Tangiwai Railway Disaster

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Christmas 1953. A less-commercial time than it is today. Retailers, including general stores, closed their doors for four days. Simplicity in Christmas decoration styles, nativity scenes, church services, family togetherness and a traditional large lunch were the order of the day, and it was a time when most of the nation looked forward to an [...]

  • Featherston side of the Remutaka [Rimutaka] Hill, from the cutting at Cave’s Bridge. Two men are standing at the bend on a road which passes through fenced farmland on either side. Bragge’s photography cart is parked behind the men at the side of the road

Gateway to the Wairarapa

December 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

In 2017, figures from QV show the South Wairarapa district has had a 51 per cent increase in average house values since 2013, and Featherston has become a sought-after town for new home buyers and families relocating from Wellington and elsewhere. Demand has been outstripping the housing supply for well over a year now. While [...]

  • ‘Big Rock’ stands like a sentinel at the northern end of Brighton beach and provided inspiration for the poet James K Baxter who was a son of Brighton. At first Big Rock was ‘conquered’ by a road up and over, but an opening was blasted through to provide a proper road — it was called ‘Prospect Gap’

Brighton Daze

October 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

It was sometime in mid-1954 when our parents announced to the assembled Dickettes – brother Colin, sister Janice and myself, ‘we’re shifting to Brighton, we’ve bought that shop out there’. At that time there were five shops at Brighton, but I knew exactly what shop they were talking about. Since moving to Dunedin from Auckland [...]

  • John Leslie, middle row far right and James Leslie, middle row far left – photo Whangaroa County Museum and Archives

Passchendaele – A Long Way to Go to Die

October 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

“My poor boys, my poor boys!” Young Tom McGee stopped short in the doorway, bewildered and afraid at the sound of his big, strong grandfather’s plaintive crying and the sight of tears coursing through the weather-beaten fingers supporting his bowed head. Coming, as it did, in an era where males learned early in life not [...]

  • Rotorua’s most famous building – no longer in use

The Art and Soul of Rotorua

October 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

I’m constantly amazed at the amount of history that’s virtually lying around on the side of our roads. En route to Rotorua from Tauranga, we stopped at Mangorewa Kaharoa Gorge. We’d seen the impressive pouwhenua at the gorge on previous trips and wanted to find out about them as well as to get a look [...]