Mystery pic of the day

22:15, Dec 06 2012
fishy kid
FISHY KID: The kid with the fish - this mystery remains unsolved. Do you know what's going on here? Let us know if you do.
te moana class
HISTORY CLASS: Readers identified Te Moana School teacher Brian Pearson with a class circa the late 70s or early 1980s. Some of the children have been identified as Tracey Guildford (from left), Leona Wooding, Carmen Pearson, Lisa Bruce, Vicky Mallinson, Shona Wooding, Kate Moulson, Ann Robinson, Andreas Harlow, Mark Mallinson, and Paul Wooding (13th), Matthew Moulson and Colin Guildford. Shona Wooding provided us with a first hand account: "I'm actually in [the photo] with my elder sister and brother. It was taken in 1976 and was for the opening of the new school building for Te Moana School. I had only just turned 5 and we were singing and entertaining the guests that were there for the opening [...] I am now 41, so what a blast from the past."
mystery pics
OFF THE RAILS: Our most popular mystery so far. We didn't hear from anyone who claimed to be at this incident, which appears to have occurred at Washdyke., several former railway staff gave explanations on what is likely to have happened. Alex Hullen identified the guard's van on the block as part of the 294 train. The 294 was loaded at Timaru railyard and stopped at Washdyke to allow an express train to pass, he said. It was typically 80-100 carriages long and so would be split into sections and shunted on to different tracks to fit. Someone might have miscounted the number of carriages that would fit onto a particular track, pushing the guard's van into the block. Donald Goodman said he thought the incident happened on October 2, 1986. The under the guard's van contained the old safe from the station building, he said.
mystery pics
TRAFFIC COP? Responses to this photo of a truck being directed through Timaru included one from Hugh Turnball, of DC Turnball & Co Ltd [previously Timaru Wool Dumpers] who recalled ordering the equipment on the truck and identified it as press used to compress bundles of wool for shipment. "This was a new type of press that made a much better job of it," he explained. "It was in use up until four or five years ago." It was shipped to Timaru from Auckland in late July 1986. The load weighed over 100 tonnes.
mystery pics
3D GORILLA: Stuff Nation user Noema99 suggested a movie called Gorilla at Large is behind this shot. "I remember me and my mate got some 3D glasses from KFC was around 1985 we were eight or nine years old and couldn't wait to see this 3D movie on the television. Well the movie was rubbish at best with no 3D effects." UPDATE: Anne Cuthbertson recalled the circumstances of this photo, taken to promote the airing of the 3D movie ‘‘Gorilla at Large’’ around the mid-1980s. ‘‘You had to go to KFC and buy something and you’d get a set of 3D glasses so you could watch the movie on television,’’ she said. ‘‘I’ve actually still got a set of those glasses out in the garage, along with a copy of the movie on video.’’
mystery pic
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: This bottle seems to be intriguing the two men in this photo. Who are they and why is the bottle so interesting? Do you know?
mystery pic scouts
SCOUT CAPERS: Stu, a reader who posted on the Herald website, said he’s the young fellow in the top right corner of the photo, taken about 1985 when the Gleniti Scouts pictured were about 9 years old. "After roughly 27 years of the photo being taken I can’t remember why we were collecting magazines but I think the stationwagon we were in was one of our Scout leaders’," he said. "I still remember the other boys too, as we went through most of our schooling together and were good mates."
mystery pic beach
BEACH FUN: We received this cheeky response from Brendan Murphy, who admitted he’s the man pictured at Caroline Bay with his daughter, Natasha Hanson, who now lives in the United States with her husband and baby: "The photograph shows my identical twin brother - who obviously has more hair than me – down at the Bay happily burying one of his children in the sand ... on that particular day, along came the Herald photographer who thought we should dramatise the situation for interest. The child was to look unhappy/worried whilst I was to be evilly covering her in. The photograph, published about 25 years ago, also showed the mother’s foot hovering over the child holding her down. This outrageous photograph drew a letter to the editor [in response] questioning our suitability and our responsibilities as parents. Perhaps this was the very beginning of the age of political correctness. I like to think so."
mystery pic
