The ABCs of flour milling in South Canterbury, N.Z.  

Paddock to plate.

Timaru Herald, 19 January 1892, Page 4 WHITE FLOUR MANIA
The following letter appears in a recent number of the Australasian Miller: - Colour blindness is considered an infirmity to be deplored, but I think colour madness is a much more deplorable infirmity. Here we are spending thousands sterling in procuring machinery to dress out the most essential part of the wheat, just to obtain a white shade of flour, and then putting all our old decaying bones through a process of calcination to restore what we have dressed out. However, it is simply beating the air to try and make the starch eater to believe that anything but the idolised white loaf is any good. The way to healthy, wealthy, and wise, is to eat brown bread, and so add to your size, for nothing is more conducive to bone and muscular development than the phosphates contained in whole meal Shakespeare says, Throw physic to the dogs," but I feel convinced that if he lived in these days he would substitute roller flour instead of physic. Another writer says, "Never prophesy before you know," but in spite of this I venture to prophesy that if we persist in our mad fad of, white bread we shall in the next generation be all rickety and imbecile, especially as we are not a fish-eating people. It is high time to wake out of sleep and to make sweeping reforms as regard to diet, before we have saddled posterity with a mentally and physically decaying generation. If millers had improved their stone mills by purchasing more wheat-cleaning machinery, it would have been far better for them financially than the present system of doing all they can to pander to the popular white loaf fad, for I contend that if store mills were equipped with as many wheat cleaning and flour dressing appliances as the roller mills equally satisfactory results could be obtained. However, all things move in circles, and as sure as the saw comes round again so will a reaction set in against the mad folly of to-day

I can barely make out Mt. Cook peaking through Burkes Pass.
From paddock to plate. South Canterbury has been an important grain-growing region since the 1870s. Most of New Zealand's wheat is grown in Canterbury. Today about 25% of wheat in our bread is grown in New Zealand and about 75% imported from Australia. Australia wheat has less moisture so it makes better flour. Some say it is a myth.


In 1878, local solicitor Arthur Ormsby opened the Belford Steam Flour Mill at the south end of North Street in Timaru. The Timaru Herald reported enthusiastically, just two weeks after it opened, that the mill was so well-designed that work normally requiring five or six men here only required one. In 1880, John Gorr Allen, a practical miller, rented the mill and took over its operation. The following year it was purchased by Richard Allen, who reconstructed it in 1883. The operation then became known as Richard Allen & Co. Flourmills. The mills changed hands again in 1890, when they were purchased by Charles Wesley Turner, David H. Brown, and John Jackson. Turner and Jackson had already been involved in the mills’ operation for some time, while Brown left his position as manager at the Canterbury Roller Mills in Ashburton to take up the same position at the Belford Mills.

Timaru Herald, 31 January 1884, Page 7
Milling Enterprise. Mr. Richard Allan, son of Mr J. G. Allen, miller, of this town, who left Timaru last April for England, per British King, is returning to New Zealand by the British Queen, which left London on the 28th of December. During his stay in England he visited and inspected the largest and most modern flouring mills, and after a careful and practical test with New Zealand wheats, he has selected a complete plant of modern machinery, of a capacity of 800 sacks per week, including a 150 h.p. engine, to replace the plant now running in the Belford Mill. We are pleased to see so much push in our local millers. The Messrs Allen are well-known as thoroughly practical millers, and their enterprise is to be highly commended. We trust they will continue to be as successful in the future as in the past. 

Timaru Herald, 19 March 1884, Page 2 painting
The work of enlarging Mr J. G. Allen's Belford Flour Mills has been commenced by Mr Palliser, the contractor. The alteration in the building consists in the pulling down of the large brick store room at the back of the mill, excavating its site to the railway level, and rebuilding it from the lower level. The mill is to be fitted with entirely new machinery, a portion of which has already arrived from Home.

Milling changed from the 1880s when millstones were replaced by rollers.

Atlas Flour Mill

Atlas Flour Mill, George Street, Timaru. Cyclops pg 1015
Atlas Roller Flour and Oatmeal Mills (Evans and Company) Ltd
Dunedin architect, James Hislop, built this mill for William Evans in 1881.  early photo
W. Evans & Co. mills which produced ‘Crown’ brand flour in Dunedin and ‘Atlas’ brand flour in Timaru.
Evans Flour Mill, Timaru in use up to 1990

Timaru Herald, 25 February 1888, Page 3 EVANS' ATLAS MILLING COMPANY.
A meeting of the shareholder of Evans' Atlas Roller Flour and Oatmeal Milling Company, Limited, was held in the Company's office on Thursday afternoon. There was a large attendance of shareholders and Mr Evans, chairman of directors, occupied the chair. The chairman, in opening the business made the following statement — As you are all aware, for some years past the grain business in New Zealand has been very depressed, Home shipments in almost every case having shown heavy losses to shippers. This has been brought about through various causes, among which are over-production, keen speculative competition, quick despatch and delivery of grain cargoes by steamers, instead of sailing ships as formerly, telegraphic communication, &c. I therefore, as one of the oldest established grain merchants of this place, found that the sooner a new departure was made the better, there being no prospect of any permanent revival in the value of grain in the Home markets. After mature consideration, and my knowledge of what could be done with a first-class roller mill, I decided to consult my friends and ask them to join me in the venture of starting a roller mill of the most modern type in every way with the object of manufacturing some of the grain of this district into flour on the spot, instead of exporting the wheat to London at a loss as has been the case for years past and was pleased to find that the project was almost universally accepted by my friends, who at once agreed to take shares in the concern. I then drew out a prospectus which most of you have seen, and with which I visited the West Coast where nearly ten years of my best days were spent, and I am best known. While there, I placed sufficient shares to float the company among my old acquaintances, many of whom are dealers in flour and grain, and therefore moat desirable shareholders to have. On returning to Timaru I again received hearty support from nearly every person I asked (only people I know), the result of which in your presence here to-day. We all know that unity is strength, and I have no hesitation in saying that Evans' Atlas Roller Flour Mill will be started on a sound co-operative basis, and all we want is a fair field and honest, straightforward opposition. We do not wish to hurt any existing business, as we are satisfied there is room enough for all present competitors. Some people (there are always croakers) would have you believe that milling in Timaru is overdone, that, in fact, there is not room for us but to those we would answer: The wheat is grown in this district, therefore a market must be found for it either in a raw or manufactured state. As the manufacture into flour involves less expense here than elsewhere, and will give a large number of people employment, why not mill our wheat on the spot instead of sending it away. We have a good port, excellent shipping facilities, our grain is brought to our doors, and into our stores by rail and road; coals and water are procurable at reasonable prices compared with other towns in the colony, and our mills are within a few hundred yards of the place of shipment. With all the facilities in our favour, we contend that with prudent management Timaru milling should pay if anywhere. As someone has previously stated Timaru is the Chicago of New Zealand. When wheat has to be imported, carted and handled it will be the survival of the fittest. Our intention and aim are to make the Evans' Atlas Roller Mill superior to anything of the kind in this colony and abreast of the best mills elsewhere. Our company is not a large one, only £20,000 capital, but without going outside over £16,000 have been subscribed, and we fully expect every share in the concern will be taken up before the alteration of premises is completed. All our machinery has been ordered from the well-known firm of H. Simon and Co., Manchester. This is a guarantee that it will be first class. One of his most trusted mill wrights takes supervision of the erection of the machinery in the mill and when its erection is completed, which we expect will be in about seven months, a capable roller miller, used to the Simon system, will take charge. I may here state for your information that the company was registered on 23rd January, this year. On 20th inst. a second meeting of directors was held to complete the contract with H. Simon through his representative, Mr Radford; I think you are now in possession of what has been done, and we shall be glad if it meets with your approval. I will now ask you to elect permanent directors, in accordance with the articles of association, after which auditors will have to be appointed. The following gentlemen were elected Directors for the ensuing year: Messrs E. Cornish, W. Evans, H. J. LeCren, W. Priest, and B. B. Taylor. Messrs C. S. Fraser and James Granger were elected Auditors. The shareholders present then inspected the plans of the new mill, after which a vote of thanks to the chairman terminal of the proceedings.

  25 lb bag

Timaru Herald, 25 September 1888, Page 2
The s s. Balmoral Castle, which arrived in Lyttelton on Sunday, is the bearer of a large boiler of 14 tons weight for the Atlas Flour Milling Company. She brought it out on deck, forward.

Otago Daily Times 11 January 1889, Page 2
A Timaru telegram states that Evans and Co.'s Atlas roller mill, with a capacity 40 tons per day, has started work. The excellent plant supplied by Simon, of Manchester, went to work without a hitch. The mill is fitted with the electric and all mechanical conveniences.

Timaru Herald, 21 April 1894, Page 2
Proctor Mechanical Stoker No. 6240

Timaru Herald, 1 February 1899, Page 3
EVANS & CO., LTD. Beach St, near railway station, Timaru. Best roller flour, Atlas. Oatmeal, pearl Barley, bran & Pollard always on hand. Corn sacks and best sewing twine supplied.

Ashburton Guardian, 4 February 1905, Page 2
Messrs Evans and Co., Ltd., Timaru, have for sale their Roller Flow Mills situated near the Railway Station, Timaru. The mill consists of a sixteen sack plant by the well known Manchester, milling engineer, Henry Simon and embraces all modern improvements. Satisfactory reasons can be given for the company's action in to sell. Full particulars may be obtained on application to Mr W. Evans, managing director. 

 Dunedin architect, James Hislop, built this five story mill for William Evans in 1881. On Turnbull St. Photo starts from the bottom of the 2nd flour. Oct. 2010. MT. 2014 photo Sue White
Evans Atlas Flour Mill Co. Ltd, 6 stories, building in Turnbull St. was built in 1888. NZ Historic Place Trust - Category II. Mr. William Evans, Managing Director, and originator of this well-established and successful business, resided in Timaru when he promoted the "Atlas" milling company. As managing director of the company, Mr. Evans supervised operations both at Timaru and Dunedin. He had for many years been a member of the Timaru Harbour Board, and was a director of the Timaru Gas Company. Mr. Evans was married, and had two sons and five daughters. See the skeleton in the window. Fire in 1941 photo  

Golden Gem 12½ lb flour bagBelford Flour Mill produced a flour called 'Golden Gem'.
(built in 1878 - and closed in 1946)

Timaru Herald, 24 July 1878, Page 2
The Belford Steam Flour Mill — the name given to the new flour mill recently erected by Mr A. Ormsby on the beach, at the end of North-street is now in full working order, and has been actively employed for the last couple of weeks in grinding wheat. The mill proper has a frontage of 42ft on the beach, its height to wall-plate being 36ft. It consists of four storeys, and one interesting matter connected with it is that all the bricks used in its construction, are of Timaru manufacture Mr Shears being the maker and we are assured by the Architect that they could not be improved on, in any part of the colony. The walls of the lower storeys are 2ft in thickness, and those of the two upper storeys are l ft. 6in, all being built of brick, and resting on a solid foundation of concrete. Adjoining the mill is the engine house, which is 26ft. 25ft, its height to wall-plate being 12ft., and it has a shaft 75 feet in height. In the engine-house there is a Cornish boiler, a splendid 18 horse power (capable of working up to 30 horse power) high-pressure engine, fitted up with all the newest improvements, its maker being J. Anderson of Christchurch. The mills changed hands again in 1890, when they were purchased by Charles Wesley Turner, David H. Brown, and John Jackson. Turner and Jackson had already been involved in the mills’ operation for some time, while Brown left his position as manager at the Canterbury Roller Mills in Ashburton to take up the same position at the Belford mills.

Arthur ORMSBY  1837-1889
He arrived in New Zealand by the "Amor" on 2/7/1864 and started farming in Pleasant Valley. He was twice member for Geraldine in the Canterbury Provincial Council. He married the governess to the children of William Kenneth Macdonald, of Orari - Miss Hunt. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1874 and went to live in Timaru where he built The Bungalow. He built a flour mill in Timaru in 1878.

