Home » May 2019 »Regular Features » Currently Reading:

Know your town

May 15, 2019 May 2019, Regular Features No Comments

Terry Trotman erecting stalls for the Bush Carnival held at Kansas Street.

The highs and lows of Martinborough

Martinborough Fairs

The first Martinborough Fair started out as a Bush Carnival to raise money for the replacement of the Ambulance with great success. Three years later Mr Bill Fetch ran with the idea and so tha Martinborough Fairs put us on the map.

TV series ‘Pukemanu’

Filmed during the 1970s at the Club Hotel renamed the Pukemanu when the series became popular, it became the pace to be seen and to have a drink.  Quoted in a newspaper as ‘ A Must Thing To Do’. Shortly after the series finished the Hotel was demolished and replaced by the Pukemanu Tavern.

Toast Martinborough

Mr Tom Draper and Mr Richard Riddiford made an excellent job , both here in New Zealand and overseas, in making such an event work in a backwater town as Martinborough then was. With the realisation that the wines were so good that a need for food and accommodation became apparent. In keeping the accommodation had to be up to a high standard which started the upgrade of many places , historic and new.  And the food  not just pies and sammies or fish and chips. 

Restaurants 

In the 1980s there were no restaurants. Step up Chris and Mary-Ann Hackney to establish the Zodiac Restaurant in the old Post Office building on the Square. September 1987, what a time to open, the time of the share market crash. They set a very high standard forcing all that followed along to do the same. There are now over thirty  food and drink outlets within a kilometre radius of the Square.

The olive industry

The olive industry should also e recognised for  bringing people to the town. Robin Lochie planted the first commercial olives just past the Golf Course in 1992 

A destination

Martinborough is now seen as a destination with a multitude of events adding to the attraction of the wine industry. Fun run , cycle events and cycle tours, walks and a Farmer’s Market.  

The lows

Martinborough of yesteryear was known as ‘The Pitts’ by the folk in the other Wairarapa towns “why would you want to go there, there’s nothing to do?” was the usual answer to any request for information. 

The education Board seemed to think along those lines too. When in 1886 asked for funds  for a septic tank for the school the Department replied ‘ It would be a waste of money when used in such an out of the way place as Martinborough.

Likewise a request for the establishment of a telephone line to the town was met with the answer ‘All that money for probably only one or two calls a month, no.  

Roads and bridges fared no better. The Wairarapa Councils plus the government minsters could not see the benefit of maintain a road from Waihinga to Lower Valley ‘ it is okay as it is’. The same argument was for the request for a bridge – ‘okay’ very much depended on what side of the river you stood on.  Featherston Roads Board minutes 23-10-1880 ‘ Item: bridge. Two pounds sixteen shillings to construct a bridge in Waihinga township. Disallowed as no roads in the town handed over to the Roads Board at that time ‘ ( The bridge in question was on Jellicoe Street at the top of Grey street)

Mate Higginson 

Comment on this Article:

Sports

Martinborough Junior Hockey – 2019 Results and Prizegiving

Our 1st XI team came so close to victory in their final of the A-grade competition against rivals, MIS Falcons.  Martinborough scored an early goal in the first half of the game and held their defence until MIS scored a late goal in the final 3 minutes to draw 1-1 …

Kahutara School Hockey Wrap-up

Kahutara School managed to enter a total of three teams in various Wairarapa Hockey Association junior grades played at Clareville Hockey Stadium this season, a mean feat for a school of our size.  The Kahutara Blue team played Tuesday nights in the 6 Aside quarter field grade. The team did …

Junior Rugby

Our 2019 JAB season has come to an end, we have had an another amazing season with some awesome results. 2019 saw MRFC have around 75 registered players each year our numbers continue to grow and we have some huge things in the pipeline for 2020. Congratulations to all players …

Regular Features

Letters

Plenty of issues Our current mayor seems to think the council had a hand in …

Did you know

‘YOU WILL NEVER reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog …

Cooking corner – Potato rendang

INGREDIENTS 8 small potatoes, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 onion, finely chopped 185 …

Know your town – Soldiers’ Memorial Park

Originally the Square was called Martin Square and the North – South and East – …

 Community Garden News

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret …

News from Wharekaka

The AGM was held on 19 September.  Attendees heard that Wharekaka is in good heart …

Under The Martinborough Stars

Take a look up tonight and you’ll see a sparkling silver band of stars dominating …

Recent Comments