ANIMAL RESCUE: This photo documents a duckling rescue on Owen Smith’s Rosewill Valley Rd farm in 1982. Mr Smith, now 84 and retired, said that a mother duck and her babies apparently tried to walk across a cattle stop on the property, and the babies fell down through the gaps and couldn’t climb out. He used a front-end loader to lift the cattle stop, which was made of eight railway irons welded together, and he and his daughter scooped up the ducklings and moved them to safety. "[The mother duck] was just quacking away out in the grass paddock," he said, "so we just tipped them out of the bucket and left them over to her."
mystery pic beard
GREEN THUMB: We've had some conflicting reports on the name of this mystery pic subject, but several readers have identified him as an employee of the Timaru City Council Parks and Reserves department during the 1970s under then-superindentent Bob Scott. UPDATE: Ann Oliver, in Australia, confirms his name was John Woods: "He was my uncle and was a gardener with the Timaru council. He died in 1990."
mystery pic balloons
BALLOONS: Maureen McNamara said she believed this was a photo of South Canterbury Ranger Guides, taken about 1985. Pictured, from left, Karen Pauling, of the Timaru Sea Rangers, Lone Ranger Sonia Mitchell and an unidentified ranger. ‘‘This meeting would have had rangers from the Ashburton Unit, Geraldine Unit, Timaru Unit, Timaru Sea Ranger Unit, South Canterbury Lone Ranger Unit and Waimate Ranger Unit as it was a South Canterbury meeting,’’ she wrote. ‘‘I think the balloons could be for peace, from memory. I was there from the Waimate Rangers.’’ Clive Callow added that the photo was likely taken from Sonia Mitchell’s home, overlooking Pleasant Point.
mystery pic robber
KIDNAPPED? This mystery remains unsolved, though one commenter said the drama being enacted had something to do with the police centenary in the 1980s, and that the train in the background toured the country to mark the occasion.
mystery pic big bottle
CHEERS: We received this kind note from Rhonda Currie, of Kurow: "This photo is of my parents, Doreen and Ron Proctor, antique dealers in Timaru in the 1980s. Sadly, both passed away within three months of each other last year. This photo was probably taken at one of their auctions. Was lovely to see it in the paper today. Thanks, Timaru Herald." Another person added that the photo was likely taken at one of the Proctors’ antique auctions, which "always drew large crowds".
mystery pic indian day
DRESS UP: Charlotte Henry wrote: "I had this [newspaper clipping] still in a scrapbook, because it was my year at school. The caption reads: 'The task of defending the Waimataitai Wigwam from an invading Timaru Herald photographer yesterday fell to two of the fiercest warriors in Timaru. Brett Hannan, 13, and Michael Sengelow, 12, were taking part in a North American Indian day at the school yesterday. Waimataitai’s 93 form two students have been studying the North American Indians for six weeks and yesterday most of them staked their claim to the school grounds in traditional Indian attire.'" She thinks that the photo was taken in 1986.
mystery pic pool
SPLASH: A scrawled note with this photo suggests it's a Temuka paddling pool - and Brian Rae may be one of the children. Several people identified this location as the paddling pool in the Temuka Domain. But can you name the children?
mystery pic garage gallery
TOUGH TIMES? This is Don Campbell, of Auto Engineers, in Edward St taken in the late 1980s. The original Herald caption, which Auto Engineers was able to supply, read: "The notice he is holding appears on the front door of his premises. I know people say times are tough, but you have to be positive or you get nowhere. I believe there is a future in Timaru for people prepared to give good service and quality of workmanship. We are very busy. The sign means what it says ... we haven’t time to worry about a recession." Our commenter added: "The sign applies today as well, as we are very busy."
mystery pic stinky
YUCK: What's causing the look of disgust on this boy's face? This photo remains a mystery – and seems a gross one. What have these children discovered?
mystery pic egg
MYSTERY: Marie Smith admitted that she’s the subject of this photo, taken in the 1980s to accompany an article about an increase in the price of eggs. "That was way back at the Commercial Hotel (which is now the car park of Smith City)," she said. "Obviously you had no news that day." Mrs Smith said she had to look twice at the photo when she saw it last week. "I said to myself, 'Oh my God.' My husband said, 'I thought it was you but I wasn’t sure.'"
mystery pic boat
ROUGH SEAS: What brought this boat to the shore? Several possible stories were floated about this mystery photo, including several people who thought the boat had run aground south of Timaru, near St Andrews. But two commenters were in agreement that the boat is the FV Kaka and the grounding happened about 1975. One commenter said: "On this day the boat had been set up to do a survey on salmon. The trolling poles that were put on the boat by the front mast altered the magnetic compass, but this went unnoticed, and while steaming up to the Opihi River mouth in the dark on what was thought to be the correct compass course, the vessel ran aground. The vessels in the background are the Enterprise, Apollo and the Poitrel. (The Kaka) was successfully refloated."
