Pot spotting in Timaru

 The common chimney pot at Tighnafeile ("Tyne-a-Faylee"), Wai-iti Road, Timaru built in 1911– 1912 for Mr & Mrs John Matheson and their six children. The house was designed by Timaru architect Walter Panton and was built by John Pringle and in 1997 the house was restored, a lengthy process that took 16 months. The principal rooms have old-fashioned open fire-places. Tighnafeile is 5005sq ft ( 465msq ) and is built on a land area of 2360m sq.
Old chimneys
and chimney pots are becoming popular again!

“Different styles of chimney make it easy to identify the time frame when certain buildings were built.”

Looking upward at most houses in town, they seem to have the metal flue type chimneys which are almost certainly from log burner heaters which are far more efficient than open fires. In the Timaru District Council by-laws, open fires are prohibited because of the smog problem. Timaru experienced its worst winter for air pollution in July 2008 since 2001 said Environment Canterbury (Ecan). In 2001 there are no restrictions on existing open fires or solid fuel burners in Timaru but now newly installed wood-burners on properties smaller than 2ha must be low-emission models. In 2001 more than 50% of Timaru houses were currently heated with open fires or old wood and coal burners. These release soot into the air which causes air pollution and health problems, particularly during winter. In the 1920s, oil burners overtook coal as the as a heating method and chimney pots became obsolete as a functional tool. Today, 2011, chimneys are being removed when a new roof goes on or due to earthquake risk so chimney pots are being sold or used as garden ornaments.

Smog a "crime against ecology"

Open fires are now being regulated in many cities in NZ so in years to come chimneys are going to be obsolete and future generations won't even know what they were. Today fireplaces are no longer built in modern homes so the only chimneys are from log burners. Fireplaces have been sealed for years in the majority of the homes to stop drafts and in some cases the chimney and fireplace removed. In 1893 the late William Grant had The Grange built, a two-storeyed, 17-roomed mansion, on his estate Elloughton Grange, on the out-shirts of Timaru. It was designed by the Maurice Duval and today still stands and is well maintained but it has no visible chimneys so the chimneys must have been removed and  there is a patch on the roof where the chimney may have been. Today if there is a chimney it is probably metal with a fake wooden or brick surround.  In the late 1890s chimneys still sat on the outside and were visible about the roof. We and restaurants will miss the warmth and cheerful appearance of an open fire and fireplaces. The restaurant Cobb and Co. in Christchurch use to have a large fire going in the place during the winter months and so did the Hermitage. Points to consider before removal include: demolition consent from the council, structural issues e.g. supporting the roof and walls, wetback, replacement flooring, walls and ceiling and weather tightness. 'Sadly an awful chimney on the Hydro as with the Dominion...the chimneys of that era were square concrete and not pretty at all. I remember that lovely fire on my infrequent visits to the pub back in the early 60's...when I turned 21, of course!' MGT

"This chimney must be the most beautiful, perhaps the only beautiful chimney, in Timaru. Chimneys were  prominent features in domestic architecture and it is strange our architects gave such scant attention to the work of making them beautiful."  Archdeacon H.W. Monaghan, 1945
You can walk right past it and miss it. St. Mary's, Timaru chimney - 20 September 2009. Photo taken by Margaret Todd. During the Darfield quake the Lyttelton Timeball chimney which is a similar design cracked.
The weathered chimney blends in with St. Mary's Church, perfectly, it is around the back on the south exterior near an oak tree. The quaintest chimney in town runs down to the small crypt that provides housing for the motor which pumps wind into the organ and has provision for a furnace if ever the church should be centrally heated. Ref.: St. Mary's 1861-1961. Another beautiful chimney is at the TBHS.

The Aigantighe was built in 1908 to the design of architect James Turnbull (1864-1947) for the retirement home of Alexander and Helen Grant of Gray's Hill Station in the Mackenzie. After the death of Helen Grant in 1955, her son gifted the property to Timaru as an art gallery in accordance with the wishes of his mother and his sister, Jessie Wigley, who was an artist. Helen lived there until her death at age 101. The house had four fireplaces so four chimney pots.

The Aigantighe taken by Margaret Todd in Nov. 2008.

"The best indicator of ages of chimneys is often the top of the chimney and what sort of chimney pot it had on top."

Progress, 1 July 1910, Page 317 RESIDENCE IN TIMARU.
This has been erected by the architect, Basil B. Hooper, A.R.I.B.A., for Mr. Robert Leslie Orbell. The house is built of brick, with the upper part white rough-cast. The roof is covered with Marseilles tiles, and the gables hung with green shingles. The most prominent feature is the hall, which is about 16 feet wide, and goes the full depth of the building. A large, open fireplace is also a noticeable feature, also a wide and massive red pine staircase. The servants' quarters are in a wing to themselves, with a separate staircase. The house has been designed to obtain the full effect of the sunshine, and also of the magnificent views. Building contractor, Mr. Tooth, of Timaru. Contract Price, £2500.

1910, The Croft, Timaru

Maori Hill area, Timaru. Note the chicken wire to stop the starlings from nesting.

My mother's cottage in Nelson on Milton St. was built in 1866 by William Collins Esq. and no longer has a chimney. It was removed over thirty years ago and now in 2008 the roof appears fairly dodgy - has a definite serious sag in it which often happens when chimneys are taken out and the roof framing not adequately corrected. The other cause is that very early cottages had very lightweight ceilings - even had fabric ceilings originally so the whole roof framing didn't need to be as strong.  The fireplace was on the what used to be the wall between the lounge and the kitchen. In fact it probably was two fireplaces - back to back. One would have been a more ornate fireplace probably with a mantelpiece held up with some kind of scroll brackets and possibly an iron register in it. Backing onto it would have been the fire in the kitchen for cooking. That would have meant an internal chimney and it would have been made of brick. There were iron chimneys used in the very very early temporary dwellings - you quite often see photos of them on huts in the backblocks but they were not very safe and a lot of buildings with them burnt down - hence they were only used for temporary buildings.