John JACKSON  1837-17/7/1909
Born in Derbyshire was orphaned and brought up by grandfather. Came Timaru in "Victory" 1863. First worked as boundary rider for Harris & Innes. Worked in Timaru for (Capt.) Cain and Munro, coal and timber merchants and took over business from them with Gibson. Also took over J. Dow's sawmill and in 1890 Belford Flour Mill. Jackson Street (formerly William Street).  John Jackson's timber yard and joinery factory was on the corner of Heaton St & Victoria St.. The Belford Flour Mill in which he had an interest adjoined. He owned sailing vessels employed in the timber and flour trade. Owned at various times brig "Moa", schooner "Young Dick", barquentine 'George Noble", ketch "Lizzie Taylor", schooner `Glencairn'. Lived at 12 Butler Street. Mayor of Timaru 1882-1886 having been a councillor for twenty years. Jackson's original coal yard was on the beach at the foot of George Street (Morton & Co). He had an office in Church Street (site of Returned Services Assn). The timber business was eventually acquired by Christchurch interests and move to Heaton Street. By 1902, Jackson was the sole owner of The Belford Mills Co., which became The Belford Mills Co. Ltd. when he sold it in 1904. By the 1920s, James Herbert Holdgate, Jackson’s nephew, had worked his way to the position of manager after originally joining the mill as an office boy. Holdgate continued as manager until the late 1940s, when the company went into liquidation. 

Mr. George TRAPNELL is a native of Bridgewater. Somersetshire, England, and was apprenticed to the milling business in his native place with Messrs Spiller and Co., who employ over 900 persons, and are the largest flour millers and biscuit bakers in England. Shortly after the expiration of his apprenticeship he was sent by his employers (Spiller and Co.) to New Zealand to start the Belford flour mill at Timaru, the second mill in New Zealand to use the roller plant, which was a great success. He afterwards started a flour mill at Temuka for Mr. Hayhurst and managed it for some time. Then he received the appointment of manager-foreman at the Riccarton roller flour mills of Messrs Wood Bros., Limited. Cyclopedia of New Zealand

Ghost writing - Belford Flour Mills - Golden Gem. The back side. The building to the right "Chrome Platers" was built in 1883.

The Belford Steam Flour Mill, 2 North Street, West End, Timaru, opened in 1878. Formerly the Old Mill disco in 1979, later The Old Mill Nite Club. It was the centre of Timaru's late night live entertainment from the late 80s to early 90s. Then became The Mill Theatre and now in Feb. 2011 the building is for sale. It is a large complex and the S.C. Drama League put on two shows here in 2011 so the building is still in use.  Signs on the door: 
           A reasonable standard of dress is required FOR ADMISSION
           Welcome to S.C. Drama leagues MILL THEATRE

The Old Mill was formerly in the Belford Steam Flour Mill, is so bedraggled now. Feb. 2012. NZ Historic Place Trust - Category II

The front entrance to The Old Mill is past the tree to the right. Built in 1883.

Bourne's Steam Flour Mill, Waimate

William BOURNE came from Geelong to Dunedin in 1864, and engaged in carrying produce to the Otago goldfields. In 1875 he went to Waimate, and started contracting and cropping in the district, and also engaged in carting timber, from the Waimate bush to Timaru. He afterwards started in business in Waimate in a flour mill, which he conducted for some years. Meeting with reverses he returned to Victoria, where he died from a kick from a horse in February, 1890. Mr. J. T. Bourne was born in Geelong in 1857, and accompanied his parents to NZ. He was engaged in agricultural pursuits in the Waimate district for a number of years, and in March, 1897, he took over the Makikihi Hotel. Cyclopedia of New Zealand Waimate mill for sale 29 July 1879

 Timaru Herald, 17 June 1881, Page 3 Waimate
The flour trade is represented by Mr E. Steggall, who is carrying on the flour mill lately worked by Mr Bourne. [The mill again up was for sale in August. 1883]

James Bruce - see Royal Flour Mill

One of leading sawmillers and timber merchants in Waimate in the 1870s. First chairman of Waimate County Council in 1877. In 1878 he moved to Timaru and established flour, oat and saw mills. James Bruce’s Royal Flouring Mill started work in 1882 but stopped early in 1883 following the death of Bruce’s main financier. A company was then formed to take over the mill. The Royal Flouring and Oatmeal Mills (Bruce & Company Ltd) bought the mill in October 1883 and work resumed. James Bruce was manager of the mill, but in 1885 there was a dispute with the managing director. Bruce was dismissed and the company liquidised. The Timaru Milling Company was formed in 1886 and took over the running of the mill. Pottery works were established 1939 in premises originally part of Bruce's Flour Mill.

Timaru Herald, 28 December 1878, Page 3 James Bruce new flour mill.
This establishment is erected upon section 15, fronting the railway, and has entrance from Grey-street and the Main South-road, by the timber yard on that side. The part of the building at present finished is 120ft. long by 66ft. wide, by 26ft. high. When entirely finished it will be 165 ft. long by 86ft wide. The outside portion will be built in brick, the present outside walls only serving for partitions when the structure is completed.... The timber used is mostly kauri, imported from Mr Bruce's forest in Auckland, in baulk, and red and white pine and totara from other parts. There is a bridge across the railway connecting the mill with the log yard on the beach, over which the logs are drawn on a trunk and tram-rail with a drag driven also by steam power right to the breaking down saws. Mr Bruce has erected a winding drum on the beach, and is about erecting a steam crane there also, to land the logs and stow them ready to be loaded and drawn into the mill as the machinery requires, and to suit all orders wanted from time to time. ... The superstructure is in brick, with a bold projecting roof, with cantilevers and roof lights. The doors and windows, and other openings .through are circular headed. It is altogether a most substantial pile of buildings. The chimney stack is nearly perfect in proportion, and presents a stately appearance all over the town, and must be a good land mark for vessels coming into port m clear weather. Mr Bruce was his own architect, and Mr H. Thornton was the contractor for the building, Mr. Hamilton being clerk of works. Mr Bruce had all the machinery made to his order, mostly in Edinburgh, with the additions of several systems introduced from other parts of the world. Waitangi flour, Oaten Meal, and Pearl Barley Mills, Timaru.

The Timaru Grain, Flour, and Sawmills Company Ltd. July 1880

Timaru Herald, 23 May 1881, Page 2
The most disastrous fire which has visited Timaru since the great fire of 1868, occurred on Saturday evening, and resulted in the total destruction of that fine block of buildings situated at the south end of the town, known us the Waitangi Flour Mills, and owned by Mr James Bruce. About twenty minutes past six o'clock the first alarm was sounded by the Police camp bell, followed a few minutes afterwards by the Brigade Station Bell. Streams of people were soon making their way in the direction of the glare, and in an incredibly short space of time the ground in the vicinity of the building was densely covered with spectators. The top storey from one end of the building to the other was one perfect blaze... 

West Coast Times, 23 September 1882, Page 2
Timaru. September 22. James Bruce's new flour mills were formally opened to-day. All the machinery has been imported direct from the United States. The mill consists of six storeys is 75 feet high to the bed of the roof. Its dimensions are 118 feet by 74 feet, and is estimated to turn out 400 sacks of flour per day, besides oatmeal, barley, &c. It is believed to be the largest and most complete mill in the colony.  

Colonist, 26 October 1903, Page 4 A Man of Mark
Timaru, October 25. The death is announced of James Bruce, who was a man of mark in the early days of South Canterbury first as a saw-miller at Waimate. He afterwards established a sawmill at Timaru. He erected the first flour mill, which was burned down, and afterwards re-erected on a larger scale, and owned the first roller mill in the Colony. Later on deceased lived some years in Wellington, but he returned to Timaru two years ago- being an invalid.  

Timaru Herald, 2 October 1884, Page 2
Who has been trying to hoax the Imperial Insurance Association at Christchurch by telegraphing to them from Timaru that the Royal Flouring Mills had been burned down, and that Mr Bruce had drowned himself? Some lunatic has tried the experiment, according to a telegram we publish this morning. We trust the police will ferret the joker out. Who could imagine our worthy fellow citizen, Mr Bruce, plunging headlong into the Washdyke lagoon where there is hardly sufficient water to drown a cat? He might certainly get stuck and suffocated in the mud if he dived deep enough, but if he is the man we take him to be, he would always try and keep his head above water.

25lb flour bagJames R. Bruce

James Russell Bruce b. N. Otago in 1859 was a nephew of James Bruce. In 1915 he helped establish J.R. Bruce Ltd with James Wilson, James Macaulay and John Hutchinson and built a small mill, the Dominion Roller Flourmill. A larger mill was built beside the original in 1921 but was destroyed by fire. It was replaced immediately by the present five storey mill. In 1925 the company erected a biscuit factory which continued production until 1955, but the company continued to produce flour for another 10 years. J.R. Bruce Ltd Flour Millers and Biscuit Manufacturers is definitely now Coupland's Stock Feed. Messrs JR Bruce Ltd, of the Silo Milling Company. The Company's High St frontage premises are an additional feature in the town's architectural development. They are of brick and are of substantial appearance and built on the best lines, Mr Herbert Hall being the architect, while the builders were Messrs Munro and Prosser. Biscuit tin. Mash bag. Mash bag.

Children of Janet and Archibald Bruce born in NZ:
1859 Bruce James Russell
1861 Bruce John Archibald
1863 Bruce Sarah Cummings
1865 Bruce Ann Graham
1867 Bruce Elizabeth
1869 Bruce Mary Janet

  J R BRUCE LTD TIMARU biscuit tin measures 23.5cm x 16.5cm x 7.5cm

Timaru Herald Saturday January 3 1891 Marriage
BRUCE - BRUCE - On December 31st, 1890, at the residence of the bride's parent's, by the Rev. William Gillies, James Russell, eldest son of Archibald Bruce, Grange, Waimate, to Annie Graham, only daughter of James Bruce, Miller, Timaru

Timaru Herald, 25 April 1917, Page 2 MR ARCHIBALD BRUCE
Mr Archibald Bruce, of Waimate, who died, last Wednesday at the age of 90 years, was one of the few remaining pioneers of the Dominion. He arrived with his wife in New Zealand in the year, 1858, landing at Port Chalmers, and after several years' experience in colonial life started farming at Otepopo. He removed to Waimate about forty years ago, and lived at The Grange farm till he retired seventeen years since, to live in Waimate. His sterling upright character and honourable dealings made him a man most highly respected. Until little more than a year ago his was a familiar figure as he drove himself about Waimate. He attended Knox Church regularly and retained his wonderfully robust health till last Christmas. Since then, though confined to bed, he still I took a keen interest in general affairs and was able to conduct his own business, his faculties being remarkable keen for one of his great age. His wife pre-deceased him about six years. Of his family of three sons and four daughters two sons died one in boyhood and the other four years ago. The remaining son is Mr J.R. Bruce, of Timaru. The daughters are Misses Sarah Comyn and Annie Graham Bruce of Waimate, Mrs C. C. Smithson in of Timaru, and Mrs Alec Allan, of Whakatane.

Evening Post, 29 March 1941, Page 14
Timaru, March 28. Damage estimated at many thousands of pounds was caused by a fire in a flour mill owned by Peter the pilot Timaru 1945 this afternoon. The fire broke out in the top floor of the wheat cleaning side of the building, and by the time the brigade arrived the third storey was also alight. After half an hour the outbreak appeared to be under control, as by then no flames were visible with the exception of a few smouldering beams, but ten minutes later the roof of the mill was found to be a blaze. Despite the fact that there was a brick wall between the two sections of the building, the flames penetrated to the roof and gradually worked down to the first floor. Meanwhile the roof and the top floor collapsed. Of five storeys, four were seriously damaged, and the machinery on the upper floors, comprising a sifting and scalping plant, together with fane and elevators, is a complete loss. Plant on the ground floor, comprising roller mill machinery, was not seriously damaged. Valuable wheat-conditioning and modern cleaning machinery were also lost. Insurance on the mill building and plant in the burnt portion amounts to £25,000. The biscuit factory was not affected.

Compare the photos. The building at 26 High Street has hardly changed; the original detail around the door is the same. The hospital in in the background, 200m, to the right. Bruce biscuits (opens in another window) similar view to photo

Why the saw tooth roof line? Usually the steeper side is glazed and often faces south.

Later, these mills also produced oatmeal, pasta and stock food. 

George Buchanan's mill, Waiho Flat

Timaru Herald, 15 August 1866, Page 2
We have much pleasure in stating that the new flour-mill lately built by Mr G. Buchanan (on the Waiho flat, about seven miles from Waimate), has commenced work, and is now grinding flour of excellent quality. The motive power is water, applied to an undershot wheel; and though not on a large scale, the premises are complete and convenient The establishment of this mill will prove a great boon to the district, and will doubtless stimulate the pursuit of agriculture, for which the land in that neighbourhood is eminently adapted. Its capabilities are attested by a goodly range of sixteen wheat-stacks, the produce, we believe, of about sixty acres of Mr Buchanan's farm. 

"Willow Bridge" and G Buchanan's Flour mill. The creek over which the willow bridge was built and on which Buchanan's flour mill was built (Buchanan's Creek) had the Maori name Puna-tarakao, meaning - spring in boggy ground. E C Studholme of Te Waimate said of Willowbridge flourmill - "Farmers used to come with their bags of wheat in the morning and go away in the afternoon with their flour, their bran and their sharps. I never remember better flour."  