mystery pic dance
DANCERS: A note on this photo suggests it may be a rehearsal for a show. Were you in it? One commenter believes the location, left, to be the South Canterbury Drama League rehearsal space and guessed that it is a rehearsal of a musical production, but we’re still seeking names and details.
mystery pic raft
WATER FUN: We think this is a raft race in the Temuka area but do you know more? Donna Gallagher believes the two boys pictured at the front are her brothers, Bruce, with his back to the camera, and Steven McPherson. Paul Dunham recognised himself in this photo of a Temuka raft race and provided the following description: "This looks like the winning crew of Bruce McPherson, Mark Wood, Garth Jackson and Paul Dunham with a piece of freezing works wall for the raft courtesy of Bruce’s father, Max. I think we won camping chairs for our effort."
mystery pic dairy
AUCTION: Trevor Beard correctly identified this scene as the Milford Dairy factory auction held about 1976. His father, Bill Beard, worked as the manager at the time and had just retired.
mystery pic workers
MEN AT WORK: We might have solved our own mystery. Photographer John Bisset turned up what he believes to be the original caption for this photo, on a piece of yellowed paper. It reads: "Recent heavy rain in Timaru has played havoc with new kerbs laid in Selwyn Street, undermining the fresh concrete structures. Yesterday Russell Carvell, left, and Trevor Thomson of the city council were busy preparing new boxing for repair work to begin."
mystery pic runners
READY, SET: Friday: Chris Peters recognised himself, the runner in the dark-coloured top, in this photo taken at Timaru Boys’ High School. "The day was terrible, wet, cold and very muddy," he remembered. TBHS Rector Kevin O’Sullivan said that the photo was taken on the 50th anniversary of Jack Lovelock’s 1936 Olympic 1500m victory. He wrote: "An interschool 1500m relay was held on the Rectory Field on August 23, 1986. The Burnside High School team won the event in pouring rain ... Lovelock memorabilia was on display and a short play based on Lovelock’s life, written by Bernadette Till, was performed." The other athletes pictured are Jason Cameron and Regan George.
mystery pic power
DANGEROUS JOB: It looks like these men are lifting lines - but are they really? And if so, why would they be doing something risky?
mystery pic pyjamas
STRIKE A POSE: This fashionable lady was identified by commenter Callum Smith: "The mystery woman posing on Stafford Street is unfortunately my mother in 1984, pursuing her modelling career. Rachel Hunter, look out."
mystery pic steam
STEAM POWER: This photo of a gathering of the South Canterbury Traction Engine Club proved popular with readers. Many came forward to name the men in the picture as, from left, Laurie Speden, either Bob Graham or Ian Sadler, Brian Rhodes, Fred Rhodes, Morris Wood, Ernie Philp, Irvine Black, Gordon King, Tom Mountford and Fred Hore. Irvine Black said this engine appears to be a Burrell engine, which was not owned by the club, but by one of its members, Pat Walsh. The photo was likely taken in the mid-to-late 1980s.
mystery pic fire
LUCKY SAVE: Once again, we may have uncovered the answer to another photo ourselves. Photographer John Bisset has found a caption sheet titled: Grey Way Burnt Down. Ross Cunningham, a barman at the Grey Way Lounge (in Washdyke) is the man in the photo and the caption reads: "All that’s left of the bar." No date is recorded.
mystery pic granny
FRIENDS OF ALL AGES: Carole Osborne of Timaru recognised her mother, Mrs Muriel Bezzant, as the elderly woman in this photo. It was taken in 1983 when children from North Haven and Marchwiel child care centres visited The Croft retirement home. The little girl is Megan Hoddinott, then 4. Mrs Bezzant died in 1985, at age 85.
mystery pic deconstruction
DEMOLITION: This photo remains a mystery. Why is this structure coming down, brick by brick?
mystery pic bike
WHEELED ABOUT: This photo remains a mystery. Can you name these fellows sharing a bicycle ride?
mystery pic ambo
EMERGENCY BREAKDOWN: Several people correctly said that this photo shows Andy Green of Tekapo Auto Centre lending a helping hand to an ambulance. Andy was involved with the ambulance service at Tekapo for many years. Do you know more? UPDATE [01/12/2012]: Chris Green provided some additional information on this 1980s photo of Andy Green, then owner of Tekapo Auto Centre. "The Twizel Ministry of Works ambulance had broken down at Forks Bridge in icy conditions," Chris wrote. "Andy towed it to the top of the rise at the end of Braemar Rd and checked out the problem."
mystery pic smoking