For architects and builders the chimney top was important as it was prominent and a creative feature.

This brick house on the corner of Beverley Hill and Wai-iti Road, Timaru was probably built about the same time of Tighnafeile, 1911.

Sighted these this morning  Dec. 10. 2008, both on Selwyn Street, Wai-iti Road end. - MT.
Above: Unglazed terracotta with a floral motif, bird droppings and moss are similar to the 1908
Aigantighe chimney pots.
Below is an unglazed octagonal. Note the cabbage tree in bloom.

On Selwyn Street (Wai-iti Road end) almost across the road from Trafalgar Street, Timaru.

Harlau, Beaconsfield Rd, Timaru. A chimney was an indicator of social status in those days.  
"The chimney was an indicator of social status in the community in those days."

Orari Gorge Homstead, May 2010, note the chicken wire covering the chimney pot to prevent black birds going down to nest.

A bird by chance. Jan. 2008, MT.
A starling on a plain round rolled top terracotta chimney pot on the corner of North street and Woodlands Road, Timaru.


Temuka Courthouse 15 Nov. 2009
The 1904 brick Temuka Courthouse is now the Temuka museum

Fire - Fire safety became recognised as the years past. Often when a house burns down only the chimney is left standing and still standing years later. Chimneys can develop deposits of creosote, a liquid yellowish substance, on the walls of the structure when used with wood as a fuel. Some types of wood, such as pine and beech, generate more creosote than others. Deposits of this substance can interfere with the airflow and more importantly, they are flammable and can cause dangerous chimney fires if the deposits ignite in the chimney. Wood shingles were susceptible to fire.

Timaru Herald 10 June 2009
As South Canterbury's night skies begin fading above sheets of smog there comes a warning for residents basking in the heat of a glowing fire - make sure your chimney's clean. Already this year there have been about 10 chimney fires reported around the district, according to Timaru fire safety officer. While the number of callouts in South Canterbury is on a par with last year's number, now was a good time for homeowners to get their flues swept if they hadn't already. "A lot of homeowners clean their chimneys regularly, about two times a year. The down side is a lot of people ... they deliberately set their chimney on fire once a year to clean it out. That's a really dangerous practice." When a fire burns normally, the temperature at the base of the flue was about 700 or 800 degrees Celsius and 300C at the top. That climbs to 1000C or more when a chimney catches fire. Temperatures that high could damage the mortar of a brick chimney and the stainless steel of a modern flue and increased the risk of the fire spreading into surrounding walls or roof space. The best thing to do when a flue catches fire is to ring the fire brigade. "Without a doubt, call 111." "We can deal with the chimney fire and we also carry out precautionary checks after the fire," Mr Collins said.

Fire at Salmond House, Craighead, Timaru
The house was purchased by the school to extend its grounds and had been the Craighead Kindergarten, part of the hostel, and latterly staff accommodation, until it was deemed to be structurally unsafe with tall unreinforced masonry chimneys, a heavy clay-tile roof unreinforced masonry walls and poor structural connections in April 2009. On Tuesday night the shed next to Salmond House, which was used to store sports equipment, was burnt down and then on Saturday night Salmond House was burnt down. The house was featured in the 2009 Spring Issue of Heritage Matters.

Photo taken by John Bissett photographer for the Timaru Herald. A cabbage tree to the left and right and a flowering fruit tree to the right.
This heritage loss arts and crafts building lost by arson. Sept. 21st. 2009 Timaru Herald.

The unoccupied 1920s Salmond House at Craighead Diocesan School, Wrights Ave, Timaru was destroyed by fire at 7.30 pm on Saturday evening, 19th Sept. 2009. The suspicious fire totally destroyed the roof structure and the second floor was gutted leaving seven tall chimneys standing tall above the blackened timbers. The house was demolished on the 22nd Sept. 2009 after inspections ruled it to be too dangerous to be left standing. This house had twelve fireplaces i.e. one triple chimney near the left side entrance, three doubles and two single chimneys and another single to the right on the garage all of red brick. In the 1950s the ground floor porch had been enclosed and was the sick bay and had shoe lockers there and where the girls cleaned their shoes etc. There was a big room upstairs was used to issue school uniforms, but not lately, as the house had become unsafe. Two of the chimneys were on outside walls and the others were built inside the structure. To the side of the house (below photo) (to the right) was the playing fields and then the chapel facing onto Kitchener Sq. Down from the playing fields were the tennis courts.

 A very old photo of Salmond House

Craighead Girl's School began in 1910 as a private venture by the four Shand sisters and became a diocesan school in 1927. This female Anglican / Christian school still caters for day pupils and boarders from years seven to 13.  Edward George Kerr, s/o E.G. Kerr the Timaru Herald proprietor, purchased the property in the 1920s and the family lived there until Edward died in 1942 and Mrs Kerr then moved to Christchurch. Salmond House was opened at the beginning of 1943 with fifteen girls sleeping there and a sickroom on the ground floor. Originally it was leased but later the school was able to buy the property from the Kerr family. Miss Violet Monica Salmond was appointed Headmistress of Craighead in 1927. In 1930 during the school holidays Miss Salmond went to Christchurch to have her a tonsillectomy but died under the anesthesia. Violet died at age 37 and was buried in the Timaru Cemetery 30 August 1930. There is a sundial commemorating her memory on the lawn at Craighead. There are two boarding houses called Shand and Salmond. Craighead school grounds has 3½ hectares of majestic trees, wide lawns and gardens include two significant Sequoiadendron giganteum & Sequoia sempervirens (Wellingtonain and Redwood) trees.  Craighead
Ref.: "Craighead 1911-1986" published by Craighead Jubilee Committee 1986 chapter 2 1927-1939

Captain Augustus William Wright married Amy Jane Perry, sister of Arthur Perry of Beverley, at St. Mary's in 1876 and the family with three sons and four daughters they resided at Craighead, Wai-iti road in the early 1900s. Henry John LeCren built the first portion of Beverley and built a handsome residence known as “Craighead,” and resided at "Craighead" until his death on 20th May, 1895 at the age of 67. He was a native of Scotland so probably named Craighead after a home in the Old Country.

