Factory’s long history fondly remembered by older locals

JAMIE SMALL
Last updated 05:00 18/06/2014
 Huttons
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FOR SALE: The 3.5 hectare Huttons site sits on the corner of Lincoln St and the Massey Hall overbridge.

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It doesn't look like the factory of their youth, but locals who grew up near the Hutton's factory will be sad to see it knocked down.

The Hamilton factory was closed in March this year when owner Goodman Fielder sold the meat business to Hellers, a Christchurch meat company, for $17 million.

The property and buildings are now for sale, with the deadline for private offers 4pm tomorrow.

Goodman Fielder spokesman Ra Fletcher said the company was using part of the site as a distribution centre, and considering options for another location.

Siblings Stuart Rogerson and Greta Campbell grew up on Hall St near the factory, where their father Sam Rogerson worked for more than 20 years in the 1930s and 1940s. 

''I'm disappointed it's going,'' said Campbell.

''Progress is progress, I suppose, and it's not like the old factory I remember when I was a little girl. It was all sort of old and dingy.''

She remembers the site being populated by old timber buildings.

''We lived about 200 yards away,'' said Rogerson.

''A lot of people worked there. A bloody good lot of guys.''

He has been back to the site to try to identify where everything was, but said it is impossible.

''The buildings as I know them are all lost in the extensions they've done over the years. The whole place has just changed so dramatically,'' he said.

''I find it very difficult to deal with actually. Once the big people got their hands on it the whole concept sort of changed.''

Local historian Barry Lafferty said the original bacon factory, Halley and Watts, opened on the site in 1901.

Huttons began operating the factory around 80 years ago, before Goodman Fielder bought it out.

''My family grew up around the corner, you used to hear the pigs squealing,'' said Lafferty.

Colliers agent Alan Pracy is marketing the factory.

''There's about 14 buildings on-site. The oldest buildings are about 100 years old, and the newest stuff was built in about 2000,'' he said.

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- Waikato Times

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