Canterbury Flour Mill

3 News Thursday 17 Feb 2011 Historic Ashburton building on 415 West St. and SH1 to be demolished after fire
The oldest part of an historic Canterbury Flour Mill in Ashburton will be demolished after a fire this morning. The Category 2 heritage building hasn’t been used as a mill for years. All three levels of the old brick building were ablaze by 7am, and it took firefighters most of the morning to bring it under control. The old building was built in 1873.  It is currently used as a seed storage facility. No one on site was injured. There’s a lot of years of dust and debris in the building and it’s been challenging for the firefighters to get into it. Fire crews from Ashburton, Methven, Rakaia, Geraldine and Timaru are all at the fire. The Canterbury Roller Flour Mill Original Concrete Store was built in 1875.


Currently, Feb. 2012, Goodman Fielder’s Champion Flour Mills are producing flour through their mills at Mt Maunganui and Christchurch. I believe at some point in the past Champion had a mill in Timaru but I do not know when they stopped using it. I wasn't able to find out any more on the matter unfortunately. It was the old Bruce flour mill, aka The Timaru Milling Co.  

On the shelf in a Timaru grocery store in Feb. 2012.
The flour and bread found on the shelves in Timaru in Feb. 2012, is manufactured in Christchurch. In Timaru there were two firms who delivered fresh bread, Herons and Fords. I think a loaf of bread used to cost two or three pence. 'Herron's Bakery' 1984 - 1987 was on the Bank/Church Street corner. May's Bakery used to make very large square loaves, probably about twice the size you buy today.  The best time was when you could buy hot bread straight from the ovens. You only got this on Sunday afternoons about 3 pm. If you wanted fresh sliced bread, you had to wait until about 5 pm.

George Cliff's mill

His brick mill was located where the new Timaru Public Library is on Sophia St. George Cliff, the third mayor of Timaru (1873). Residence at corner of Selwyn and Marchwiel Streets where Robert Allan lived later. Business premises Church St and Sophia Street and Cliff St. Timaru Borough Council meeting 8/11/1869:- Mr G. Cliff was granted permission to build a stone store in Church St 62ft by 35ft. After sawmilling at Waimate he operated steam driven flour and saw mill in Timaru. He left Timaru in May 1883. Cliff opened the first flour (with timber) mill in Timaru in Sophia Street in 1868 still standing 1962.

Timaru Herald, 1 July 1868, Page 8
A want long much felt in the town and neighbourhood hits been supplied by the completion and partial opening of the steam flour and saw mills belonging to Messrs G. Cliff and Co. The buildings are erected on a piece of vacant ground opposite St Mary's Church, and are complete in every particular for carrying on operations. The engine-shed is 27 ft. x 16 ft., and adjoining this is the main building, 44 ft. x 33 ft., and 23 ft. 6 in. in height. Both buildings are constructed of timber, with iron roof, and resting on stone foundations, the larger one being built in three stories each eight feet clear in height. The engine, one of Marshall and Sons, of Gainsborough, England, is a nice, compact piece of machinery of eight-horse nominal power, but capable of being worked up to twelve horses. The fly-wheel, which is 5 ft. 1 m. in diameter, makes, when working at average speed, 125 revolutions per minute. The engine is supplied with water from a tank on Mr Cliff's premises by means of a wrought iron one-inch tube, of 330 feet in length. The tank is raised 16 feet from the ground, and is placed close to a well from which it is filled by a force pump. Working direct from the fly-wheel is a 3 ft. 10in. pulley, which is intended to drive both the saw and flour mill machinery. The pulley which drives directly the circular saws is 5 ft. in diameter, and makes 1000 revolutions in the minute. Close alongside this pulley is a smaller one of 3 ft. to drive the flour mill machinery in the upper floor. The saw bench is 6ft by 3 ft. There are two pairs of millstones of best manufacture, each pair weighing a ton. We observed in the upper floor a wire-cloth dresser and a silk dresser, and nothing apparently seemed wanting for securing a good trade to the mill, which we trust it will receive. [26 August the mill commenced full work]

Timaru Herald, 16 February 1870, Page 2
We regret to see other stoppages during the month, namely, Mr George Cliff, of the steam saw and flour mills, and Mr H. S. Brown, of the Timaru brewery. Mr Cliff lost heavily a short time ago through other failures, and being pressed has had to suspend payment. The estate is said to be a very good one, and is not likely to show any great deficiency. Mr Cliff was very enterprising and straightforward in business, and his suspension will cause considerable regret. In Mr Brown's estate we believe the liabilities are not large. A meeting of the creditors of Mr R. B. Sibley, stonemason, was held on the 31st ult, but nothing was done as there was little, or no estate. The unsecured liabilities were about £150.

Defiance Flour Mills Ltd  - D.C. Turnbull of Timaru established the Crown Mill in Dunedin in 1903. 

In 1996 the “big three” millers – Goodman Fielder, Defiance and Allied – operated mills in both Islands, owned 10 of the 15 mills and all of the largest ones, and produced the bulk of the output. The three biggest flour millers plus Canterbury Flour and South Canterbury Mills (1) together accounted for about 98% of the milling wheat acquired in 1996 and hence it can be inferred that they were responsible for the same proportion of the flour output. Wheat growing, flour milling and bread baking 1999 pdf 

Empress Flour Mill, Waimate - photo
The 1890 Empress Flour Mill on Queen Street is category C industrial heritage building, which means that its removal is a permitted activity. There are two plaques on the front of the building, one relating to the 118 year old structure and the other to the 1921 grain silos. With a height of 35 metres the category B listed heritage silos are the town's most prominent landmark. They're still in use and will not be demolished.

Photos taken April 2012  

Robert NICOL1845-1926
He came to Port Chalmers in the "Auckland" in 1875. He was foreman for the Crown Mills and later founded the Maniototo Co-operative Flour Mill in Naseby, Otago. In 1891 he moved to Waimate and founded the Empire Roller Flour Mill, Queen St. Waimate. He was a member of Waimate Borough Council from 1894 and Mayor 1896-1897. Cyclop p.p. 1063, 1074
Silo - Waimate, 115 feet high built at the end of WWI by the South Canterbury Co-operative Milling Company. Previously the mill was:- The Empire Roller Flour Mill
Empress Flour Mills had a private siding from 1894 to 1936. Plaque reads: "Built in 1890, the mill produced a range of products including flour which won awards at the Anglo-Japanese exhibition, London, 1910, at the Festival of Empire, London, 1911 and at the Auckland Exhibition 1913-14."

Timaru Herald, 13 June 1900, Page 2
On Monday, the employees of Messrs Nicol and Scott, flour-millers, Waimate, presented Mr Robert Nicol, junior, with a few valuable tokens of their goodwill and wishes on the occasion of his departure from Waimate for Canada, whither Mr Nicol is going for twelve or eighteen months, during which time he intends to look into the flour milling business and machinery in that country.

Ashburton Guardian, 16 April 1910, Page 2 Damage at Waimate. Grain store wrecked. 
Waimate, April 15. A nor'-west gate of unprecedented force but of short duration raged here during the early hours of this morning. The gust stuck and unroofed Dalgety and Co.'s new grain store, next to Nicol's flour, mill and opposite the railway entrance. The force of the wind must, have been terrific, for the brickwork of the entire gable and a yard deep in the rear wall, has been carried bodily inwards, and about halt the large roof of timber and iron blown, some hundred yards across Queen street. Two telegraph poles were snapped like sticks through the contact of the flying roof with the wires.

Timaru Herald, 10 May 1887, Page 3
Waimate May 9. The Waimate flour mills, situated in Michael Street, were destroyed by fire at about six o'clock last night. The mill was owned by Mr Beetham, Christchurch, and leased by Mr George Claydon. It was insured, but it has not transpired in what office. Mr Claydon calculates his loss at over £400, the mill at the time of the fire being well filled with hour, grain, machinery, and other goods, on which there was no insurance. No cause of the fire has been discovered. 

Nicol & Sons Est. 1892  

Photo taken Dec. 2014 by June E.

William Evans - A great Timaruvian

Lived at 35 Theodosia Street. Later at "Lisava" - home in North Street (now in Lisava Avenue) formerly O'Driscoll's.
Evans St. - from Wai-iti Road to Luxmoore Road was Main north Road till 1911.
Chairman, Timaru Harbour Board 1899-1904. Victorian goldfields - Gabriel's Gully (Otago) gold rush and merchant storekeeper Hokitika 1865. To Timaru about 1875, grain merchant. Promoted Atlas Flour mill (Evans & Co - mill) References: Cyclop 1015

Eversley Flour Mill, Fairlie
Sketch "Eversley Mills & Bakery" in Fairlie -1866-2000 pg40. A three story building with a water wheel.

Timaru Herald, 24 September 1883, Page 3
On Saturday another event occurred to mark the advance of civilization Mount Cook-wards, which she seemed to deserve a celebration as aforesaid, and received it. This was the starting of Mr J. G. Allen's flour mill, the erection of which has just been completed. The mill is placed near the left hand aide of the road, a quarter of a mile or so beyond the township, the site having been a portion of Mr Goodwin's farm. The building is a plain one, of wood, three storeys high, and is 40ft long by 26ft wide, with walls 27ft high. The machinery is driven by a bucket wheel 24ft in diameter and 5ft wide, the water reaching it, at about three-fourths of its height, through a flume 960 ft. long. The wheel was built on the spot, the ironwork being old. It is carried on an iron shaft 4in square, and drives a pinion by a cogged ring bolted to the spokes on one side. From the pinion shaft the power is transmitted to the stone drivers by a short belt 9in wide and half an inch thick. The wheel and fluming are, of course, very prominent features of the exterior of the establishment. The mill is furnished with three pairs of French burr stones, two of 4ft and one of 3ft 6in m diameter, an Eureka smutter and dresser, a 24ft reel, a Smith middling purifier, a rope hoist, and the necessary elevators, bins, and exhausts, and innumerable etceteras which go to make up a complete suite of furniture of an easily worked country mill. The three pairs of stones, working full time, are estimated to be capable of turning out 40 to 60 tons per week or more, and there is ample power available to make them do their best. The proprietor, we understand, does not anticipate being able to keep the mill running full tide all the year round just yet, and of course he can supply the present local demand by a few weeks running. The steady working of the mill therefore will depend chiefly upon dipping facilities at Timaru, and the state of outside markets. Mr Allen planned the mill himself, and superintended its erection. The ironwork was all done in Timaru by Mr F. J. Noble, Mr Hatton supplying the castings required, and the millwright's work was done by Mr Jeffrey. While these were being given, the party strolled to the head of the water-race to inspect the source of the motive power. This is a creek which runs through Mr Goodwin's farm with a perennial stream. The creek was not dammed in the first instance, a grating embodying the same idea as that seen at the head of the Timaru water-race being placed in the creek, with a box to lead the water into the race. This work the fluming and the laying out of the race— was done according to survey and plans supplied by Mr Marchant. The heavy flood of a few weeks ago spoiled the head works however. The banks of the creek are but ill defined, and are of loose material, and the overflow scoured away the banks and ruined the connection between the grating and the race. The grating now remains as a dam, the water being taken into the race by a side out just above it. The point is a little more than half a mile from the mill, and the water flows partly through a cut race and partly through natural hollows to the head of the flaming. The creek contains a good deal more water than ii required by the mill, and there are numerous other smaller streams about that could be utilized if necessary with very little trouble. The railway line will terminate for the present nearly opposite the mill, just across the road and a connecting siding can be laid without very little trouble.  

Timaru Herald, 19 August 1893, Page 4
TO THE INHABITANTS OF FAIRLIE and the surrounding district having bought the Eversley Flour Mills & Bakery. I beg to inform the Public that I have had the Mills thoroughly repaired by Mr Jeffery, the Mill Expert, and having secured the services of a Practical Miller, I am prepared to do GRISTING, CRUSHING, & GENERAL MILL WORK At the Lowest Possible Prices. Joseph H. Doyle.

Joseph H. DOYLE, (founder of Doyleston, near Leeston), established a flourmill at Eversley, just a mile north west of Fairlie in 1882. He had purchased land from J.E and E.M. Goodman. The mill had been built for a Mr Allan in 1880. Not long after he experienced problems with water supply because of the new railway and in about 1885 he built a small cordial factory on the south side of the "Eversley Mills and Bakery". The mill continued to produce flour until 1903. D.H. Doyle purchased the property in 1920 and modernised the power system in 1922 and in 1928 made an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the Stone Ground Wholemeal Flour trade but he did well with his soft drink factory, bakery and seed cleaning plant. He crushed and ground corn and grain for stock feed. He removed the top two upper stories of the mill in 1949 and turned it into a home. David Hastings DOYLE died 18 Jan. 1968.