Observer, 6 June 1903, Page 8
Quite a number of engagements have recently been announced in the South, amongst the number being Mr F. L. Barker, only son of Mr Francis Barker, Winchester, to Miss Rita Wright, Craighead, Timaru.

Otago Witness 25 August 1909, Page 72
Mrs Wright (Craighead) has returned from visiting her sister, Mrs Frank Evans (Masterton).

Otago Witness, 6 October 1909, Page 71 Timaru October 4
Mrs A. W. Wright (Craighead) gave a small lunch party for Mr Tennant on Friday, 24th. Those present were — Mesdames Scaly, Hassell, Barker, F. Barker, Tennant, Bristol, Perry and Buchanan.

North Otago Times, 14 September 1865, Page 3
Resident Magistrate's Court. Tuesday, 12th September, 1865. (Before B. Woollcombe, Esq., R.M., G. W. Hall, Esq., J.P., and R. H. Rhodes, Esq., J.P.) H. Solomon, who pleaded guilty to allowing his chimney to be on fire, was fined 10s. and costs.

Timaru Herald, 15 May 1867, Page 2
TIMARU— Monday, May 12, 1867. [Before B. Woollcombe, Esq., R.M.] William Nelson was fined 10s, and costs, for allowing his chimney to get on fire.

Timaru Herald, 26 June 1867, Page 2
Timaru— Tuesday, June 25, 1867. [Before B. Woollcome, Esq., R.M.] Robert Double was fined 5s, and 5s costs, for letting his chimney get on fire.

Taranaki Herald, 29 October 1870, Page 2
The Saltwater Creek Hotel, at Timaru, was burned down on the 8th. The fire originated in a spark from the chimney catching the shingle roof. The house was insured for £250. A good deal of the furniture was saved. Mr. Slee, the proprietor, estimates his personal loss at £150.

Timaru Herald, 28 August 1878, Page 3
Timaru, August 27. (Before B. Woollcombe, Esq., R.M.) CHIMNEY ON FIRE. Thomas Hill was charged with allowing the chimney of his house to catch fire. Constable Thornton stated that on the evening of the 9th of August he noticed the chimney of the defendant's house on fire. He inspected the chimney, and found it very dirty. Samuel Waddle, who was called for the defence, stated that the fire was caused by the burning of some paper. The chimney was not on fire longer than the time the paper was burning. Very little soot fell. His Worship said he would fine the defendant the nominal sum of 2s 6d, and cautioned him not to let such things occur again.

Star 28 June 1881, Page 2
On Saturday night a sod whare, occupied by a man named Yesberg and his family, was burnt to the ground at Waimate. The fire was caused by sparks from the chimney, which ignited the thatched roof of the dwelling. Mrs Yesberg was severely scorched about the face whilst rescuing her children. The place was uninsured, and besides the loss sustained through the destruction of the whare and the furniture, Yesberg lost cash amounting to over £40, which he had only just received on account of wages.

North Otago Times, 13 February 1883, Page 2
A five-roomed cottage at Otipua was burned this morning. The Mayor ordered out the brigade, but they arrived too late. The fire is supposed to have originated through logs falling from the fireplace. The house was occupied by Mr J. Bussell, the foreman of the tannery adjoining, and owned by Mr J. H. Sutter. A few articles of furniture were saved. The house was totally destroyed. The insurances were on the house Ll0 in the Royal ; on the furniture, L80 in the Standard. The insurance in neither case covers the loss.

Timaru Herald, 11 June 1896, Page 4
The ordinary monthly meeting of the South Canterbury Board of Education was held yesterday. Present : Messrs W. B. Howell (chairman), M Gray, P. Keddie, W. J. Salmond, T. K. Seddon and J. Talbot. The chimney at Glenavy still smokes, though a register grate had been substituted for a college grate and a chimney pot put on to create an updraught. The Committee had now tried almost every kind of patent chimney cowl without success, and the only further suggestion he could make was to project a gable from the school roof to the chimney to break the eddy of wind, which prevents an updraught. The pitch of the roof is steep and causes such an eddy. A chimney gable would cost about £7. The secretary said the Glenavy chimney had been before the Board year after year. Mr Seddon said that the remedy was to make the flue small just over the fire. The secretary said this had been done. The chairman said the chimney had been pulled down and re-erected twice. The last device was to put a large movable cowl on, which they pulled around to suit the wind. The architect could recommend nothing else than the gable. The only alternative was supplying a stove. A member remarked that £7 was a good deal to spend on curing a smoky chimney.. The inspector stated that at his last visit he saw smoke issuing from door and windows and none from the chimney. The walls were black with smoke, and the children were seen as through a mist. The committee had tried a variety of experiments without success. After a good deal of discussion, the chairman's suggestion to try a stove with pipe to the ridge was approved as cheaper and more likely, to be effectual and the matter was left to the chairman and architect.

Timaru Herald, 28 August 1897, Page 4
S. Williams, charged with allowing a chimney to be on fire, denied it. Constable Rings testified that he saw a large quantity of smoke issuing from defendant's chimney, and going inside saw large quantities of burning soot falling down the chimney and being quenched and removed by defendant. Defendant said he thought it did not signify so much if there was no flame showing outside, and there was none. He had previously asked a chimney sweep to call.— His Worship pointed out the danger of allowing a chimney to become so foul, and fined defendant 5s.

