Mobile Unit. Shag Valley history

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Tono kōrero mai

Brenda Bell gives a comprehensive account of the history of Shag Valley and her family's life on Shag Valley Station since her grandfather's arrival in 1864.
She talks about notable people from the pioneer days, and how some local places were given their names.
She gives details of the first telephone line in New Zealand, put in by her father. She and her brother Frank experimented with radio, and made the first trans-global contact with Cecil Goyder of Great Britain on 18th October 1924.
Bell then tells further stories about the area and their neighbours. Bullock carts were the main form of transport. The local midwife - Mrs Matheson - had to travel great distances over mountains to attend the women of the district.
Moa bones were found in abundance in the area; Bell believes there must have been moa living there until relatively recently.
She returns to talking about her father's life growing up in the area. He imported scientific instruments from England to further his studies and wrote articles and political doggerel for the newspapers.
Bell goes on to talk about some notable neighbours.
She mentions the Kitchener family. One of the daughters, Frances Parker, became a suffragette and was jailed in Scotland for her role in attempting to burn down Robert Burns' cottage.
A little further away, at Macrae's Flat, Old Tom Stanley gained local fame for his ability to pull teeth.
Bell's mother was born in Clyde and grew up in Naseby. Bell tells some stories about her mother's childhood, including how they had to crack the ice off the bathwater in winter. Her mother was a good ice skater, and the family skated on frozen lakes. On one occasion the ice cracked and they fell in; Aunt Edith's clothes were frozen stiff.
She then mentions the Chinese miners who lived in the area and were kind to the children, and concludes by telling some stories from the local hotels around the Naseby mining communities.

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Year 1948

Reference number 5539

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits Bell, Brenda, 1891-1979, Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand Broadcasting Service. Mobile Recording Unit, Broadcaster

Duration 02:18:23

Date 28 Sep 1948