School days the way they used to be

18:25, Jan 24 2013
Howick Historical
SCRUMPTIOUS OFFERINGS: Right: Jean Heighway and Maureen Hawkins enjoy a delicious packed lunch.

Equal measures of fear and wonder crossed the young boy's face as he was pulled into the life of a Fencible era student.

It was a lot to take in for 6-year-old Toby O'Leary.

But the theatrics of the teacher, the talk of shillings and a lesson in arithmetic had him sold on this re-creation of history.

Howick Historical
OLD SCHOOL: Six-year-old Toby O’Leary is in awe of the re-enactment of a Fencible period classroom.

The Howick Historical Village was all go last weekend for the Midsummer Picnic live day.

On the third Sunday of every month the village holds a live day and volunteer villagers bring the scene alive for visitors.

There is the bodger - a wood craftsman, the carpenter, the school teacher and even a priest to bless all the rest.


Never breaking scene the characters entice visitors into the era of the Fencibles - a time when life was much harder and simpler.

There were plenty of fun activities for the entire family to enjoy including stilts, marbles and people could even try their hand at woodturning.

There was also a re-enactment of a Fencible era school lesson and church service which was stark contrast to today's education system and religious practices.

Those who ventured out were rewarded with a break in the clouds, just in time to spread out the picnic blanket.

The next live day Tinker, Tailor, Soldier is at the Howick Historical Village, Bells Rd, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, on February 17. It runs from 10am to 4pm. Normal admission fees apply. Call 576 9506 or visit for more information.

Eastern Courier