Wanganui Herald, 9 April 1907, Page 7
Timaru, April 9. A fire occurred between 7 and 8 this morning by which a new residence belonging to Mr E. R. Guinness was destroyed. The fire is supposed to have been caused through a defective chimney. The building was insured in the State Fire Office.

All the chimneys have gone!

Hawera & Normanby Star, 21 June 1910, Page 7
Timaru, June 21. The homestead at Holme station, Pareroa, Mr A S. Elworthy's residence, was destroyed by fire at 2 o'clock this morning. The house contained about 40 rooms and very little of the furniture was saved. The fire originated in the kitchen and is supposed to have been caused by a defective chimney. The fire had a strong hold when discovered and spread so rapidly that the children had to be taken out in their night-clothes. The building was insured for £3700 and the contents for £2500 in the Alliance.

Grey River Argus, 15 February 1913, Page 5 NORTH WEST GALE - GREAT DAMAGE IN SOUTH CANTERBURY.
Timaru, Feb 13. A north-west gale set in about 9 a.m and blew very hard for two to three hours, arid steadily throughout the afternoon, when a change to the south occurred. Very great damage was done in the harvest fields, where the standing rape groin was badly "threshed and the stacks scattered. The tops of the stacks were ripped, off. About the township up the Fairlie line much minor damage was done. Sheds were unroofed etc. At Fairlie two chimneys fell through the roofs, one in the Fairlie Hotel and the other in the Catholic Presbytery. Winscombe Railway Station shelter shed was capsized. At Albury the kitchen in- the ganger's house, was wrecked by a chimney failing through the roof. A blacksmith's shop- was partly demolished and the verandah of the Presbyterian Manse torn off and a hole torn in the roof of the goods shed at Pleasant Point. The orchards have been heavily stripped of fruit. At Timaru one tree in the park snapped off at the ground in the afternoon where half, a dozen young people who were watching a cricket match were on scats round the trunk. All escaped except Val Scott, a youth, who was pinned down by a branch which had to be cut to release him, and he was taken to the hospital with a broken thigh.
At the height of the gale a fire broke out in an outhouse in Fairlie, and but for prompt and successful attention by a bucket brigade of the men who happened to be on the spot a number of wooden shops must have gone.
In the evening a four-roomed house, a mile and a half from Fairlie, and its contents were completely destroyed in the temporary absent of the occupants the daughter and son in law. of Mr. Manaton, Hotelkeeper, to whom the place belonged. It was insured in the Atlas.

Evening Post, 24 March 1914, Page 4
FIRE AT TEMUKA 23rd March.
A seven-roomed house at Temuka, occupied, by Hugh Hoare, and most, of the contents were burned on Sunday night. The fire started by Mrs. Hoare exploding a kerosene lamp by blowing down the chimney to extinguish it. The fire was outside the pressure water area.

Chimney fires do generate a lot of heat which can damage bricks or the flue.
Such fires can reach temperatures of 1000C.

Progress, 1 May 1906, Page 168 THE CHIMNEY.
One of the commonest things in the world is the chimney. A chimney is a tube, perpendicular in structure, so built as to admit smoke, gases, and air at the bottom of the tube only, and permit their escape at the top of the tube and nowhere else. The following are some of the violations of the requirements of this rule, where the chimney is built of brick:
1. The bricks are porous, and are laid so poorly that sufficient air enters the chimney through the brick and mortar joists to destroy the draught.
2. The brick may be good, but laid without being thoroughly bedded in the mortar, and air enough may in this way be admitted through the sides of the chimney to destroy or weaken the draught.
3. The mortar may be poor, and its strength easily destroyed by the sulphur and other injurious fumes and gases of combustion. I find that about 20%, of chimneys permit sulphurous and other gases to pass through them into the rooms. The rotten-egg smell, so often found in closets, bedrooms, etc. This is mostly due to porous bricks, which seem to invite these gases to hide in their recesses and creep out into the rooms, most of which evil has been discharged to the discredit of the furnace.
4. A chimney may be placed on an outside wall, with one 4in course between the draught and the weather. Such a chimney, even if ordinarily well constructed, may have its draught greatly impaired by air forced through the wall by wind pressure, which has a decided effect at times.
5. The value of a proportion of cement the mortar is not as generally understood as it should be.
6 Chimneys for dwellings often cause great vexation by being too small, or by becoming a fuel thief when too large. Furnace chimneys should never be less than 12in. by 12in. inside, with a damper of solid construction and simple control for reducing the capacity.

 His family arrived home after an afternoon visit to find the house burnt to the ground - everything gone except a chimney surround with a kettle still on the hearth. Probably, like most of the disastrous house fires of the time, the fire had started in an unsafe chimney. In the replacement house, built 1898, the chimneys were built double.

Fairlie Railway Station, after a fire in 1908.

A good chimney pot is primarily a wind baffler, instead of a smoke aspirator.  

Darfield Quake

Photo taken Feb. 27 2009.
22nd Sep. 2010 the two chimneys on the building bedside the old PGG building on the corner of Stafford and Strathallan streets, Timaru were declared unsafe after finding cracks on the  Aoraki Development Trust (ADT) side due to the Darfield earthquake on the 4th Sept. The two buildings was evacuated and the two-tonne chimneys are to be removed today brick by brick. Each chimney had at least four chimney pots. The old Post Office in Waimate, 75 Queen Street, built in 1910, (now Waimate Information Centre) had a chimney removed following the February 2011 earthquake.

26 Sept. 2010. Chimneys removed due to earthquake damage.

Newspaper articles from

Causes for chimneys to smoke:

A small room has insufficient air to feed the chimney.
The chimney being to short.
A short flue or below the ridge of the main roof.
The grate that allows too much cold air to ascend on either side of the flue.
Too much space between the top of the fire and the commencement of the chimney.
On an exposed position a pot is required to check the flow of air and smoke.
An ordinary pot without any baffle allows the wind to aspirate.
The wind may draw greatly from the air in the house that the other chimneys smoke - to prevent wind aspiration at the mouth of the exposed chimney instill a pot and that will help the other fireplaces.
When a chimney gets foul with accumulated soot smoke trouble can begin. The largest quantity of soot will be deposited in a cold chimneys on an outer wall.
Defects in the flue - diameter being too small, too many twists and bends, obstruction, being on the outer wall and cold

Chimney Pot Spotting

The Bluestone House built in 1878 as a headmaster's residence for Main School. It is on the corner of Arthur Street and Grey Road, Timaru.