Ashburton Guardian, 29 June 1921, Page 4
Mr JOSEPH DOYLE. Another of Canterbury's pioneers, in the person of Mr Joseph Hastings Doyle, died at Ashburton early on Saturday morning in his 81st year. Mr Doyle was born at Kerabraesbire, Scotland, where he was educated and brought up to the tailoring trade, which occupation he followed successfully till he came to Canterbury 58 years ago. He settled in the Ellesmere district, built a general store, and practically founded the present township of Doyleston. It was named after him. Long before the days of railways through that locality, Mr Doyle started a line of coaches between Doyleston and Christchurch and through the Lake Ellesmere districts, carrying this on in conjunction with his general store and a bakery and butchery establishment. About 28 years ago he sold out the store to his eldest son. Mr W. J. Doyle, and went out to Fairlie to manage the coach service between Fairlie and Mount Cook. He was not at Fairlie long, however, before he bought a farm, which he successfully worked for five years. He then sold out and took over the Fairlie flour mills, and carried these on with great success up to a year ago, when, owing to failing health, he sold put and went to live in retirement at Ashburton. Mr Doyle was a manor remarkable energy, and, while paying the closest attention to every detail or his business, he yet found time to keep in good physical training and became a noted athlete and the winner of many silver cups and other trophies, as welt as cash prizes, at numbers of the principal athletic gatherings in various parts of Canterbury and elsewhere. Amongst other prizes he won at one memorable gathering on Lancaster Park, Christchurch, were two sections of land at Waterton, in the Longbeach district, and this land he held at the time of his death. He was eminently successful at all Highland gatherings, and was also an enthusiastic lover of bagpipe music. He leaves a family of three sons and three daughters.

Auckland Weekly News 07 NOVEMBER 1912 p011  Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19121107-11-4


Timaru Herald, 21 January 1895, Page 3
The annual return of the trade of the port of Timaru, shows that the total quantity of imports and exports, was 76,110 tons. This is a smaller total than has been reached since 1888. It is 12,000 tons below the average of the preceding five years. The falling off was occasioned by a great drop in the wheat export, from 256,214 sacks to 83,704 sacks — or 17,000 tons. Wool, oats and potatoes and bran and sharps show increases which reduce the loss through wheat, to 12,000 tons.
Exports — General merchandise, 722 tons wool, 32,816 bales, an increase of 2103 bales over 1893; skins, 19 bales; hides, 1842;
wheat, 83,704 sacks
oats, 62,245 sacks; the previous year 48,869 sacks, 1892, 82,035 sacks
barley, 950 sacks
flour, 121,966 sacks, an increase of 11,831 sacks [probably 50lb sacks]
oatmeal, 2951 sacks, a decrease of 305 sacks
bran and sharps, 50,851, an increase of 11,727 sacks on the previous year, but much less than the average of eight preceding years.
Flour, returned at 15,633 sacks in 1882, mounted to 178,181 in 1889, and then declined. Bran and sharps have been up to 92,994 sacks in 1889.
Potatoes had been shipped very irregularly, between 434 sacks in 1888 and 63,386 in 1892.
The shipment of mutton last years had been once exceeded, in 1891, where 156,457 carcasses were sent away.

The peak export years were 1911 for wheat and 1913 for flour. Wheat growing declined during the WW1 and by 1924 wheat was being imported to keep the mills operating.


Anzac biscuit - a biscuit made from rolled oats, no eggs.
Bran - the husk of wheat and other grain separated in milling from the flour - used as stock feed
Brown bread - whole meal bread. There was very little demand for brown bread, people thought it caused indigestion.
Bushel - a dry measure of 8 gallons
Chicken wheat -
Flour- the finely grain meal of wheat. The value of wheat flour for baking depends upon the quality and quantity of protein.
Gluten - when water is added to the endosperm protein of wheat, a coherent elastic mass called gluten is formed and imparts the property of gas retention, thereby making possible the production of leavened products. Hard flour has more protein so better for bread making but needs more water.
Grey Street - see Mill Street
Grist - grain
High grade or “strong” flour. Also called Baker’s Flour is made from semi-hard wheat and has a medium to high protein content. It is used for making bread.
NZFM - history
Patent flour - the flour from the last crushing is the best and is sometimes sold separately as 'patent flour'
Pollard - a fine bran and flour mixture - used as stock feed
Porridge - cooked rolled oats
Rolled oats - oats that are hulled and steamed, then flattened by rollers.
Self-rising flour - made from soft flour to which salt, baking powder and an acid reacting ingredient have been added to produce chemical leavened scones etc. A simple way to turn flour into SRF just mix 1 cup flour, with 1½ tsp Bp and ½ salt.
Sharps - flour made from hard wheat
Smut - a fungal disease especially cereal grasses - rust. Around 1900 farmers added ½lb of bluestone (sulphate of copper) to a sack of wheat (4 bushels) to prevent smut. The bluestone was crushed and dissolved in hot water.   
Standard or plain flour, also called soft flour, is made from soft wheat varieties and has a low protein content. It is used for making cakes and biscuits as it gives the baked product a tender texture.
Wheat germ - the vitamin-rich embryo of the wheat kernel, which is largely removed before milling and is used in cereals, as a food supplement, etc.
Wholemeal - a wheaten flour containing also part of husk of grain. In 2009 whole-grain bread was chosen by 63.3% of New Zealanders.

Hayhurst's flour mill

The first flour mill in South Canterbury was erected at Milford by John Hayhurst in 1864. A three storeyed building, the mill machinery was driven by water power. Hayhurst's Milford Mill removed from its original site and set up in 1866 on the Waihi River near Winchester hence Mill Road. There is a lovely sketch of the mill in Andersen by J.T. Morris, page 410. 

Milford Mill
Mr Robert Wood, an uncle of Messrs Wood Bros., the well-known millers, had a flour mill at Milford.

Timaru Herald, 1 June 1867, Page 2
A New Mill. We understand that Messrs Wood Brothers, of Temuka, contemplate erecting a mill near the Waihi crossing, on the north road. A Bill, granting the necessary powers to Messrs Wood to draw water from the Waihi river, will be brought in at the coming session of the Provincial Council. The mill will have four pair of stones. We believe the proprietors also intend putting up flax dressing machinery to their new mill, provided the machinery at present in use in the neighborhood of Kaiapoi for dressing flax answers the expectations formed of it.

Timaru Herald, 22 June 1867, Page 2
I see by the report of the Provincial Council proceedings that we are to have a second mill in the district if the diversion of the Waihi river is agreed to. If such be the case, it ought to raise the price of wheat here, which would be a great boom, especially if remunerative prices for grain could be obtained, which certainly is not the case at present.

In 1860 William Derisley Wood's brother Henry Thayer Wood emigrated to New Zealand and the firm of Wood Brothers was founded. Henry took an active part in the establishment of the Riccarton Mill. He and William also established a water powered mill near Winchester which was later sold to Daniel Inwood. They diverted a branch of the Waihi River near Temuka, and a Mill was operated there by their eldest brother Robert who had emigrated in 1867 with his wife and eleven children, he was later instrumental in raising money for the building of the Church of England Church in Temuka, and for a short time he was editor of the Evening Telegraph. Henry Wood returned to Clapham, London in 1864 and died 26 Oct 1871.

Timaru Herald 17 January 1872 Page 2
October 26, at Clapham, London, Henry Thayer Wood, formerly of Milford Mills, Temuka

Timaru Herald, 11 March 1868, Page 1
Temuka Mills. Mr Robert Wood, having taken the above Mills, Flour, bran, sharps, Chicken wheat, 7c. at Times' prices. Wheat ground and dressed at 1s 3d per bushel. Grist taken and re-delivered in Timaru at 2s per bushel cash on delivery. W. Rutherfurd, agent, Timaru.

Timaru Herald, 14 August 1872, Page 3
MILFORD MILL. Owing to the termination of the partnership previously existing between Messrs Wood, Loughnan, and Sheath, all Accounts due to the late firm must be paid immediately to the undersigned. ROBT. WOOD, Milford.

Timaru Herald, 23 July 1886, Page 2
Mr Gray sold yesterday at Milford the goods and effects of Mr Dickinson, of the Milford Mill, who is leaving Temuka to enter upon the bacon, curing business at Christchurch. The mill will be worked by Mr Hayhurst.

Timaru Herald, 6 December 1886, Page 2
The removal of the Milford mill, formerly worked by the late Mr J. H. Dickenson, to its new site on the Winchester road, has been commenced and will be pushed on vigourously. A quantity of new and improved milling machinery has been imported for the mill, which will have a much greater capacity than the former one. 

John Hayhurst applied himself with his usual energy to managing the affairs of his large property, and in the early part of 1889 he was engaged in superintending the erection of a grain store at Temuka, and of a mill, which had been removed from Milford to the Temuka River. He several times stood waist deep in the water directing the operations, and is supposed to have received a chill which had fatal results! At all events he was taken suddenly ill on Monday, April 1 next day it was announced that he was very bad on the Thursday it was reported that he was slightly better; but on the Friday he died, at the age of 61 years.

Mill Street, Timaru - an early name was Grey Street.

In 1908 the name was changed to prevent confusion with Grey Road. Bruce's flour mill aka The Timaru Co. Mill still stands on Mill St, in February 2012 aka Champion's Flour Mill.  See Royal Flour Mill

Parrs Mill - a wind powered flour mill

This was a brick windmill on the south east corner of Theodosia St intersection with Elizabeth Place and it was completed and Parr Brothers commenced operations in February 1872. The mill was demolished in 1888. It had been converted to steam power. Demolition began April 1888. Parr Brothers also owned a water powered flour mill" Walton Mill" at Kerrytown.

North Otago Times, 1 September 1871, Page 2
Amongst local industries we have to note the establishment of a rope manufactory, and several samples shown us of clothes lines, plough lines, rope, &c, made from flax seem all that could be desired. The internal machinery of the wind-mill is nearly fitted, and the large wooden sails are ready for hoisting into their places.

Timaru Herald, 23 February 1872, Page 2
Parr's Windmill is now completed, and has commenced grinding operations. The mill, which is a conspicuous object for miles round, is erected upon a piece of high ground at the junction of Theodocia and Elizabeth streets. The external walls are of brick, and the revolving top of the mill, which is self-regulating, is of galvanised sheet iron attached to a wooden framework. The height of the building from the ground to the highest point of the roof is 70 feet, height of walls, 60 feet; the diameter at the base is 30 feet, at the top, 15 feet. The mill is driven by five wooden sails, which are easily regulated by a simple apparatus in the head of the mill, by which the flaps are opened or closed, according to the strength of the wind. The sails rotate on a strong iron shaft fitted inside the mill-head or wind-room, with a large wheel fitted with cogs on the side of its periphery, and with a powerful break round its outside, by which the machinery can be stopped at will. From this wheel, by means of lesser cog-wheels, shafts, pullies, and belts, the motive power is supplied to the grinding machinery. The mill contains seven storeys. Commencing at the top, we have the windroom, next the hopper-room, then the stoneroom, fitted with three pairs of stones next comes the stage-room, communicating with a stage or gallery running round the outside of the mill, from which, by means of ropes, the sails can be regulated, or the mill started or stopped, without going to the top of the mill. Next in order is the machine room, fitted with a screen for taking small seeds and dirt out of corn, smutting machine, and silk-dressing machine. Below the machine-room is the packing-room, and below that the ground-floor, which is available as a storeroom. The principal part of the machinery with which the mill is fitted was imported from England, baying been previously used in a mill in that country. It has all been got into position and fitted up by the Messrs Parr themselves, who besides being millers are also practical millwrights. The whole of the work reflects great credit on their perseverance and skill, and we trust they may reap the reward of their industry by receiving a good and steady share of public support.  

