Sunny side up... ... and sometimes serious!

By Rhonda Bunyan

? In 1964, head gardener of the vegetable gardens at Stratford Hospital, Mr Bill Hayward, sent out a plea for ensilage.
Stratford Hospital was one of the remaining few in New Zealand growing gardens and supplying all the patients' and staff's vegetable requirements. The six acres of cultivated land was tended by four men who also maintained the three to four acres of lawn attached to the hospital buildings.
In December 1963, ?104 worth of vegetables were requisitioned from the gardens by the general hospital alone. The Avon Maternity Annexe was also supplied. The figure of ?104 is the price it would have cost the hospital to buy the vegetables at bulk wholesale prices.
Every year two tons of onions were grown in the garden, more than 2000 savoy cabbages. Silverbeet, lettuce, carrots and turnips were grown under glass at certain times of the year to allow 12 months' continuity of growth. The ingenious glass cloches with sliding and removable panes were also used to bring up other plants such as corn and pumpkin in the early stages of growth.
Four years later in 1968:
? Mr I Thomson was made a life member of the Stratford Soccer Club in recognition of many years' service.
? Mr E W Northcott, farm manager of the Lands and Survey Kohuratahi Block, wrote the following letter to the Press: 'I read with interest your report on the shearing record at Matau put up by the young boys, the oldest being 21 and the youngest 19. I have a similar record to report which I think will take some beating in Taranaki..
'Five shearers put out 1763 sheep (ewes and lambs) in an ordinary shearing day, even with R Hintz's shearing stand breaking down for an hour.
'Their individual tallies are as follows: John Weston 413, Ian Weston 383, Spence Robertson 318, Russell Hintz 322, Darryl Russell 325.

These were shorn on 10th January in our shed.
'Incidentally, Darryl Russell was one of the boys who did the Matau total.'
? Still on the subject of shearing, three Eltham boys made an impressive debut at the Marton A & P Show. All three entered the Intermediate Shearing section and gained honours. Dave Sharp took first place, Ron Francis, second, and Mike Silver, fourth.
? The new premises of Messrs Stark and Pickford were opened in February 1968. The extensive floor space was the largest in Eltham's commercial area and the modern appearance of the store 'contributed to the attractiveness of the town'.
? A crushing plant, capable of dealing to 1000 yds of metal each day, opened at York Rd. Mr R Angus originally operated plants at York Rd, Tariki Rd and a depot in Swansea Rd. His metal business was purchased by Wilkins and Davies Construction who would undertake all the crushing required for the district.
? Marshall Caskey, employed by Lawrence, Evans and Davis Ltd, topped New Zealand in technical drawing when he sat his trade certificate.
? One hundred and twelve young swimmers entered the annual Town and Country Swimming Champs. The Convent girls, comprising Debra Whittle, Annette Hill, Marty Thame and Janice Ford, won the town relay event. First in the country relay were Janette Bell, Beverley Suter, Beverly Marriner and Noel Ashcroft.
? A new block opened at Stratford Hospital. It was called Hutchen Ward.
? Mr and Mrs Percy George Druce received a telegram from Queen Elizabeth offering every sincere wish on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary. The Diamond Wedding was celebrated quietly with family and friends at the Swansea Rd residence.
? The Stratford Floral Art Society was established. It was spearheaded by Mrs Stent of Brecon Rd.
? Winners of the Midhirst Sports Day baby contest in 1968 were: up to 6 months, K Dey; up to 12 months, Tena Robinson, up to 18 months, Brendan Keegan; two years, Christine Harris.
An aged farmer and his wife were leaning against the edge of their pig pen when the old woman wistfully recalled that the next week would mark their Golden Wedding anniversary."Let's have a party, Homer," she suggested. "Let's kill a pig."The farmer scratched his grizzled head. "Gee, Ethel," he finally answered, "I don't see why the pig should take the blame for something that happened fifty years ago."
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar, I love not man the less, but nature more. - Lord Byron, 1788-1824.
Have a great week!

- Stratford Press

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