The three most common shapes are round, square and rectangle. In New Zealand the traditionally chimney pot is unglazed terracotta with a tapered shape, designed to increase the draft of a chimney while providing an ornamental cap to a building. Simple pots may be round and circular with graceful lines. More elaborate pots are octagonal. Very large elaborate designs have outlets for smoke in the sides as well as the top. Chimney pots were first as a necessity in that they extended the exhaust point of stoves and fireplaces which often burned coal and later became the standard for chimney tops, they became a status symbol. The added height created by a chimney pot is a cost-effective way to improve draft. Most chimney pots were affordable, easy to install, and made to last a lifetime and were designed with a mesh or screen for keeping rodents, birds and leaves out of the chimney and to reduce sparks. The chimney pots are becoming of particular historic value and becoming fashionable as in garden decorating, photo studies etc. See Wellington's Chimney Pots and there is a game - pot spotting. New chimney pots are again a popular decorative items on chimneys.  Museums are collecting them and once in a while you will see them being sold at auctions. Some were made from iron, cast cement, copper but the majority are ceramic placed as stand alones atop a chimney or in clusters on a multi-flue crown. As science and building techniques advanced, the need for chimney pots was eliminated. Prefabricated fireplaces and the use of round metal exhaust pipes offered a functional unsightly alternative to the masonry chimney and the ornamental chimney pot but homeowners are now turning to the chimney pot as a way to not only cover but enhance their chimneys once again, proper measurement is important to getting a good fit. In row houses in Aberdeen clumps of chimney pots helped keep the multiple flues in each chimney from back-drafting one to another. If you do not have a clay flue but you have a round metal pipe, then you need a chimney pot for a metal chimney. The shape of the flue or flues will determine what style of chimney cap to purchase. Most chimneys have one or more flues that stick up in the middle of the chimney. The flue was typically made of clay, and lines the inside of your chimney and protects the brick from the heat of the fireplace. Chimney pots can be made of sheet iron capped by a hood or revolving cowl.

The South Canterbury Museum as of December 2008 regrets that they don't have any chimney pots in their collection.

Pot Spotting
plain round pots
knobbed square
petal style
square based octagonal
single flue chimney caps
multi flue chimney caps
plain roll tops
barrel tops
crown nests
crown tops
roll tops
mushroom top
hood tops
flared crown and a square base
chicken wire
plain round flue linings

1No marks.  2  3 4
5  7   8  
9 10   11     

1. No marks, glazed, octagonal base, ornamental pockets, mushroom top
2. Boyd, unglazed, octagonal base
3. Hutson Pottery, unglazed, octagonal base, wind guard
4. Hutson Pottery, glazed, round base, ornamental pockets, mushroom top
5. Vazey Pottery, 1881, round base with holes, glazed,
6. Glenburn, Avondale, large, round base, glazed, short, mushroom cap with ball, 850mm high to the top of the ball & approx 310mm in diameter at the base.
7. slim, glazed, crown top,
8. W. Murphy Bros., rolled top
9. W. Murphy Bros., barrel top
10. Amalgamated Brick, barrel top [Amalgamated Brick and Pipe Co.]
11. & 11a brand Amalgamated Brick and Pipe Co. c. 1925. height is 850mm
12. Crum, New Lynn, tapered, rolled top, salt glazed
13. Cylinder with plain top.
14. Looks like Amalgamated Brick Pipe Limited - Taranaki Street, Wellington. 55cm wide x 88cm high.
15. Made in Dunedin. No name. Looks to have the style and glaze of James Lamberts manufacture. 75cm high.
16. Manufacture unknown. Crown.
17. M.W. White, Dunedin Measures 67cm high and 35cm wide.
18. Amalgamated Brick and Pipe Ltd Miramar, Wellington. Glazed light brown pot, the top can be removed. 75cm high x 37 wide at top the base is 34.
Dean's Bush, CHCH
George Boyd Newton Pottery heart pierced 1220mm tall

11a 12  13 14  15Made in Dunedin. No name.  Looks to have the style and glaze of James Lamberts manufacture. 75cm high. 16 17 M.W. White, Dunedin Measures 67cm high and 35cm wide.   18Glazed light brown pot, the top can be removed. 750 high x 370 wide at top the base is 340. Made by Amalgamated Brick and Pipe Ltd Miramar, Wellington.  

Albert Crum worked as a brickmaker and building contractor, operating from Ashburton, Mid-Canterbury.  In 1905 he moved to Auckland and established the NZ Brick Tile and Pottery Company at Avondale. This was later taken over by R.O. Clark Ltd. in 1924. In 1929 the four sons of Albert Crum formed a partnership and founded the Crum Brick Tile and Pottery Company. History.  In New Lynn, west Auckland, Crum Brick Co. was sold to Amalgamated Brick & Pipe by Crum (Snr) with the provision that he did not start up again within certain radius, he didn't, but Crum Brick & Tile was started up approx. 1 mile away under the name of his sons. This was on the corner of Portage Road and Great North Road, New Lynn. Crum brought many of his key workers up from Ashburton to New Lynn. One, a stationary engine driver and worked for Crum Bricks, moved north in 1908 by a combination of train and coastal ship. Their route was train to Christchurch, ship form Lyttelton to Wellington, train to New Plymouth, ship to Onehunga, train to New Lynn. Coastal shipping was the most reliable transport mode, especially in the North Island as the main trunk rail not completed by 1908. The amount of baggage was also a factor to consider.

