Welcome to Colyton: Home to lifestyle blocks and 3021 clocks video

MURRAY WILSON/STUFF

Colyton is a small township about 25 kms from Palmerston North.

For their latest road trip in the region's byways, Sam Kilmister and Murray Wilson stare down a goat and set their watches to the largest clock collection in the world.  

Brian Hills is the first to admit Colyton isn't a dream destination for tourists.

But he reckons the small settlement he has called home for 65 years offers the best lifestyle in Manawatū.   

Bill and Kathy Williams at their home, Chimers Farm in Colyton, where Bill has amassed thousands of clocks. Kathy also ...
Warwick Smith/ Fairfax NZ

Bill and Kathy Williams at their home, Chimers Farm in Colyton, where Bill has amassed thousands of clocks. Kathy also has a large collection of mermaids.

There may be a lack of big ticket attractions in Colyton, but time still flies. The area is home to to a clock museum, which is a must see for anyone passing through. 

Bill Williams owns 3021 clocks, sending him well over the previous world-record collection of about 1900.

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Dairy cows and cattle make up a good portion of the Colyton population.
WARWICK SMITH/STUFF

Dairy cows and cattle make up a good portion of the Colyton population.

His collection began in 1988 when he wandered into a second-hand store in Auckland and spotted a nice mantel clock for his home. Since then, he's never quite been able to shake his child-like love for them. 

Located eight kilometres from Feilding and a 15-minute drive from Palmerston North, Colyton offers all the amenities of the suburbs without having to live in one. Geographically, it is the centre of the extensive Manawatū district. 

Latched to a fence by the side of the road, motorists are welcomed with a suspicious glare from a pet goat. 

Colyton Farmer Brian Hills grew up in Colyton and never left.
MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Colyton Farmer Brian Hills grew up in Colyton and never left.

The goat belongs to one of 150 permanent residents, many of whom live on small lifestyle blocks and work in the larger centres during the day. 

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"It's a central place," Hills said. "The city's creeping towards us anyway. 

"It's a quiet, country community that supports each other. Around the town there are a number of new houses, so over the last 20 years it hasn't gone backwards." 

The Palmerston North Aeroneers Model Flying Club take to the skies above Colyton, regularly hosting open days.
Warwick Smith

The Palmerston North Aeroneers Model Flying Club take to the skies above Colyton, regularly hosting open days.

Colyton is named after a small village in Devon, England. Both share a St Andrew's Church and flat rolling country.

Colyton once had a pub, general store and a butcher. While these are long gone the community and school remain strong. 

Continued growth in the area from lifestyle blocks has helped to secure a bright future for the district and school.

BREAKDOWN

First settled: 1860s

Population: 150

Main industries: Farming, sheep and beef

District: Manawatū District Council 

FIVE FACTS

- It is named after Colyton in Devon, England - a hamlet on the Coly River. The name means "narrow". 

- Colyton features in the Āpiti Loop Ride, a 120 kilometre bike ride taking riders on a journey through some of Manawatu's most scenic countryside. 

- Henry Adsett opened a sawmill next to his home in the 1870s to clear totara growing on the surrounding country. 

- Colyton's first shop was opened by William Hight in 1886. He was a farrier and blacksmith. 

- Colyton School is one of the town's oldest remaining buildings, built in 1884. 

FIVE THINGS TO DO

- Visit Bill Williams' extensive clock museum.

- Bike the 120 kilometre Apiti Loop Ride.

- Visit the war memorial. 

- Talk to the roadside goat. 

- Visit one of Manawatū's oldest schools, built in 1884.  

 

 

 

 

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