memories  1950’s . . . . .  page  7

Guy Fawkes night in the late fifties has left us with some great childhood memories.
There were many bonfires on the vacant sections around town and great competition to see whose was the biggest and the best.
Our bonfire was one of the biggest; it was situated behind our house on the triangle;(Davis Street).
Weeks before Guy Fawkes night, us Robertsons- Noelene, Trevor, Loretta and Sylvia, along with the Griffens, Haldanes, Hassans, Nolans, Dunns, Fortunes, Coxals etc., would cut down the broom off the hills and drag it behind our bikes to the triangle.
The local garages would save us old tyres, and with our carts behind our bikes, we would make several trips to the dump to cart back anything that looked like it would burn.
Our main fireworks consisted of “bangers,”sky rockets and “Jumping Jacks”. The younger ones had “Tom Thumbs” and sparklers.
Old Hugh Hassen would light the bonfire with diesel, and it always went off with a “boom!”
There was always a “Guy”, to throw on by one of the families.
Many a bonfire night was pouring rain, but it never stopped  the crowds of kids turning up in their raincoats and gumboots.
Wonderful memories of kids sharing and helping each other and making their own fun in a small town.

  by   Loretta Reeve (Robertson)

The broom from this bonfire was cut at the caves and floated down river to this spot behind the swimming baths

memories       by  peg topp

In the 1950’s I would come into town on the railcar from Mai Mai. Collis Taxis took me into town and this one time, Jack Collis forgot me. He had to run me and the kids to Maimai for the price of the fare to the station.

The children amused themselves so easily, swimming in the river, building huts over the bush from home. Plus there were lots of other kids to mix with.

Once Monica and Kathryn biked to Reefton for basketball, and were very hurt they did not get a game. They  biked  all the way home again

They had Xmas parties each year at the Mawheraiti Hall. Good gifts and Santa  was a big highlight. Wonderful suppers were done by the local ladies.

The 1968 earthquake was so scary. Lots of damage was done to houses and roads . It took a lot of settling down for the family.

At Xmas the family treat was to go  to town. We had tea at Snow’s Fish and Chip shop. We then walked down the street listening to the band. Lots of people were about. The closing of the Criterion Theatre was sad. It was such a super place, well run by Frank Hoy. We saw good films and all the school concerts were run there, including fancy dress. Before that,  it was a theatre.

Good times were spent at Slab Hut Creek prospecting for gold. We had a B.B.Q by the river and all our friends from Christchurch would join in. They would be holidaying at the camping ground in Reefton.

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