Get fit - do the washing

23:52, Jan 08 2014
Heather-Anne Ritchie
Hands-on washer: Co-owner of Great Expectations, Heather-Anne Ritchie, with the antique washing machine sold to a Rangiora museum

A Blenheim antiques store has uncovered a true piece of New Zealand history.

Great Expectations on Middle Renwick Rd last week sold an early 20th century kauri washing machine to the North Brook Museum in Rangiora.

Store co-owner Andrew Ritchie said the rectangular trough device "is an interesting piece - if you had to use it today you wouldn't need a gym to keep fit".

Heahter- Anne Ritchie
Heahter- Anne Ritchie with a historic butter churn that has recently arrived at Great Expectations as part of a container load of antiques imported from Wales.

The washing machine had a high vertical handle that rocked a dowelled basket back and forth, Mr Ritchie said.

North Brook Museum owner Richard Sparks said the washing machine was perfect for his social history museum.

"I am passionate about New Zealand history and it was pure coincidence that when I passed through Blenheim I stopped at the store and found the washing machine," he said.

The find was special because his parents married in 1926 in the old Blenheim Methodist Church, the 3.35 metre doors of which he has in his museum.

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