In The Great Stink and Other Reasons, John Stackhouse adds a strong incentive for hopeful emigrants to escape the overcrowded city of London in the mid nineteenth century, the summer of 1858 being one of the hottest recorded in Britain. New Zealand, depicted as a bounteous land of opportunity, would have seemed the answer to many prayers. The reality was a daunting sea voyage and the likelihood of shaping a new life through backbreaking toil. And the prospect of ever returning ‘home’ was virtually non-existent. Not a decision for the faint-hearted.
Moving forward a century, Mervyn Dykes remembers his favourite cowboy at the Saturday Matinee, while Leonie Couper danced the night away at the Martinborough Young Farmers Debutante Ball described as “ the stellar event of the season”.
Ron Galloway’s contribution is intriguing. Armed with much research and a sketchy farm ledger entry, Ron, along with his wife, traced the route of his grandfather’s 1933 flight with Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith while on a recent road trip. The highlight, Ron remarks, was meeting the helpful people along the way. It seems that the New Zealanders psyche of friendliness and down-to-earth practicality goes back a long way. ... See MoreSee Less
Our leading story by Elizabeth Sunckell on ‘The Nelson Pie Cart’ prompted a reflection on our early food trends. The casual approach to dining out in today’s society was non-existent. Friday night fish and chips eaten in the car out of newspaper was an indulgence. Department stores offered food: teas at Milne and Choyce served on elaborate silver tiered cake stands, or a steaming steak and kidney pud at George Courts. The Farmers was always in a league of its own with the children’s rooftop playground adjacent to the restaurant. Ethnic food was scarce; a curry dish in the 1960s Edmonds cookery book lists apple, coconut and raisins as ingredients, while another rather unusual recipe suggests preparing “mock chicken” made from butter, onion, tomato, herbs and an egg. Sixty years on, the abundance of dining options and styles is astounding, and the new food bag fad opens a whole new realm of cooking. What next?
David Relph is welcomed back with an account of his great grandfather William Parker who travelled with his family aboard the Indian Queen in 1856 and settled at Three Mile Bush, but only after negotiating 60 kilometres of rough track over the Rimutakas… and with a new baby. Jumping a century, Alison Wickham reflects on family life in the mid-twentieth century. Set in Palmerston North, descriptions such as “Saturday mornings rang with the buzz of concrete mixers, hammers and hand-operated lawn mowers” and “milk was delivered daily to the letterbox in the early hours of the morning” could equally have been applied to any New Zealand region.
Of particular note is the stunning cover of Dunedin’s Rattray Street cable car photographed by Graham Stewart in 1951. Those were the days!
In addition to these stories and articles, Issue 138 offers an array of exceptional reads and we take a peak at early life in the regions of Hawke’s Bay and Otago. ... See MoreSee Less