Zinc covered the metal chimney pots to prevent rust... .Station Life in New Zealand in Canterbury - Lady Baker in a nor-wester wrote "a large zinc chimney-pot ; then another ; and when we came close enough to see the house distinctly, it looked very much dwarfed without its chimneys" 

Henry, Gail "New Zealand Pottery: commercial and collectable" published Reed 1999 contains a history on Crown Lynn Potteries.

ALexander Square, Timaru

Chimneys -  a landmark

Chimneys can be a decorative part of a city's architecture. Chimney stacks from the flour mills and potteries were visible on the city sky line. Tall chimneys were built to carry away great quantities of smoke which would otherwise be deleterious to the health of those living in the vicinity. Especially tall chimneys were constructed from the inside to avoid the expense of scaffolding. The shafts of early chimneys were round and contained only one flue and the top being narrow and crowned. The Atlas Roller Flour Milling Co., Timaru chimney stack near the railway station was first operational in January 1889. It was the tallest structure in Timaru at that time. The Timaru Hospital still has three boiler stacks.

The old Timaru Hospital entrance on High Street. Note the three short chimney pots.

Dr McKenzie's house, later the house surgeon's quarters. Note the chimney on the diagonal.
Corner of High and Queen Sts permanently closed in Dec. 2011.

Grey River Argus, 7 September 1878, Page 2 The Railway Celebration
Timaru, Sept. 6. The opening train arrived at 10.15. The Volunteers fired a Royal salute, and the visitors were received by the Mayor and Borough Councillors, the Harbor Board, and Chamber of Commerce. The Town Clerk read an address congratulatory on the union of Dunedin and Christchurch by rail. The town displayed a large amount of bunting, and conspicuous amongst which was a white flag on the top of the chimney shaft of Bruce's Mill, 135 feet high.

37 Dee St. Timaru, 2005
Then came the brick chimney found on the structure's outside wall. 37 Dee St, Timaru. Dee St. is one of the old streets in Timaru. This house was built before 1920. It was not unusual to see a house with three or more chimneys.  The chimneys came inside or were incorporated on an interior-exterior wall because it was easier to design the flue. Victorian fireplaces were shallow with fancy mantles. Coal ranges were added to the kitchens. The kitchen was through the back door around the right side of the house. TV aerials are often seen attached to chimney's in Timaru.


baffler plate: an artificial obstruction for checking or deflecting the flow of gases (as in a boiler). A piece of metal, a grating, sat on spacers in a stove to allow the smoke to flow around and up the chimney. Can measure flow.
-a structure, usually vertical, containing a passage or flue by which the smoke, gases, etc., of a fire or furnace are carried off and by means of which a draft is created. To prevent chimneys from smoking the aperture is narrower at the top. The longer the chimney the more perfect is its draft. Short chimneys are liable to smoke and fireplaces  in upper stories are more likely to smoke than lower ones.  
chimney cap - American English for chimney pot
chimney pot – an earthenware or metal pipe or deflector, often cylindrical, that fit around the outside of the flue, on the top of a chimney to increase draft and reduce or disperse smoke. Origin: 1820–30
chimney pot hat - a tall hat, a bell topper. It is a monument of the Victorian era and the ascendancy of the tall chimney. It is also the crowning cylinder of a cylindrical costume to which custom has habituated polite society. As an emblem of things which the Englishman values, and still more as a badge of social correctness. Timaru Herald, 10 June 1897
cowl: a hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney.
creosote - a sticky, flammable byproduct produced by burning soft woods such as pine and Douglas fir.
  - top of a masonry chimney is called the crown
damper - a movable iron plate that regulates the draft in a stove or chimney or furnace
daub - to smear with mud or plaster. Rough cast for exterior of houses.
- The chimney takes the combustion products (smoke and gasses) to the outside and at the same time, draws air for combustion into the appliance. This movement of combustion air and exhaust is called draught.
flue - a passage or duct for smoke in a chimney. Two flues should not communicate with each other except near the top.
masonry chimney -
one constructed of brick, concrete blocks, or stone.
Queen Anne - chimney from the 1890s is an architectural style characterized by pediments and porticos, dentil moldings and plenty of fancy trim known as gingerbread.

Where did the bricks come from?
In the 1880s in Geraldine there were three brickmakers: John Brown, Sr., William Berry and Joseph Kennington and they were all from Branston, Lincolnshire, England. In 1860 John Brown, helped construction the Raukapuka homestead for Alfred Cox. Six years later he constructed his cottage at 32 Huffy Street, from hand cut bricks. He had built his own kiln at Huffey Street farm. His next kiln with a tall chimney was larger and this was at Cross Street. The two room hut that was used for an office still stands. In 1909 he made bricks for the BNZ, which stood on the corner of Talbot and Pine Streets. John Brown Jr took over in 1910 who in turned passed it on to his sons.  William Berry was a cousin to John Brown Jnr. and his kiln was on the corner of Cross and Maslin Streets. Joseph Kennington built a brick cottage at No. 23 South Terrace and from here supplied bricks for A. Kelman Sr's first bakehouse, at the south end of the town.

 Early brick was imported, expensive and only used for the chimneys but locally made bricks soon became available. The old brick building is the last left standing from what was Brown's Brickworks on Cross Street in Geraldine. Now doubt there are many chimneys in the Geraldine district built using their bricks.

Two old brick chimneys on an old limesotone homestead with a red corrugated iron roof at Three Springs, Kimbell.

