The public can take a step back in time at next weekend's vintage haymaking day on a Normanby farm.
The Taranaki Vintage Machinery Club will be giving its old-style equipment a run at its biennial display on Ashley Ingram's Ketemarae Rd farm on February 23 and 24.
"It's an opportunity for people to see what farming was like 60 to 80 years ago," said former president Clyde Bishop.
The club's last display was at Toko in 2011.
"We move it around Taranaki because we have to find a landowner willing to host the display," he said.
"We do it so we can see our equipment working."
Club members have been reaping and binding oats on the Ingram property to make sheaves which have been stooked for threshing by a stationary mill during the display.
A stook is circle of cut grain stalks left in a paddock to dry for threshing.
They've built a haystack, planted potatoes for harvesting with an old- time harvester and sweetcorn which they'll pick by hand. Old-style tractors will be on display and there'll be a blacksmith at work in his forge.
Cooks in an old-style kitchen will turn out scones baked in a coal range. The scones will be buttered with butter made in churns with cream from a hand-milked cow.
Memories of washday will be evoked for some when they see the washhouse with a copper, tubs and washboard.
Funds raised will go to Aotea Utanganui - Museum of South Taranaki at Patea.
Museum trustee and Patea Historical Society president Jim Baker said the only reasons the display could be run were the hours of voluntary work by members of the vintage machinery club and their willingness to display their machinery.
Schoolchildren get a sneak preview next Friday when Puke Ariki's museum educators present an education day in conjunction with Aotea Utanganui - Museum of South Taranaki.
Pupils from Coastal School at Okato, Puketapu School at Bell Block, and the small eastern Taranaki schools of Huiakama, Marco and Makahu will see the vintage machinery at work and will test their skills at tug-of-war and activities like sack races, horseshoe throwing, line dancing, scarecrow- making and harvesting potatoes.
Baker said there was so much interest from schools that numbers had been capped at 250.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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