SMOKESTACK: This anti-smoking photo remains a mystery. Can you name these gentlemen or their friend?
mystery pic gst
CRUSHING BURDEN: Lauren Burgess told us that this photo is of her father, Allan Kirk, outside Centennial Park Store when GST was introduced in 1985. "The intersection of Church St and Otipua Rd would be a riot of large blackboards advertising his cheap fruit and veges, much to the annoyance of the Timaru District Council!" she said.
mystery pic  biscuit
It's hard to say if he's pleased or disgusted with his snack.
mystery pic silo
ON THE MOVE: Online commenter TAB was quick to supply an answer to this mystery: The original caption read, "This massive stainless steel silo dwarfs Gordon Phimister and Trevor Pawsey". Mr Rademacher said the silo had a capacity of 250,000 litres of milk and was part of the $18million expansion for the production of specialist cheeses at the Clandeboye Factory. It was dated October 1, 1986.
mystery pic potatoes
SPUD BONANZA: These men have a bumper crop of potatoes, but what are they going to do with them? Ex-Rotarian Barrie Wood supplied a wealth of information about this mystery photo which shows members of the Rotary Club of Timaru. "Many people will recognise the two Rotarians, Colin Taylor and Gary Pollock, helping with the winter health project of distributing fresh grapefruit and oranges donated by a North Island club to help boost the health of the elderly in our area," he wrote. "A great example of helping our own community." Keith Bartholomew, club historian, said the approximate date of this photo was June 1987, a time when Mr Pollock was chairman of the club's Community Service Committee and Mr Taylor was club president.
mystery pic running man
RUNNING MAN: Is he about to cross the finish line first? All our details record is that this was a Aorangi League Athletics meet at Geraldine.
mystery pic prow
LOOK! This boat has caught the attention of these two children. Where are they ... and has the boat already featured in another mystery pic? UPDATE [12/01/2012]: A commenter identified these children as Mathew and Nicole Appleby, who went with their family down to Beach Rd to watch the launch of this boat.
mystery pic choysa
STACKING TEA: Perhaps there was a tea shortage that year? UPDATE [01/12/2012]: This photo remains a mystery, although several readers suggest it is the opening of a supermarket. Does it mark a tea feast or famine? UPDATE [08/12/2012]: Paul Lancaster was able to identify this photo as Timaru’s first Countdown store that opened in Evans St in 1986. He worked there at the time. "The two people in the Choysa Tea pic are Shelly Bradshaw at the front and, at the rear, Julie Hutt, who was the first checkout supervisor," he wrote.
mystery pic milk bottle
FROSTY MORNING: This little girl appears to be giving someone a hand defrosting a car window. UPDATE [08/12/2012]: Heather Leary identified this girl as Heidi Leary, who lived in Oxford St back in the early 1980s before shifting to Oamaru. ‘‘The photo was taken on a very cold frosty morning,’’ Heather wrote. "She now lives in Melbourne and is a senior consultant with Certus Solutions."
mystery pic milk bottle
WATER SPORT: This looks serious - were they about to race?
mystery pic milk bottle
ON THE JOB: This appears to be a tense situation - can you identify the location and what was happening? UPDATE [08/12/2012]: The man on the left was identified as Gordon Edgeler by his son, Kirk, who said his father worked for a time as the Timaru police photographer. Mr Edgeler died several years ago.
mystery pic milk bottle
FLAG BEARERS: Who are these men and what is their association with the CBA? UPDATE [08/12/2012]: Commenter Rachael Comer identified these men as, from left, Ian Green, Ted Davidson and Bob McConnochie. "Bob was my grandfather and both Ian and Bob were presidents and life members of the Caroline Bay Association,’’ she wrote. ‘‘I think Ted was a life member but not sure if he was ever a president. The flag was always raised on Boxing Day at 11am to open the carnival for another year."
mystery pic pig man
MYSTERY: Who are these people and what are they doing?

Your last chance to solve one of our photo mysteries?

The Timaru Herald has unearthed a mystery, in the form of thousands of photographs from our past coverage of South Canterbury life.

We rediscovered the photos while cleaning house in preparation for our December 8 move to Sophia St. Unfortunately, many are without any identifying information on who or what is pictured, or even the date published.

mystery pic pig man
MYSTERY: Who are these people and what are they doing?

That's where you come in.

From now until our moving day, we will publish a photograph a day in print and here, on our website:

If you recognise someone or something in a mystery photo, let us know. If you are in the picture, we will even let you keep it. Contact us by commenting on this article, below. (Comments may be published.)


The Timaru Herald