PRE-INDUSTRIAL TEXTILE: Barbara Johnson demonstrates the eye-hand coordination required to properly operate a loom. D8051-056

KAWERAU’S Waterwheel Heritage Trust held its annual Farming Like Grandad event last weekend to demonstrate how agriculture has progressed over the past century.

TRUST co-chair Stephanie Johnson says at this year’s event, they chose to demonstrate how modern conveniences have changed the nature of farming.

“This year we had the old and the new. We had the Murray Brothers (contractors) there.

They showcased their new equipment to show how quickly they worked, and we had the old-style machines to show how slowly they all worked,” she says.

Though the trust’s mandate is preservation and education of historical equipment, Farming Like Grandad is an opportunity for people to have an enjoyable and hands-on connection with the past.

The popular event proved once again that history has much to offer the modern world as people continue to find value in attending every year.

Stephanie says members of the public continue to donate artefacts ranging from the historically significant to the trivial to bolster the trust’s large collection.

“People have been great. They often give us items. We struggle a bit in finding space so it can be hard making a decision over what we should take in, but we take things whenever we can.”

Original or unique hand-made items are among the more prized artefacts the trust receives.

“We have some great kids’ toys, one-offs that people have made. We have a horse with gig among those. We also have a tricycle made out of a tractor.”

She says the collection points out how the lack of availability of goods limited buying new items and how people made do with what was at hand.

“It’s like making your own dress. We don’t tend to do that much anymore.”