We took a drive up to the Mount Bruce Pioneer Museum, 18 km north of Masterton, in the weekend. After gathering all sorts of memorabilia for over 37 years, Mr Christensen told us that he has finally stopped collecting, but people still give him items to display. There is an extensive private collection of restored farm equipment including the oldest tractor in the district, horse-drawn grader, stationary engines, milk delivery truck and a fire engine.
The worrying thing was that we all recognised many of the items on display – mind you, it was a long time ago since we were all youngsters. We were serenaded with a song played on an antique wind up record player as we wandered around. There was a large display of butter churns, and the little wooden paddles to make butter balls reminded me of my time staying on a farm where my cousins separated the milk, made the butter, then the butter balls. Being a young girl, and a townie, I had trouble mastering these country tasks.
As we walked around the displays it was a matter of, “we had one of those, wonder what happened to it?” There were washing machines, typewriters, sewing machines, heaps of kitchen items, and an interesting collection of tins and packets from the kitchen of yesteryear. Some of the early refrigerators had the motor on top, we had never seen fridges quite like this before. Stacked on a shelf were the wooden crates that our New Zealand cheese and butter was packed in to be shipped overseas.There was a huge collection of meter boxes, and several old telephone systems. You know the type, where the operator puts the plug into the flashing light. Then there was the old clothing and household linen, and more books and magazines that you could read in a lifetime.
Outside was a display of old tractors and carts in various states of repair. It was so interesting to see the original timber wheels on some of the older carts. Who can do this sort of work these days, we wondered? Making timber wheels must be a dying art. Robin was interested in the old petrol pumps on display and could remember some of the petrol brands from long ago. It certainly was a walk down memory lane.