Timaru Herald 13 March 1872 page 4
Now completed. The mill is erected on high ground at the junction of Theodocia and Elizabeth streets. The external wall are brick, and the revolving top of the mill, which is self regulating, is of galvanised sheet iron attached to a framework. The height of the building from the ground to the highest point of the roof is 70 feet, height of walls, 60 feet, the diameter at the base is 30 feet, at the top, 15 feet. The mill is driven by five wooden sails, which are easily regulated by a simple apparatus in the head of the mill, by which flaps are opened or closed, according to the strength of the wind. The sails rotate on a strong iron shaft fitted inside the mill-head or wind room, with a large wheel fitted with cogs on the side of its periphery, and a powerful break round its outside, by which the machinery can be stopped at will. From this wheel, by means of lesser cog-wheels, shafts, pullies, and belts, the motive power is supplied to the grinding machinery. The mill contains seven storys. Commencing at the top, we have the wind room, next the hopper room, then the stone room, fitted with three pairs of stones, next comes the stage room, communicating with a stage or gallery running round the outside of the mill, from which ropes, the sails can be regulated, or the mill started or stopped, without going to the top of the mill. Next in order is the machinery room, fitted with a screen for taking small seeds and dirt out of the corn, smutting machine, and silk dressing machine. Below the machine room is the packing room, and below that the ground floor, which is available as a storeroom. The principal part of the machinery was imported from England, having been previously used in a mill in that country. It has all been got into position and fitted up by the Messrs Parr themselves, who besides being millers, are also practicable millwrights. 

Star 5 October 1879, Page 3
One of the boiler tubes at Parr's Flour Mills burst shortly after 12 o'clock yesterday, and seriously scalded James Black, the engine-driver. The explosion occurred while the other employees were at dinner in a cottage adjacent to the mill, and they escaped uninjured. The report of the explosion was heard a long way off, and on running to see what had happened, the workmen met Black coming out of the engine house with the back of his clothing saturated with boiling water, which had been ejected from the boiler. The poor fellow was in great agony, but Dr McIntyre was promptly on the spot and had him conveyed to his residence, where he was visited by three medical gentlemen during the afternoon. It is not expected that the scalds will prove fatal.

A landmark in its day. The Parr Brothers Windmill, a 60ft high brick tower, long since destroyed. Built in 1871 on the corner of Theodosia St what is now in Feb. 2010 Elizabeth Place. Demolished in 1887.  This photo appeared in the Timaru Herald, Volume C, Issue 15369, 11 June 1914, Supplement page 12. There is a beautiful Wm. Ferrier sepia photograph of the windmill from the back side in The Streets of Timaru, the updated 2011 edition page 150, see photo.

Timaru Herald, 17 April 1888, Page 2
At present one of the oldest landmarks in Timaru is being razed with the ground; we refer to Parr's old windmill. Standing as it did on such an elevated position, its "sails" were among the first things to catch the traveller's eye on approaching the town of Timaru from the north by coach or, latterly, by rail, or from the ocean by steamer. In the construction of the mill many thousands of bricks were used, and these are now being conveyed to the ground by means of a very long shoot.  

Peter the Pilot

1947"I was sure I had flour bags from the Timaru Milling Company. Wrong - but I do have a pile from the Temuka Milling Company as my Dad was Managing Director there for many years. I remember before Dad left the Timaru Milling Company in 1955 were he was an accountant being taken around the mill to see the spaghetti being made - the only pasta made in NZ at that time. Can still feel the squidgy feel of dough as it was extruded from machine into my hand.  As to Bruce's biscuits, no I haven't any mementoes, but remember the square tins with great affection. They were stacked three deep around the Milling Company's kitchen. Of course the Mill supplied them with flour hence the over the top supply. Variety was great and no one put the brakes on me for the number I took.  Also Dad we thought was Peter the Pilot in the days when they put out all the albums and cards. He had the unenviable job of answering box loads of mail requesting albums and cards. We were recruited to help in replying and filling the envelopes with albums. I loved it and still remember those hundreds of letters that had to be replied too and waited eagerly for him to arrive home with all the boxes. The frontage of the Timaru milling Co. is in High street still next to Mill Street. Note the letters at the top now filled in. When I was young birds used to nest in the gaps of the letters each year and I think that is why they were filled in to stop the mess underneath. Doesn't look as good." wrote Pam A. (CHCH) in Feb. 2012.

1938In the 1950 the Timaru Milling Company had decks of playing cards; verso shows an illustration by B. Roundhill, of tui and kaka beak. Three cards By Peter the Pilot were packed in every 3lb. packet of Red Diamond O-Tis and 2 in every packet of Oatlets. The collectors' cards were printed in Auckland but published Timaru. Cover artis  Manufactured for "Peter the Pilot" by The Timaru Milling Coy Ltd. Timaru"

1936 Famous Flyers & their planes
1937 Famous Flyer series includes card for Jean Batten.
1938 Famous planes and Seacraft
1939 Century of Progress - 36 cards photolithographs
1940 Past & Present
1941 On Active service
1942 British Might
19481943 United We Fight
1946 Victory signed by "Carr"
1947 Peace and Progress
1948 Focus on Fame
1950 Empire on Parade
1951 Aotearoa
1952 Changing  years
1953 Canterbury International Air Race, England to Christchurch

1936 Famous Flyers & their planes  Timaru Milling Company No. 25

Royal Flour Mill - Diamond Royal Mills

Timaru Herald, 23 March 1882, Page 2
The new Royal Flouring Mills, which replace the Waitangi Mills, destroyed by fire, are almost or quite ready for the reception of the machinery, which arrived from New York in the Campsie Glen on Tuesday. This will probably be the finest flour mill in the Southern Hemisphere, and the machinery to be placed in it comprises the very latest improvements in milling apparatus in use in America. It is to be hoped that this fine building will have better fortune than the previous one, and that its towering well-built six storeys will long stand as a monument to the enterprise of its proprietors. 

Timaru Herald, 21 March 1882, Page 2
The barque Campsie Glen, from New York, after a smart passage of 95 days, arrived in the offing yesterday afternoon and was boarded some seven miles out about 7.30 p.m. by Captain Mills, who brought her up. Captain Duncan Smith reports leaving New York on December 15th experienced very rough weather in the northern latitudes crossed the line on 8th January rounded the Cape on the 9th February; ran down the easting between 44 and 48 degrees. The best day's run was 260 miles. Sighted the Snares on Friday, the 17th, with very heavy weather, and arrived off Timaru as above. The Campsie Glen brings the machinery for Mr Bruce's new mill and a quantity of kerosene and barbed wire for the Canterbury Farmers' Co-operative Association. As she is only drawing about 13ft. she will probably be brought alongside the wharf to discharge. She is the first direct vessel from America to this port. [Ed. Roy (late mate of the Campsie Glen) stayed in Timaru and manned a lifeboat during the Benvenue disaster.] [Captain Smith died at sea in May and was buried at sea.]

Julius MENDELSON 1834 - 9/12/1882
The Mendelson Barn is a memorial to a colourful character of Polish descent. Julius Mendelson, had a fatal heart attack behind the counter of his shop at the barn. He was only 49, married, with a family of five children. It was too much for his widow, who gathered up her children and went back to their native Poland. He was born in Poland but went to England aged 17. Immigrated to Australia, visited his native land then came to New Zealand about 1864. He was a storekeeper at Pleasant Valley, Pleasant Point and Temuka. He financed James Bruce in the Royal Flour Mills, Timaru. Member Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works, Temuka Road and Cemetery Boards, Geraldine County Council, Geraldine District High School Committee and Justice of the Peace. He had a house in Temuka on Hally Tce. and built a brick barn, now the Temuka Pottery Cafe barn.

Daily Telegraph 9 December 1882, Page 3
December 9. Mr Julius Mendelson, a well-known and highly respected merchant at Temuka, dropped dead behind the counter of his shop while writing a telegram at 9.15 this morning. The deceased was an extensive proprietor, and was a member of the County Council and an influential resident. The cause of death has not yet transpired.

Timaru Herald 28/12/1882 - Julius MENDELSON obituary
Mr S. D. Barker was in the office at the time, and be at once administered some brandy, but it was useless, Mr Mendelson's Heath appearing to have been instantaneous. The deceased gentleman, who was 48 years of age, was a native of Piliza, in Russian Poland. He came out to Victoria when a young man, and in 1854 he met and entered into partnership with Mr J.L Morris, the partnership continuing till about three years ago. In 1863 Mr Mendelson visited his native land, his partner having preceded him. They returned to the colonies in 1861, this time coming to South Canterbury. In May of that year they opened a store in Pleasant Valley, then a busy bush village. A short time afterwards Mr Mendelson moved to Temuka, where he has since resided, opening a larger store there, and by the exercise of the energy which characterised all his doings, speedily established an extensive and thriving business. Later a branch of the business was opened at Pleasant Point, which Mr Morris took charge of and retained on the dissolution of the partnership. Another branch was opened at Ashburton and placed under the management of the brothers Friedlasnder, who in course of time purchased it. The bushmen of Pleasant Valley migrating to other fields, the village fell away, and Mr Mendelson removed his store bodily to Geraldine. In that growing township he built up another important business under the local management of Mr Pearpoint, his store and premises being the largest in Geraldine. Still more recently he has played an important part in procuring the erection of the Royal Flouring Mills in Timaru, admitted to be the finest and best furnished structure of the kind in New Zealand. Mr Mendelson has always shown a great interest, and has taken an active part, in local public matters. He was for several years a member of the Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works, and the Temuka Road and Cemetery Boards, and at the time of his death was a member of the Geraldine County Council, and of the Temuka School Committee. He was also a Justice of the Peace for the colony, to the duties of which office he devoted a great deal of time and attention. Mr Mendelson leaves a widow and five children, namely, one son and four daughters. On the day before his death he was present at the speech-day celebration at the Timaru High school, where his son who is being educated at that institution, was among the prize-taken, and took a warm interest in the proceedings.

Timaru Herald, 10 December 1889, Page 2
SILVER DUST. The Timaru Milling Company, Ltd, have pleasure in advising their Customers and the public generally that their above well-known brand of PATENT ROLLER FLOUR has been AWARDED FIRST PRIZE at the CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION, MELBOURNE. While thanking their clients for their liberal support in the past, the Company confidently look for a largely increased business in the near future. The Company are determined to keep the front, rank in producing Flour of the finest quality, and every effort will be made to maintain this position. The best article is the cheapest. Everyone therefore should use "SILVER DUST" The MILLING COMPANY'S OATMEAL it superior to all other brands in the market. Obtainable from all Grocers and Store-keepers throughout the Colony. JNO. B. RUTLAND, Manager. Royal Flouring Mills, Timaru.  

Silverdust flour. 25 lb net weight when packed.

Raukapuka Mills

Otago Witness, 8 May 1869, Page 13
The people of Timaru and the neighbouring districts appear to be fully alive to the advantage of grinding their own flour. There are at present four flour mills in the Timaru district, and a fifth is about to be erected at Geraldine by Messrs McKenzie and Co. of the Raukapuka steam sawmills.

Shipment of flour to England from Timaru - the first

Timaru Herald, 13 April 1867, Page 5
Exportation of Flour to England— The ship Leichhardt, will convey to England, in addition to a large cargo of wool, about 1000 bushels of wheat and fifty tons of flour, the produce of the Temuka district. Messrs Clarkson and Turnbull have purchased the grain and flour for shipment home, as an experiment, and should the enterprise prove successful we believe it will be the means of opening up a large export trade. We can only hope that the enterprise of the firm, who have stepped forward to test the question of the feasibility of shipping grain to England, will meet with a suitable reward by the arrival home of the produce in good order.  [No wheat was shipped] [The first shipment, valued at 600 pounds]

Timaru Herald, 13 April 1867, Page 2
Sailed: April 11 Leichhardt, ship, 621 tons, Phillips, for London. Passengers Mrs Thomson and child, Mr and Mrs Day, Mr Johnston.
Exports. In the Leichhardt, Miles and Co., agents 1609 bales wool, Miles and Co., Russell and Co., and others 503 bags flour, 1 box boots, 1 box ferns, Clarkson and Turnbull; 1 box curiosities, Kennaway, Lee and Acton. On Friday night, 23rd ult. the ship Leichhardt parted her cable and drifted towards the shore, but brought up safely with her second anchor. The steamer Geelong fortunately was in the roadstead at the time, and at daylight got hold of the Leichhardt, and towed her out to her anchorage ground. Early on Thursday morning last the ship Leichhardt, Captain Phillips, the last wool ship direct for England this season, left for London with a favourable breeze and by noon was out of sight. The Leichhardt is expected here again from London direct in the early part of November, she having been placed on the line to Timaru as a regular trader.  

Otago Witness 21 June 1879, Page 10
The principal exports by sea from Timaru for the tour weeks ending to-day were— 147,000 bushels of wheat, 12T6 ditto barley, 3364 ditto oats, 3817 cases of preserved meats, 160 bales of wool, 1847 sacks of flour, and smaller quantities of tallow, skins, malt, &c.  