Coal Ranges

The early 1900s were a busy time in South Canterbury for carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers and painters due to closer settlement and the lucky ballot drawers needed homes built. They often had a cottage built and by the time children came along the homestead had been built out of rimu with a corrugated iron roof.  I lived in a homestead built in 1914 on Sherwood fourteen miles from town and school and the district didn't receive electricity until August 1957. The house had four fireplaces - nursery, bedroom, lounge and in the living room, all large square rooms about 20'sq. The living room was where the fire was lit every morning in winter. The lounge fireplace was only lit once or twice a week or when ever there was company. There was a black Shacklock coal range in the kitchen that was later pulled out and replaced with a Rayburn, converted to diesel oil. Our neighbours on "Lesile Downs" had an Aga. These cast iron ranges were popular in homesteads in the country districts of South Canterbury because when power was lost due to snow these appliances were always on to warm the house, day and night, dry clothes on a near by clothes horse or in the hot water cylinder cupboard next to the range and the range was used for cooking and heating water- wet backs were built in behind the ranges. For breakfast it was easy to boil a saucepan of water for the porridge, and fry some fresh farm eggs with sausages and tomatoes.  For morning tea I remember Mum making some triangular girdle scones right on top of the hot plate. Many homes are now are using heat pumps, but are in trouble when the snows cause a power failure. The chimneys at home were roughcast concrete, always painted white, and had solid built-in chimney pots, looked very similar in style to Brown's old brick building. We only had one chimney fire - the first thing we heard was a tremendous howl. Mum knew immediately what was wrong and we all ran outside to look and the chimney was emitting a dense volume of flame and smoke. To put the fire out we soaked a brown hemp sack in water and covered the top of the chimney and the fire went out immediately. We did everything ourselves in the country, it never crossed out minds to call the fire brigade or a chimney sweep, we did clean the chimney by ourselves every few years and we always burned pine in the fireplaces stacked in the woodshed long before March so the wood could dry out and us kids would bring the split wood over to the house in the wheelbarrow before and after school as necessary.  My brother still has a green and cream Shacklock 501 coal range in his kitchen

Otago Witness, 27 June 1885, Page 22 New Patents. The following applications for patents are notified in the Gazette of June 18 : — for a cooking range, to be called "H. E. Shacklock's Improved Patent Portable Orion Cooking Range," by Henry Ely Shacklock, of Dunedin, ironfounder;

H.E Shacklock Orion No#1 Coal Range  Rayburn  Aga
H.E Shacklock Ltd Orion No#1 Coal Range              Rayburn, the fire box door was either left or right.                                          Aga      

A Shacklock coal range up cycled as a gas grill at a motor camp and a copper water heater split in half.

Evening Post, 5 August 1885, Page 2
In a line with the above are exhibited the "Orion" and "Sirius" ranges, manufactured by Mr. Shacklock, of Dunedin, and concerning which we are now in a position to give fuller detail. The Orion shown are Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, all portable ranges of various sizes. The smaller are intended for the use of coal, lignite, or peat, the large size for either coal or firewood. Nos. 1 and 2 are fitted with low pressure boilers ; No. 3 is fitted with a coving, platerack, and high-pressure boiler, capable of supplying 30 gallons of boiling water per hour. No. 4 is of similar construction, but supplies 40 gallons per hour. No. 6 is a beautifully-constructed and handy range, and is called the 'Improved Orion.'; it has two ovens and high, pressure boiler, capable of giving 60 gallons of boiling water per hour. If fire wood is required to be used in place of coal; the alteration can be effected in less than a minute by the removal of the furnace plate and the adjustment of a patent auxiliary wood burner, a most simple but ingenious contrivance by which the capacity of the furnace-chamber is increased, enabling 2ft lengths of wood to be used. The auxiliary is supplied with each of these ranges.  ad

The older Shacklocks were cast iron, not enamelled. Shacklock Orion 1920s, not in use as the flue is damaged. In the back is a self heating iron. The kettle is cast iron. The model on the right is Centennial Orion. Others had Orion on the door or Shacklock 501.  Other makers of coal ranges were: Wellstoods, Dorits, Esse, Dover.                 

House was built in 1910.                             

An old coal range in Fairlie still in use in January 2019. Oven top right. A country kitchen, a working kitchen, a cosy kitchen, a happy kitchen, winter warmth no trouble at all with the old coal range that needs a bit of cleaning. Looks like an AGA. AGA Cookers were manufactured in England from 1932 with two large hotplates and two ovens into one unit. The AGA is known for its longevity.

Grey River Argus, 14 February 1894, Page 2
Dr Hector, said in his official report to Parliament on the Dunedin Exhibition. He said— " A very striking class of exhibit in metal work are the grates and ranges, of which there are five exhibitors. Every maker has his peculiar advantages, and I was especially impressed with the skill with which one maker, Mr E Shacklock, had adapted his open and closed ranges for the consumption of brown coal, securing economy, cleanliness, and safety, by several very ingenious contrivances." It is worthy of note that these ranges may be set up almost anywhere ; and if there is no chimney available they can be worked with about 10ft of stove pipe in the usual way.

Otago Witness, 1 March 1894, Page 35
Over a score of years have elapsed since Mr H. E. Shacklock commenced the manufacture of ranges and grates which he now carries on in an extensive way, in conjunction with general iron founding, in his premises facing Crawford street. It- was in 1872 that Mr Shacklock established himself in business in Dunedin on a site, which forms part of the area of ground at present occupied by his works. His premises now extend right through from Crawford street to Princes street, the latest addition to them being a brick building with a frontage to the latter street, which was formerly used as a grain and wool store, but is now, for the greater part, utilised in connection with his works. ...It is worthy of note that nearly all the machines in this department were made by Mr Shacklock, and were specially designed- to meet the particular requirements of his trade. The stock of all the smaller sizes of ranges is kept in the store room. It may surprise some people to be told that no fewer than 15 different sizes of ranges are made by Mr Shacklock, and kept in stock by him. The largest is a 6ft ranges with a high-pressure boiler and two ovens, each of which is fitted with a pair of folding doors, and the smallest is a 2ft range with a single oven. The latter range, with the next larger size — which is 3ft, with an oven and boiler— is taking the place in the market of the stoves which are imported from America. The smallest range which is supplied with two ovens is a 4ft range — in a smaller one the ovens would necessarily be so diminutive as to be of no great value. Various modifications are made in the goods to meet special circumstances, one that may be noted being the attachment of what Mr Shacklock calls the auxiliary burner, the effect of which is that it is possible to burn a piece of firewood 21in long within a 3ft range. The ranges are finally constructed on four-wheeled trucks, so that they can be readily moved about, and, when they are being sent away for delivery they are lowered from the store room by a self braking lift. The whole of the machinery in the works is driven from a 14-h.p. boiler with a 10in cylinder engine. Mr Shacklock has recently had a chimney built to a height of 75ft, to give an improved draught to the furnace. Between 30 and 40 hands are employed in the foundry, the majority of them having received their training in the works from the proprietor.

