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Back to 1850 for kids

SARAH ARGYLE
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014
Howci Village

STEP BACK: Part of Howick Village’s special picnic included riding in a horse-less drawn carriage.

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Some children leave Auckland for the school holidays.

But if they're really lucky, they get to take a trip back in time to the Fencible era.

Students from as far as Devonport and St Heliers flocked to Howick Historical Village for a secret picnic set in the 1850s.

Every school holidays the village holds a children's programme.

And this time, village education team leader Sue Popping says it was the "easiest, loveliest" day.

The secret picnic included a chance for the children to make their own lunch, where they churned butter and made lemonade.

Games at the picnic spot, a waterslide and swim were also part of the fun.

"It gives the children a real insight into the history but they have fun at the same time. We teach history by pretending we are in it," she says.

Howick historian Alan la Roche took the students on a guided tour of the Botany Creek and Cascades.

Mr la Roche says the group walked down via a historic road built in the 1880s.

"The road was made of slabs that came from Pigeon Mountain and were laid over clay from Pakuranga so heavy wagons could use that road during the winter months.

"The people of the Cascade Homestead found they couldn't get up the Botany Hill because it was a

clay steep road."

He says many of the children said it was the best picnic they had ever had.

Others told him how they can't wait to return to the spot with their parents.

The group of 18 children, all aged between five and 12, had to dress up in era-appropriate attire for the occasion.

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- Eastern Courier

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