Sherwood Farm clearing sale ends an era

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 11:20 18/02/2013
Sherwood Farm
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ
LIFETIMES: Almost four decades of equipment is sold off at the South Stock clearing sale at the Turnbulls’ Tussock Creek Sherwood Farm on Saturday.

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A clearing sale on Saturday marked the end of an era for a property owned by a prominent Southland athlete.

Equipment and furniture from Sherwood Farm, owned by the widow of runner Derek Turnbull, was sold off at an auction on Saturday.

Mr Turnbull set several world records at Master's Athletics in the 1990s and was later awarded the Queen's Service Order.

Mr Turnbull's widow, Pat, said it was the end of one part of her journey but she would still be in limbo until negotiations for the sale of the farm were completed.

Mrs Turnbull and her husband bought the 250 hectare plot near Tussock Creek in 1975, naming it after Sherwood Forest in England.

The couple built a house on the site, raising the youngest two of their six children on the farm and constructing a native tree nursery, a bush walk, a museum, and a 4000-book library on the land, she said.

After her husband died in 2006, Mrs Turnbull split her time between Sherwood and a unit at Rowena Jackson retirement village, until she decided she would shift into a smaller, more manageable place.

"I just thought it was time to move on. My body told me it was time to move on. I'll be in my 80th year soon and I just can't do the work anymore."

The clearing sale auction on Saturday took care of the antique furniture and farm equipment she could not fit into her new life, she said.

The nursery is now part of QEII national trust land, the museum collection has been shared out between community museums, and part of the library has been sold.

The rest would have to be squeezed into her Rowena Jackson unit, she said. "I aim to find somewhere to put them . . . I wouldn't last without my books."

While it would be easier living in a smaller house, she said it was sad to say goodbye to her country home.

"I'll miss going out to the trees and hearing the birds and seeing the pigeons flying all around."

Mrs Turnbull expected negotiations for the sale of the farm, and for family farmland on Stewart Island, to be completed in about a month.

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- The Southland Times

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