Otago Witness 12 December 1906, Page 20
There is not much life in the local wheat market, and evidently not much more than hand-to-mouth purchases for actual requirements may be expected from millers between now and the new year. Until the Australian situation develops and it is known with some certainty at what price imported flour can be landed in New Zealand from the Commonwealth, millers are not likely to buy with any degree of freedom. At present they are trying to pick up little lots on the basis of 3s, on trucks northern stations, for mixed milling lines, but without a great deal of success. This is certainly the price ruling in the Ashburton district, and sales here been made at that figure during the week, but the 3½d railage discounts the price. In the Waimate district sales of velvet and Tuscan have been made at 3s 0½d, and this appears to be the rock bottom price at present, whilst other buyers have had to pay up to 3s 1d, on trucks northern stations.

Not all flours are created equal.

Temuka Flour Mill Ltd

The Temuka Flour Milling Grain and Produce Agency Co. Ltd. In 1936 this mill was producing five sacks an hour. Struck off 17 Sep 1970. Use Aero flour. photo The Temuka Mill is there at 62  Hally Terrace beside the railway line. It is still standing in February 2012 but hasn't been working for many years. Aero flour bag 25in x 17in. info.

Temuka flour mill is on 62 Hally Terrace on northern side of the town.

Timaru Herald, 11 May 1866, Page 5
A public meeting was recently [13 April] held at Arowhenua for the purpose of forming a company with a good capital to erect another flour mill in the district. Resolutions were passed that it was desirable to build another mill and a committee was appointed to select a site and arrange other preliminaries for the furtherance of the object. The introduction of machinery into the district is rapidly supplying the means of carrying on works which previously could not be undertaken with manual labour. The new landing service is now worked by a steam engine, under the superintendence of the Government. A steam saw mill has been erected in the Raukapuka bush and a steam threshing-machine, by Clayton and Shuttleworth, is now promenading the country for the purpose of threshing the grain of the farmers, in the Arowhenua district. We also hear that a large quantity of agricultural machinery is about to be imported in a vessel direct from London to Timaru by Messrs. Clarkson and Turnbull. The vessel is to be loaded home again with wool by Messrs. H. J. LeCren and Co. [nothing came of this]

Timaru Herald, 30 March 1867, Page 2
The Temuka Mill is again in full working order. The premises have been very much improved, and the district round about begins to look quite a little village.

New Zealand Tablet, 19 September 1890, Page 20
Temuka, September 15. The local flax industries were closed recently, and Aspinall and Co.'s flour mills ceased working on last Saturday week, I believe this mill has a large stock of both wheat and flour in store.

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Vol. 3 1903 pg 906
(W. G. Aspinall and W. P. Routledge, proprietors), Temuka. These mills, situated about one mile and a half from Temuka, were established by Mr. J. T. M. Hayhurst in 1889, and became the property of Mr. W. G. Aspinall in conjunction with Dr. J. S. Hayes; they are now owned by Mr. A. E. G. Rhodes, of Christchurch, the milling being carried on by Messrs Aspinall and Routledge. The mill is fitted with a complete roller plant on Simon's system. The motive power is supplied with water which drives a turbine wheel. The milling capacity of the plant is five sacks of flour per hour. The firm's brand “Lustrous Gem” is well and favourably known, not only locally, but throughout the Colony. The brick grain, store in Temuka in connection with the mills, is a building measuring 120 feet by 33 feet, with storage capacity for 30,000 sacks. 

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Vol. 3 1903 pg 906
William Plyer Routledge 1861, Herts, Eng. s/o John Routledge. He was one of the proprietors of the Temuka Flour Mills. He served his apprenticeship at the Astwick Flour Mills, in Bedfordshire. On completing his indentures he went for a twelve months' trip through America, picking up information and acquiring a greater knowledge of his trade by visiting and inspecting some of the great mills of that country. In 1884, he came to New Zealand, and soon after arrival received an engagement with the Timaru Flour Milling Company, where he remained for three years. On the establishment of the Temuka Flour Mills by Mr. J. T. M. Hayhurst, he was appointed to supervise the erection of the milling plant and to act as miller. He remained in the mill for two years, when he left and went to Australia, and was engaged by Messrs Norman and Co., of Adelaide, to take charge of their mill. After a period of some eighteen months, he returned to New Zealand, and in conjunction with Mr. W. G. Aspinall, took over the Temuka Flour Mills. He acts as miller, whilst Mr. Aspinall looks after the other part of the business. His private residence is adjacent to the mill and is, like the mill, lighted by electricity.

Timaru Herald, 15 June 1895, Page 3
A meeting of the creditors of W. G. Aspinall, miller, Temuka, was held before the Deputy Assignee at Temuka on Thursday. There were present Messrs H. B. Webster, J. S. Hayes, J. M. Twomey, S. Clinch, P. McGillon, S. G. Raymond, J. T. M. Hayhurst, S. Wright, G. H. Prattley, and Mr C. H. Tripp was represented by Mr Raymond. There were also a few unproved creditors present. Mr Salmond attended as bankrupts solicitor, and Mr White to advise the Deputy Assignee. The statement was as follows: -I entered the milling business in August 1889in partnership with J. S. Hayes. We purchased the mill from Mr Hayhurst on terms. Dr Hayes provided the working capital and I took the active management. During the first year we lost heavily, owing to a falling market, the drought (which necessitated a considerable outlay), and also to the fact that in consequence of our predecessor having placed a large line of inferior flour on the market we found it very difficult to effect sales. During that year the market had an upward movement, and as we were large holders of wheat we, to a certain extent, retrieved our position. From then until March of last year the market was always more or less depressed, competition keen, and cutting of prices prevailing. We endeavoured to put an end to the cutting by forming an association of millers, but owing to the jealousy existent we were unable to bring it to a successful issue. In March, last year, having lost very heavily, we consulted our principal creditors, Messrs Rhodes and Hayhurst, and with their approval the partnership was dissolved between Hayes and myself, and I took over the mill. At that time it was hoped that the millers would see the folly of their cutting policy, and form an association. On my taking over the mill it was arranged that Hayes, Rhodes, and Hayhurst should guarantee my account with the Bank for £500 each, to provide me with the necessary capital. For the first six months of the year I did well but towards the end of the year, owing to the depression, the falling off in orders and the difficulty in collecting accounts, I ran the mill at a lost. In March, 1895, not being able to carry through arrangements with Mr Hayhurst with regard to the liability of the old firm, he pushed us for a settlement with the result that it became known I was in difficulties. My credit was destroyed. On getting the difficulty arranged with Mr Hayhurst, I started manufacturing again, but had difficulty in procuring wheat. When the boom in wheat arose I had practically no wheat, and as I could not then buy and manufacture to a profit I closed down the mill. Mr Rhodes' agent applied to me for overdue interest and as was unable to pay he took possession of the mill under the mortgage. Under these circumstances I had no alternative but to file. In reply to Mr White he stated that at his marriage he settled all his furniture with trustees for his wife, and what he had purchased since he gave to her. The furniture might be worth £200 or £300. Found that he had liabilities for about £250 more than was in the list. Paid £9760 for the mill property in 1889 and they spent from £1000 to £1200 upon it. The following resolutions were carried Moved by Messrs Raymond and Webster—" That the Assignee be instructed to realise the estate forthwith, to collect the book debts, availing himself of Mr Aspinall's services for two months, at a remuneration of £4 per week." Moved by Messrs Twomey and Hayes That Mr Aspinall be given his bicycle and two cows, also his horse and dog-cart." Moved by Messrs Hayes and Twomey That the Official Assignee employ Mr Webster to realise the assets by auction." Moved by Messrs Raymond and Webster—"That the bankrupt be recommended for his immediate discharge."  

Ask for Aero flour. East side. Photo taken from the railway side in February 2012.

Temuka Flour Milling. Grain and Produce Agency

 In Feb. 2012 a garden landscape /contractors yard and is used for storage of their products sand, chips, shingle etc.

In 1986 Norths' Bakery in Christchurch took a 10% shareholding in Temuka Milling Company.

New Zealand Herald, 10 March 1931, Page 12 Mr. W.H. FLETCHER
TAUMARUNUI. Monday. The death has occurred of Mr. William Henry Fletcher, aged 75 years. He was born in Oxfordshire, England, and came to New Zealand in 1874, landing at Lyttelton. Ho went to Temuka where he started in business as a builder and contractor. He built the first flourmill at Temuka and carried out several large road and bridge contracts. Mr. Fletcher came to Taumarunui 27 years ago. He took a keen interest in local politics and was a member of the first Town Board. He was first elected as a borough councillor in 1915, was returned in 1917, and served the ratepayers until 1921. Mr. Fletcher was a strong supporter of the Methodist Church, he is survived by his wife, one son and three daughters.

Timaru flour sack upcycled as a pillow case.Timaru Milling Co. - the Diamond Co. site.
Built in 1882 and sadly closed in 1998. The pasta plant on the same site stayed in operation until about 2003.

In 1882, the Timaru Milling Company Ltd opened the first, and also the largest, roller mill in New Zealand. The six storey brick building with railway trucks outside and 'Royal Flouring Mills', etc. painted on building. The main brick building of the plant is six stories in height and still stands on Mill Street today. This mill turned locally grown wheat into flour. The grain was lifted to the top of the building and was then fed into a series of roller mills as it descended to the lower floor. On the ground floor the flour was sifted and bagged. Initially, Diamond was established by the Timaru Milling Company Ltd as a quality oats and flour brand for breakfast cereals and baking in the late 1880s. But in 1941, during World War II, the New Zealand Government sought locally produced replacements for international products. As a result the Timaru Milling Company received a license to manufacture pasta and the small-scale production of Diamond pasta began. Many early interior features remain. The mill was still operating in 2009 and was thought to be New Zealand’s last dry pasta plant. Goodman Fielder moved the production away to Timaru and Christchurch. Mash bag. Rolled Oats. A Diamond product.

Photo taken by M.T.Feb. 2012.
Timaru Milling Company office at 1 Stafford St., on High St. & Mill St. with blue agapanthus in the foreground ...meant to be a weed but a popular feature in many South Canterbury gardens and another weed above the O.

It was the first mill in the country to use rollers instead of grindstones. Wheat was cleaned of imperfect grains, chaff and dust, then passed through steel break rollers, after which bran was collected. The milled grain then went through sieves, purifiers and reduction rollers, after which wheat germ was collected. The fine flour emerged after a journey through more reduction rollers. The by-products, bran and pollard (a fine bran-and-flour mixture), were used as stock feed.

James Bruce owned the Waitangi Flour Mill which was destroyed by fire in 1881. He rebuilt the mill in 1882 and renamed it the Royal Flouring Mills. The building, is of brick on concrete foundation, and faces Grey street on the south, and the railway overlooking the sea on the east. The Grey Street front of the mill proper has a length of 88ft, but added to this are offices and an oatmeal department 30ft wide, making the total frontage 118 ft. The eastern or railway frontage is 74ft. The mill portion is 75ft high from the ground to the roof bed, divided into six storeys, and is covered with a bound roof of the mansard type, covered with galvanised iron and lead. The oatmeal section, on the western side, is five storeys high. The Grey street front showing 68 circular headed windows, the railway front 28, and either side 18; making 114 altogether, besides fanlights over doors. The external walls are plain except for projecting pilasters. All storey posts and corbels carrying the floors are of ironbark ; the beams and joisting are all well trusted with iron, and a new feature in building is introduced, the whole building being completely laced with iron so that any "give" is next to impossible, either in spreading or weight-carrying, making all thoroughly stiff and rigid. Entering at the main door in Grey Street the visitor is immediately confronted by a double line of shafting, 56ft long, carrying about twenty large pulleys, from which run belts to drive the seventeen roller mills on the next floor and one or two other machines.

Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Vol. 3 1903  pg1017
Peter Waldemar EIBY born at Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1854 and came to NZ in the "Friedeburg" to Lyttelton in 1875. He came to the Belford Flour Mill, Timaru in 1875. Manager of Timaru Milling Company in 1890. A little man, he used to ride to town every morning on a big grey horse, and did it in fine style". References Gleniti - David Fyfe's reminiscences 

The first mill in New Zealand to use rollers was the Timaru Milling Company’s six-storey mill, built in 1882 at 1 Mill Street, Timaru, off High St. This Historic Places building is on Timaru Milling Company land, bordering the South Island main trunk railway line.

