Saturday, 20 September 2014

Time Standing Still- Rockville Museum

After stopping at Langfords Store we decided to make it an afternoon of nostalgia and call into the Rockville Machinery & Settlers Museum which we had passed earlier on, on our way up the Aorere Valley.

The museum is located in an old dairy factory and was pretty rustic to say the least. A country museum lacking in funds but trying hard to keep the local community’s history alive.

There were numerous brands of tractors lined up in the first section and this fibreglass horse all kitted out with suitable tack for the job of pulling farm machinery. The horse was located just around the corner in the entrance foyer. He gave me a bit of a fright as I pushed open the fly-screen tassels and he loomed out of the darkness. Later when I looked in the visitors book, he had given others a fright too!

I want to say “Lights, cameras, action!” when I look at this photo. There is no one attending the museum just a donation box and automatic lights that switch on as you move through the building.

The settlers part of the museum was behind a wire partition, I guess machinery is a lot harder to walk away with. A lot of this gear wouldn’t look out of place back at Langfords Store.

The Collingwood Hospital wire-wove bassinet grabbed my attention, I’m glad they were for new-borns. I could see a little hand or finger getting caught once they started moving about.

There was a good range of appliances on display including the first electric stove in Golden Bay (the one on the left) and the first electric washing machine (below right) What a beautiful piece of machinery that one was, two cylinders; the bigger one the washer and the smaller one the spin dryer, I bet the ladies of the house were over the moon when that arrived on their door step. The Hoovermatic twin-tub I had when newly married was nowhere near as stylie as that.

But I wouldn't mind this little number for the van; compact, easy to store and with a fold away ringer! Perfect for RV living. Not too sure about the Kermit green colour though….

The walls in this section of the dairy factory were covered in a mural made up of hundreds of drawings of different modes of transport.

These manual telephone exchange boards reminded me of my childhood. It always fascinated me that a party line could link dozens of people together. Out there somewhere there was a lady sitting ready to “join the dots” pull that lead out and plug it in there to connect people to talk to each other. I remember adults commenting on the fact that “Mrs Brown” at the exchange knew everybody’s business because she could, if she wanted to, over-hear their phone conversations. I also remember the distinctive “click” as someone on the party line lifted their receiver when you were talking on it.

Not much has changed, people can still spy on your conversations if they want.

Outside and around the building were numerous vehicles and machinery in various states of dilapidation. If we had a dollar for every abandoned vehicle, caravan, piece of machinery and house we've seen on our journey so far we’d be very wealthy people. I can’t imagine what will eventually happen to these but I guess they’ll slowly rot away, fall apart & disappear into the undergrowth that is rapidly overtaking most of them. In the meantime they are a terrible eyesore and a blot on our "clean-green" landscape.

A HQ Holden just a hold-en together?

And in a paddock behind the backyard was this bull and a couple of female friends. He looked rather skinny for his size and came running as soon as I approached. There was a trailer of loose hay in the museum yard so I grabbed a few handfuls and threw it over to him, his friends then came running over too. I wish I could have thrown the whole trailer load to them.

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