Grey River Argus, 30 May 1907, Page 2
Messrs Shacklock and Co.'s Orion ranges were awarded a gold medal at New Zealand Exhibition. No fewer than 55,000 families in New Zealand are using it ; The Orion is made in sizes to suit every possible requirement. Being self-contained it can be used with a stove pipe flue, as well as set in a chimney. It is extensively used by shepherds, rabbiters and others "roughing it" in the country, more especially as it will burn any kind of fuel. The trouble of building a fireplace in temporary huts is thus avoided, and the advantage gained is a splendid cooking as well as heating apparatus.

improvement. Otago Witness, 17 April 1901, Page 61 Home Interests.

Edmonds Cookbook 1914   Mrs Beeton's Cookbook  English fare

Hard to beat - boiled eggs

Evening Post, 15 October 1912.  The ordinary English housekeeper has no notion of managing her meals with the same results as the Frenchwoman, who ekes out dish after dish from one roast of beef. It is quite true that few of us have any idea of using up cold meat, except as a coarse hash, a dry shepherd's pie, or a curry of the colours of a sluggish duck pond. It is always freshly-cooked or cold beef with the English, and the only condiment in most households comes out of the jar of pickles bought at the grocer's. Then, again, meat must always be the basis of an English soup ; whereas in a French household a cauliflower is turned into a delicious soup, and peas into a cream without any stock, but just a piece of butter and a beaten egg. It is the same with all the cheaper cuts of meat. On the Continent they are marinated that is, soaked before cooking in a pickle such as a couple of tablespoonfuls of vinegar with one of Worcester sauce, or else made tasty with seasoning. Few Englishwomen can be bothered with seasoning. As for cheese, with most houses it is bought in a lump, and has to appear until it is eaten up, whereas if a little is bought at a time it is always appetising, and that which unavoidably gets dry should be grated and sprinkled, with a little butter, on a dish of plain boiled rice or macaroni. This gives a nourishing and delicious supplement to a meal, and with it the now expensive potatoes are quite unnecessary.

NZ Icons
Shepherd's Pie
. Cut the remains of cold beef or mutton into small pieces. Slice half an onion for each 6oz of meat, put meat and onion into a dish, in alternate layers, and pour over a seasoning of catsup, salt, and pepper, and a little good gravy or stock. The pie dish should be full up to about 1" of the top. Now mash some potatoes with a good bit of butter or dripping. Fill up the dish with these, level the top firmly with a knife, then score with the prongs of a fork, and bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes less if a small pie. An egg beaten up and added to the potatoes is an extra.

A thermette. One at the lake.
Edmonds Cookery Book 3rd edition 1914 online

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19370811-52-5
Taken from the supplement to the Weekly News 11 August 1937 p52  A hot cup of tea for afternoon tea was a a New Zealand tradition and this image captures it all. You pull over and stop at a scenic spot, out of the wind, thrown down a blanket or a newspaper, and have some fresh bread and butter with a hot cup of tea. The bread in those days was un-sliced. The lady on the right is poking sticks down the ubiquitous thermette. About to boil water for afternoon tea. We have a blue one, boils water in a few minutes.

  On the other side is written Prevent Forest Fires.

Narrow Escape -The chimney flue.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

A little mist aided by imagination can give beauty to the much maligned chimney pots.

Timaru had a smog problem in June 2008 - Courier.
Pollution is recorded as "high" when the daily concentration of PM10 (particulate matter) is greater than 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air.  A WHO report in 2014 said that PM10, particle in wood smoke, is not a problem; PM2.5 and NO³ are the the problem, and they come primarily from vehicles and diesels in particular. ChCh hospital has shown no decrease in admissions of respiratory patients since the earthquakes when smoke was/is almost absent compared to prior.  In 2015 there is a new rule which requires no visible smoke from urban chimneys in Canterbury. This rule in the proposed Canterbury Air Regional Plan applies to all properties in clean air zones (generally the urban areas in the towns of Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Geraldine, Waimate) and properties less than 2 hectares outside clean air zones. The new rule allows for only 15 minutes of visible smoke following start up and 5 minutes on reloading.

Timaru Herald, 29 September 1900, Page 1 HIS CHANGE OF RESIDENCE.
"Isn't there something in my policy," asked a caller at an insurance office the other day, "about my having to report any change of residence ?"'
"Yes, sir," said the man at the nearest desk, picking up a pen. "Where have you moved to?" " I haven't moved anywhere," rejoined the caller. "I have made a change in my residence by painting it a light straw colour and putting a chimney-pot on the kitchen chimney. I think that's all. Good day."

Timaru Herald,10/06/2011 After the 2011 Feb. quake regarding a chimney in Timaru. A building owner had applied for resource consent to have the chimney removed. A condition of the consent was for the chimney materials to be kept and for the chimney to be rebuilt at a later stage. Council district planner said the owner had told the council: "I'm never going to rebuild it." The chimney was "just sitting there", he said. The council allowed that condition to be changed, meaning the owner did not have to rebuild the chimney or keep the bricks.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project