Stumping a reminder of times past

StumpingAlan Sharp spots something from yesteryear when driving down Telephone Rd recently.

There, in a road-side paddock, I saw something of our past, that was essential for converting our shallow peat land into good manageable pasture land, but rarely seen today.

One hundred years ago it was a very onerous task. The spade was used to expose the larger timber in preparation for black powder blasting; then timber jacks and crow bars; plus an enormous effort by real live man and horse power, with block and tackle to lift the timber to the surface, and pile it up.

Rarely, because of peat fires, was it safe enough to burn the heaps of timber in situ. If close enough to the city, it could be dried and made into firewood for sale. Many a heap was just left to rot with time.

By the time of my return journey, most of the paddock had been root raked by a big digger. The paddock was strewn with stacks of dug out timber. So dense was the timber under the grass, that in many places the digger was creating new piles of timber, within a reach or two of its hydraulic arm.

Mid-morning the following day, I made a special trip back to photograph the paddock, but by then the raking was over, and most of the timber had been carted away to be stock piled. The new, and a previous seasons spoils, can be seen over the railway line and paddocks, from Holland Road.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

One thought on “Stumping a reminder of times past

  • May 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Keep in mind everything had to be felled first – without chainsaws. Our pioneers were a hardy and hard-working breed.


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