wilkes.  With over 3 metre high ceilings,

One of the refurbished bathrooms at Mapledurham

One of the refurbished bathrooms at Mapledurham

corner fireplaces and two porte-cocheres at the main entrances, it is a beautiful example of Edwardian craftsmanship using New Zealand materials and with its two long verandahs on the north-eastern and west sides of the house designed for New Zealand conditions.

Ensuite bathroom shower head at Mapledurham reproduced in the style of the period.

Ensuite bathroom shower head at Mapledurham reproduced in the style of the period.

The north corner of the verandah which runs along two sides of the house has been closed in to make a very useful sunroom.

The north corner of the verandah which runs along two sides of the house has been closed in to make a very useful sunroom.

Bedrooms with over 3 metre high ceilings need fireplaces.

Bedrooms with over 3 metre high ceilings need fireplaces.high panelled ceilings, ornately carved mantels, polished floors, high skirting boards and solid timber doors and even boasting two

One of the two covered entrance ways giving protection to anyone getting into a carriage or car. In grand houses these would extend further out over the width of the driveway.

The porte-cochere, one of the two covered entrance ways giving protection to anyone getting into a carriage or car.
In grand houses these would extend further out over the width of the driveway.

Note the pressed metal sheet in the gable end and detailed wood decoration.

Note the pressed metal sheet and detailed wood decoration.

Note the pressed metal sheet and detailed wood decoration.

After the current owners had been introduced to the group, and the President had presented some background information on George Kidd

George Kidd land agent, man of property and Mayor of Richmond 1925-27

George Kidd land agent, man of property and Mayor of Richmond 1925-27

the original owner, members were able to wander freely around the property.Dining room fireplace at MapledurhamBedroom fireplace at Mapledurham

Afterwards, John and Carole treated members to a magnificent afternoon tea, very much in keeping with the house and lifestyle of the period.  Later the President thanked them and made a presentation of period china.