James Bruce flour mill - built in 1882 to last. 6 storys -2700 sq.m. NZ Historic Place Trust - Category II.  Photo Jan. 2011, by M.T., Timaru heritage photographer. Photo showing silos
Features include a considerable amount of early machinery, the polished wooden floors, and the spiral sack slide which connects all the floors with arched windows at each level.
The ghost writing on the side reads:
Royal Flouring Mills
Timaru Milling Company
Millers and Grain Merchants

James Bruce flour mill, Timaru, Burton Bros. photography studio.

looking the other way

Walker's Mill, Temuka

Timaru Herald, 2 June 1893, Page 2
Mr J. H. Walker, of Andrewsville, Temuka, who has for some years carried on the business of a general blacksmith and engineer, has lately made a new departure by erecting a small flour and grist mill. The mill is of two stories, substantially built in timber, and is fitted with a "Beaufort Hunt" double roller mill and Nan-dih dresser, by B. A. Lister and Co., of Dudley, England. The driving power is provided by a 4 horse power vertical engine stationed away from the mill, but working from a winch wheel to shafting running through and outside the building. Arrangements have been made for hoisting grain to the upper chamber by means of blocks with roller bearings. Supplementary shafting allows of a saw bench being worked and a lathe, emery wheel and other appliances being driven. The mill has now been worked for a few weeks and appears likely to be well patronised. [The Nan-Dih flour dressing machine was named for Indian customers, the word meaning 'giver of flour'. It was patented in France, Belgium, Canada, USA and elsewhere and reports comment that the flour it produced was of 'exceptional condition' and 'unheated'.]

Walton Flour Mill - Mill farm / Mill Road, Kerrytown - Pleasant Point. Map Reference S.111 717.675
William and James Parr

A water powered flour mill commenced business in April 1867 by Parr Brothers. Milling ceased in 1905. Parr Bros. owned 20 acres -section 5345 near Opihi 1863 hence the name Mill Road also known as Stonyers Road. William Stonyer was farming the Mill Farm property in 1882. Purchased by Joseph Scowen in 1893. 1898 Walter J. Standen, miller, of Mosgiel, proprietor. Mill Farm was purchased by James Cartwright in 1904. Changed hands several times. Walton Mill was a three storeyed building the water wheel being ten feet in diameter.  An old water wheel in Mill Road is the only remains left now, as of 2017. Cyclop p 824 Mr Stonyer came out on the ship "Cameo" in 1859.

Timaru Herald, 4 July 1868, Page 1
WALTON MILLS Messrs. PARR BROTHERS, having repaired the damages caused by the late flood, are now ready for receiving Grist; and hope by turning out a good article to merit a share of public patronage. Superfine silk-dressed Flour, Bran, Sharps, and Chicken Corn always on hand.

North Otago Times, 26 June 1874, Page 4
For sale, The WALTON MILL, and 200 Acres first-class Agricultural Freehold Land, 10 miles from Timaru. The land is fenced, 100 Acres in Grass, and divided into five paddocks. The Flour- mill is a good one, and has two pair of stones. There is also a Dwelling-house and Stable on the promises. Part of the purchase money may remain at interest if necessary. Apply to Tate and Ross, Land Brokers, Timaru.

Timaru Herald, 5 December 1885, Page 1
WALTON FLOURMILL. J. P. SCOWEN, HAVING TAKEN THE ABOVE MILL respectfully solicits the SUPPORT of the Farmers and Public of Pleasant Point and surrounding Districts. GRISTING AT FOLLOWING RATES :—
WHEAT, 9d per Bushel.
PIG FEED, 3d "
FLOUR (best quality), 16s per sack.

Timaru Herald, 30 June 1890, Page 1
Eversley MILL AND BAKERY, Fairlie Creek. J. P. SCOWEN having taken the above mill respectfully solicits the support of the residents in the surrounding districts. THE WALTON ROLLER GRISTMILL, Pleasant Point. A Thoroughly Competent Miller has charge of this mill who will uphold the good name the mill has gained for gristing. Our well-known custom of farmers from a distance having their Grists Ground over night so as to return next day will be continued. Accommodation given to man and horses. Chaff-cutting will be discontinued, J. P. SCOWEN.

Timaru Herald, 10 July 1890, Page 3
Mr J. P. Scowen, of the Walton Mill, wrote that he was short of water at the mill, and asking if the council could supply him with some from their race. Mr Meason thought that some water could be spared. Mr Barker said they should get as much for the supply as possible to lighten the cost of maintenance to the ratepayers. The mill should pay all expense too.

Timaru Herald, 1 May 1894, Page 4
Mr Joseph Scowen, proprietor of Walton with 20 years Home and Colonial experience to keep pace with the times refitted his mill with new machinery from America, the Cornelius Internal roller Mill. The inventor has put two steel wheels one outer wheel revolving at about 120 revolutions per minute, and one internal wheel revolving the same way at 400 revolutions per minute. These wheels are "milled" differently, and that internal wheel is so arranged that the extent of contact is about 2 inches, so that the large outer wheel holds the grain while the fast internal wheel grinds or scoops out the flour at once, the process being one of grinding and not bruising. The shell of the wheat comes out flattened and almost whole, mid as a consequence large bran is the result. The flour is then put through the smooth steel wheels and ground as fine possible and then conveyed in the ordinary way direct to the silk sieves, which turn out the whitest of flour and the cleanest of bran. There is very little pollard owing to the new process of grinding direct and avoiding the bruising. The mill is only about two miles from the Pleasant Point station. Farmers are already carting in their grain, and his mill is now filled with wheat. Walton mill is only about two miles from Pleasant Point station, and is situated in a picturesque spot. The pretty avenue of eucalypti, the terraced water race, willow bound, and the slowly turning splashing wheel give quite a charm to the place. The machinery is capable of turning out 30 bags per day.

Timaru Herald, 29 August 1894, Page 1
Special Notice to farmers. J. P. SCOWEN, WALTON GRIST MILL, Pleasant Point. In deference to the wish of my many Clients, I have taken out all my old machinery, and have fitted up the Mill with a New Steel Roller Plant, of the latest design, and can now turn cut flour equal to the best.
Wheat Gristed ... 8d per bushel
Lots over 100 bushels 7d per bushel
Corn Crushed 2d, do. Ground 3d Extra Fine 4d.
Farmers bringing wheat from long distances can have it ground over night, so as to return next day. Accommodation found for man and horses.

Timaru Herald, 18 August 1900, Page 1
WALTON ROLLER FLOUR MILL PLEASANT POINT. The above Mill is new ready for this SEASON'S GRISTING. All work will have my Personal Attention. ROLLER FLOUR, WFEATMEAL, BRAN. POLLARD, Etc., at Town Prices or Cash, W. J. STANDEN Pleasant Point

Winchester Flour Mill established in 1873 by Inwood Brothers of Christchurch.

Harrison Flour Mill Feb. 2012 on SH1 as you enter Winchester from the north. It is on the right hand side.

Daniel Inwood sold his flour mill on the Avon, ChCh, and purchased land from Wood Brothers at Winchester / Waihi Crossing as it was referred to in those days. He named the mill Winchester after his home in England. Walter Rutland, a Temuka builder, constructed the first part of the mill. Daniel had a 1.2 km water race constructed to bring water to drive the overshot water wheel, the power source. The mill started producing flour on 30th June, 1873. Sons, Daniel N. and Frederick operated the mill until 1885 when they leased it to the Murray Brothers. In 1887, W. Harrison took over the lease and purchased the mill around 1900 and soon had the roof risen for installation of additional machinery. In 1908 a dam was built with a 2 ½ hectares pond and the water wheel was replaced with a water driven turbine. The mill was still in the Harrison family for its centenary in 1973.

Timaru Herald, 18 March 1872, Page 2
New Mill at Waihi Crossing.— Mr Rutland, builder, of Temuka, is the successful tenderer for the erection of an extensive new watermill for Mr Inwood, at Waihi Crossing. The water race has been made some time it is a diversion of the Waihi river along an embanked cutting, nearly a mile in length, and the stream will drive a breast wheel which will possess great power. The site of the mill, being at the junction of the roads from Geraldine, Pleasant Valley, Kakahu, Orari, Temuka, and Milford, is one of the best for business that could well be found.

Timaru Herald, 10 October 1873, Page 3
Waihi Crossing. It is not unpleasant to note the various signs of progress temporal, social, educational, and religious that manifests themselves in the little communities that ever and anon are springing up throughout the land. Waihi Crossing, though as yet, a small place, bids fair to be a pleasant little village by and bye. It is prettily situated on good and comparatively elevated ground, at the junction of the Geraldine road with the Main South-road. It is well watered at the back and western side by an unfailing creek, and it is we believe, one of the projected sites for a railway station. It has an excellent hotel, a good blacksmith's shop, a store well sacked, a shoemaker's establishment, a capital mill, and an efficient school. Shortly also, it will be able to boast of one or two other useful institutions, a bakery is in progress, a butchery is about to be started, and a public library and reading room is just on the eve of being erected. An eligible site has been generously granted by Mr Inwood, the founder of the township. The trustees in whom the property is to be vested are three, the Rev. George Barclay with Messrs Inwood and Taylor. Among other advantages possessed by the little township are a class for the practice of sacred music, on Friday, conducted by the Messrs Inwood, aided by a harmonium, and Divine Service held in the schoolroom by the Rev. George Barclay on the second and fourth Sabbath of each month, and by the Rev. Jas. Preston on the first and fourth.

Bread was a staple for the English settlers. The consummation of flour has declined markedly since the 20th century and is attributed to a number of factors including the lower energy requirement of man because of labour saving machinery and higher standards of living.

Timaru Herald, 22 February 1879, Page 4
WINCHESTER FLOUR MILLS. The above named mill has, this day, been transferred to Messrs Murray Brothers, who will, in future, conduct the Business in all its branches. INWOOD BROS. Winchester, Feb. 20th, 1879.  In reference to the above advertisement, the undersigned beg to state that the latest English and American Machinery has been introduced, and the milling power largely increased. For fitting and equipment through- out, the Mill will bear favorable comparison with any in the Colony, and a thoroughly competent Foreman of Australian and New Zealand experience has been placed in charge The Wholesale Business will be under the personal charge of the Owners, who will be prepared to guarantee their produce to be Equal to the Best in the market. Best Milling samples of Wheat Purchased at Highest Current Rates. Gritting will be carefully attended to. MURRAY BROS.

Timaru Herald, 6 April 1894, Page 4 Winchester Flour Mills - Harrison Flourmills 

THE WINCHESTER ROLLER FLOUR MILL (William Harrison, lessee), Winchester. This old established mill was erected by the late Mr. Daniel Inwood, the first miller in Canterbury.  It had a successful history as a three-stone mill for years, but the universal change from stones to rolls compelled the owner to convert it into a roller flour mill, and supply it with the finest and most modern machinery.  The mill's capacity is now two-and-a-half sacks per hour, on a system of four breaks and six reductions.  It is provided with cleaning machines, separators, a magnetic wire-extractor, smutter and brush machine. The building is three stories in height, and it has abundant room for storage of wheat.  Motive power is supplied by a new American turbine of thirty-two horse power. The turbine is twenty-five inches in diameter, and it is operated by water with a head of fifteen feet. Most of the machinery was supplied by the well known Manchester firm of Henry Simon. "Reform" is the brand borne by the mill's four, which finds an ever ready sale in the district.
    Mr William HARRISON is a Yorkshire man, who came to New Zealand in 1880, and after being for some time on the Longbeach estate he worked for two years at the Winchester flour mill then leased by Mr. Murray. Mr. Harrison then visited America and spent two years in one of the largest mills in Minneapolis. After that he visited England, where he remained eighteen months, and then returned to New Zealand by the way of Melbourne and Sydney. Mr. Inwood offered him employment in the Winchester mill, and he worked there for about three years prior to taking a lease of it when Mr. Inwood retired from the business in 1889. photo by Weeks Ltd: Interior view Winchester Roller Mill Reference: Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Canterbury edition. Vol. 3  pages 889-894. Published 1903

Harrison Flour Mill, Winchester Feb. 2012

Ashburton Guardian, 22 December 1906, Page 4
Messrs Guinness and LeCren, Ltd report the sale of the following properties :—
On account of the executors of the late D. N. Inwood (in conjunction with the Farmers' Co-operative), their farm containing 203 acres, situate at Winchester, together with the Winchester Flour Mill and Buildings, to Mr Wm. Harrison.

The old Carlton mill on the Carlton Mill Road, ChCh, was started in 1854 by Woodford and Stevens, and that on the Mill Island in Hereford St. by Daniel Inwood in 1858 [on the Avon River near Hereford Street bridge.] The provincial authorities welcomed the erection of these mills, as the grinding of wheat for local requirements was a somewhat difficult problem. Reference: The Early Days Of Canterbury: 7. Old Identities 

Timaru Herald
30/06/1973 - Harrisons centenary
01/04/1974 - Winchester Mill closes down
03/04/1974 - Water originally drove Winchester Mill
27/10/1977 - Farmers take over milling company
13/06/1992 - Noel Guthrie write-up Old Winchester Mill a pioneer standing idle.

