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Go West, Old Man

2020 Caravan Diaries

sunny 21 °C

For some reason, my post about my trip in 2016, the last time I was in this area, mentions the Rockville Machinery and Settlers Museum but stops without going any further. No worries, I revisit this area about 20 km south west of Collingwood, on the road that terminates at the beginning of the Heaphy Track. I go out as far as the Salisbury Bridge, and make my way back - this is a bridge that was, a footbridge over the Aorere River - built in 1887, much to the dismay of those who wanted to take their horses across to their farms or their gold claims, because they could not. It was rebuilt in 1902 and then finally washed away by a flood in 2010. There is very little to see of the bridge, just its supports, but the river is very pretty at this point (and possibly remains pretty in the parts I cannot see).


Back up the road a little is a shop which opened in 1928 and has been in the same family ever since - the Langford Store of Bainham, I am a wee bit confused about the history - the shop's website says that Lorna, the grand-daughter of the original owner, ran it for 63(!!) years until 2008, then handed over to another Langford, Sukhita. But then in December, Julian Lee visited for Seven Sharp, and the story is that Lorna died in October 2020, and not long before she died, tracked down Sukhita - her grand-father's brother was Lorna's father. Anyway, I do not stay for a tea and scone, because I remember the scone from last time as being very dry.


I go in and spend a while wandering around the Rockville Machinery and Settlers Museum - there isn't much reflecting the settlers aspect, just a couple of rooms set up with quite a lot of assorted household stuff. I am told there will be a crank up in early January - where they start up the old machinery - but I'll be long gone so satisfy myself with looking at the old tractors and the like. Some are the same model as I drove, way back in the day, such as the Fordson and the David Brown P25 - I think we had three of these mighty wee tractors. As you can see, they are pretty low on creature comforts.


I don't think I ever saw one of these, but it must be one of the smallest trucks in the world - it is a Daihatsu Midget II. These have a 660 cc motor but are very light, so can get up to 70 miles an hour - apparently there was a trend to race them in Japan!


Here's some more general shots of how the museum looks and a couple of things that catch my eye:


This is not the end of my day, far from it, as I head on out over the Anatori River as far as the road will take me - more on that shortly.

Posted by NZBarry 09:12 Archived in New Zealand

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