Guthrie, Noel Memories / 1992 Compilation of sketches and articles covering the early history of Canterbury, Otago and Southland. Weekly articles were originally published since 1990 in the Timaru Herald and Ashburton Guardian.  There is a lovely sketch of the Winchester mill in Noel's first Memories book. In 1992 the red oxide painted three story building with a gable roof had a yawning over the doorway at the front and two large silos to the left, landscaping in front and unbroken window panes.

January 2012 - Paula Fraser.
Jan. 2012 l to r. 5 stories Coupland Feed Stock Mill far left, with banner around upper storey. 
Mill St. does not go all the way through to the port.
Former 30-metre high Bruce Flour Mills, later Timaru Milling Co. silos to the right of their six building, the one with the building outline.
The Heaton St. Crossing -  Feb. 2012 map  Nov. 2011
In the middle, two green trim brick stores/warehouses built for the local CFCA (Canterbury Farmer’s Co-operative) 1 Heaton St.  See an old photo. The one on the left (south), now a gym in 2012, was completed in July 1892, as an extension to the other which was completed in 1882 (reported in the Timaru Herald on 11/7/1892 and 16/2/1882 respectively). In 1881 CFA leased the land from John Jackson, for five years, under a purchasing lease. In 1892 an addition 160ft long by 68ft was completed with F.W. Marchant, as architect and F. Palliser as the contractor. The concrete foundation was sunk down 10ft to clear the shingle on the beach frontage. The first floor is supported by 16 by 12 inch ironbark girders weighing 4 ton each. The ends of the girders rest on bluestone piers.
Belford Mill far right, the Old Mill Nite Club entrance on the far side.

Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.
27 Oct. 1972 Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Ground to a halt

Star 31 December 1881, Page 3
The building trade was surely never so actively employed in Timaru as it is at the present time. In all directions an active consumption of bricks and mortar is going on. The handsome office for the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, adjoining Jonas' building, are making good progress: and so are the new buildings for the National Bank, next to the National Mortgage and Agency Company's office. Further south, the section whereon Mrs Hope's shop was burned down a short time ago, has been prepared for a range of new shops, and the concrete foundations are already laid. On William street, facing the Market Place, a good-sized brick building is going up and cottage have lately sprung up like mushrooms, unobserved till they are up, in all parts of the town. The new Waitangi Mills, however, eclipse all the rest. The original building, destroyed by fire on May 21 last was probably the finest its class in Canterbury. The new building will have few, if any, equals in the Colony. Already five storeys are completed, a sixth is being proceeded with, and when this is finished and the parapet added, "Bruce's chimney," hitherto a standard for comparison for great heights, will be dwarfed by the big mill to comparative insignificance. The consumption of bricks in the erection of this building is something to wonder at; a donkey engine is kept busy all day winding up barrow- loads to the workman above. On the beach level, at the next, street northwards, a commencement has been made with the erection of large stores for the Farmers' Co-operative Association, and a portion of the foundation are down. On Friday a commencement was made to excavate the unsightly clay bank between Wildie, Allan and Stumbles' Horse Repository and the main road, to make room for a range of sightly shops.

Timaru Herald, 14 May 1888, Page 3 SHORT WEIGHT.
To the Editor of the Timaru Herald. Sir, — Will you kindly inform me if there is a four-pound loaf sold in Timaru, or if the bakers are to sell by weight or by the loaf, or if there is an inspector of weights and measures in Timaru, or by what means justice is to he found, as wheat at one halfpenny per pound should allow bread to be sold for less than three halfpence per pound. Your answer to the above will kindly oblige. I am, &c, A. Bread-Eater. [It is the duty of the local authority (County Council or Borough Council) to appoint an inspector. — Editor T.H.]

Timaru Herald, 2 June 1893, Page 2
We are informed that a line of 400 tons of flour has been sold by a Timaru mill, for delivery at any time within six months, at £6 15s per ton. The mills north and south are also selling at rates considerably below those ruling a few months ago. The reductions in flour follow naturally on the lower prices of wheat. Somehow or other the price of bread does not depend so much on the price of flour as on other things when flour is on the down grade, though if flour rises it affects the price of bread at once. Householders from time to time show unreasoning irritation at this peculiarity, and somehow or other the bakers never ease their minds in explaining what are there other things which cause the price of a loaf to go up with the price of flour, and to stay up when flour comes down.

Poverty Bay Herald, 13 October 1902, Page 4
The Millers Association. The Otago Daily Times says:—Taking advantage of the presence in Dunedin of Mr G. Jameson, (general manager) and Messrs Thomas Meek (Oamaru), Aspinall (Temuka), J. Fleming (Invercargill), and W. Evans (Timaru), directors of the New Zealand Floor Milling Association, a conference was held on Thursday evening with the Dunedin millers, with the object of discussing the future prospects of the Association, especially in view of the fact that, the present agreement expires early next year. The conference being of a private function, the exact nature of the proceedings did not transpire. Mr Jameson, however, states that nothing was definitely decided upon, and the whole matter is still in abeyance. He was hopeful that the difficulty which prevented the existing agreement from being binding upon, the Timaru Milling Company and Messrs W. Evans and Company would be bridged over. He also said that the alternative proposal—outlined in, the Daily Times some weeks ago—of syndicating all the New Zealand mills had not yet been fully discussed. With regard to the importation of Manitoban flour, Mr Jameson said' that they did not propose to take any notice of the Foreic's shipment, as it was too small a parcel to materially affect them. The Association was kept advised by cable of all shipments of American flour consigned to New Zealand, and should there be a disposition shown to bring regular shipments of Manitoban flour to this colony, the Association would seriously consider the question of protecting the New Zealand millers, even to the extent of lowering the price of local flour in order to crush out the American article. So far, however, nothing had been decided upon in that direction. The real difficulty, of course, was in the fact that, with wheat at its present high level; millers could not afford to have the price of flour reduced without losing money.

Poverty Bay Herald, 5 September 1907, Page 4
For years the demagogue has found the Flour Millers' Association a favorite dog to beat, but the mere fact that even now Australian flour is making its way into the colony in spite of the duty of 20s a ton, is sufficient proof that the New Zealand millers, either individually or in combination, are unable to exploit the local consumer. The Premier warned the colony, in his last Financial Statement, that while the remitted duty of 20s on flour could not be parcelled up among the purchasers of loaves, its remission would mean the downfall of mills which as matters stand are unable to keep out foreign flour. The crippling of the local mills could not fail to have an adverse influence upon cropping operations, which even now barely suffice to supply the requirements of the colony. This is a point for the special consideration of the Farm Laborers' Union, which has lately been organised with such vigor. The demand for farm labor arises principally in connection with grain-growing, and if this branch of agriculture is further discouraged by interference with the tariff, employes in the flour mills will not be the only workers who will have to seek outlets for their energies

29/08/2007 Despite new management and an improved performance in the second half, Goodman Fielder's New Zealand operations dragged on the group's full-year result. Good strides had been made in the baking business in New Zealand after the structural changes, but there was still a way to go. "We've got some underperforming elements of that business that we've got to do some work on, particularly in our pies business." The Home Ingredients business was going through a major brand rationalisation, as well as work on product innovation and marketing. This could see smaller brands such as Champion flour disappear from the market, as Goodman Fielder moves to consolidate its brands under the Edmonds banner. "As a result of Edmonds brand expanding we're rationalising a lot of brands under that one umbrella."    

To grow a good crop you need an early winter, dry spring, cool nights and plenty of sunshine.


Andersen, Johannes C., Jubilee History of South Canterbury; 1916.
Cyclopedia of New Zealand aka "Cyclops!"
The Past Today- Historic Places In New Zealand, edited by John Wilson published for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust by Pacific Publishers in 1987
There is a chapter: In the Land of Wheat, Timaru's Flourmills by Noel Crawford pages 112-121
The Streets of Timaru
, the beautiful 2011 updated version 
What is a cup?


Bay Of Plenty Times, 23 December 1904, Page 5
She measured out the butter with a very solemn air,
The milk and sugar also, and she took the greatest care
To count the eggs correctly, and to add a little bit
Of baking powder, which, you know, beginners oft omit;
Then she stirred it all together, and she baked it for an hour,
But never quite forgave herself for leaving out the flour.

Banana Scones.—Take one tablespoonful butter, one tablespoonful sugar, one egg, two ripe bananas, two cupsful self-rising flour, half cupful milk. Peel the bananas, remove all string, and mash well. Then cream the butter and sugar, add the beaten egg, then bananas, sifted flour, and lastly milk, making into firm dough. Turn on to a floured board and knead slightly. Roll out half-inch thick. Cut into rounds or squares. Glaze with a little milk. Bake in moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Afghans biscuits - make them small in size so they are eaten and enjoyed as a treat food.

250g butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1½ cups flour
½ cup dark cocoa powder
1½ cups cornflakes
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Cream the butter and caster sugar. Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix well. Add the cornflakes and mix, until just combined. Place spoonfuls on to trays. Flatten lightly with a fork. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack. When cold ice with chocolate icing. Icing sugar, butter, hot water and cocoa mixed to stiff paste.

Ashburton Guardian, 16 July 1913, Page 6
Mrs Newlywed's exploits in the kitchen have long served to add to the gaiety of nations. "I wish to complain," said the bride, haughtily, "about that flour you sold me. It was tough." "Tough, ma'am" asked the grocer. "Yes, tough. I made a pie with it, and my husband could hardly cut it."

Timaru Herald, 3 November 1900, Page 5
Mistress (greatly scandalised) "Is it possible, Mary, you are making bread without having washed your hands?'
New Kitchen Girl: "Lor', what's the difference, mum? It's brown bread."

Did your mother buy brown bread? email a comment
In 1900s there was a stigma associated with brown bread. In the early 1900s white bread was preferred. Brown bread was associated with poverty, as unprocessed wholemeal flour was cheaper. Breads varied only in shape. Free-standing loaves such as the oval Barracouta and the round Scone loaf gave way to loaves baked in tins, which were easier to cut for sandwiches. Not till the 1940s was wholemeal bread promoted as being healthier than white. Even in 1985 63% of all bread was the white variety...although this number has decreased significantly due to the huge range of breads now available. So I think New Zealand has always had the history of being a white bread nation, so maybe rather than a stigma it was more about availability.

Mum didn't buy any brown bread because Dad didn't like it. The Hay boys would bring loaves of bread home on the school bus, it was always brown bread. Our house was built in 1914, had three large pull out bins under the kitchen counter for flour, sugar and bread, they could handle a 50 lb sack. These tip bins were wider at the top, narrow at the bottom. We picked up our bread from Pynes in Fairlie, white rectangular loaves, unsliced, and no wrapping. O.B.1960s Sherwood
      Mum bought brown bread sometimes in later years and we hated it! She bought mainly white. The mailman left the bread in the mailbox at the corner. Whoever walked down to get the mail had a lovely nibble on the way home. After the war Mum made the bread in the coal range oven. I remember liking that.
M.T. Tripp Settlement
    I really have no memory of brown bread being sold as an alternative to white but standard purchase was either a whole and/or a half which was pulled apart.  Bread came straight from the oven, the wonderful smell permeating the street, never sliced then and with a delicious white snowy centre and often air holes throughout - not found today's bread.
W.G. Allandale
    As for brown bread I don't think my Mother ever thought healthy food when I was growing up but of course in those days we didn't have year round access to all the fresh stuff we do today so I think I can safely safe the bread was usually white and at times raisin bread. A. L. Fairlie
Don't recall brown bread. We got our bread from Sandy Edwards, father of Max & Betty, near the school. I can see all the lovely loaves lined up on the bench when I called before school.
John S. Fairlie. 1930s Alex Edwards and his wife operated a bakery on Gall St., Fairlie and delivered bread to the locals. Cottage loaves and half cottage loaves were very popular. J.S. Fairlie
    Can't recall brown bread specifically, but bread brought from both bakeries, one opposite Jones Motors, Mackenzie I think, the other Edwards beside the back entrance to the school. A pie and two buns for sixpence.
A.S. Fairlie.
    No brown, a white Vienna generally, it was delivered for while then at the Gleniti Store.
Ed. F. Jan. 2013

I noticed that at breakfast my father and I had white bread, and my mother always had brown bread. As the years have gone by I now thoroughly enjoy brown bread.   

Press, 28 April 1905, Page 4
The bakers of Timaru have reduced the price of the 41b loaf to 6d.

Bread Token, brass (26mm) Pure Bread Co. Timaru 2lb loaf  

A rising man. The yeast maker.
The only industrious loafers are the bakers.

Timaru Herald, 14 June 1898, Page 2
Bakers and others will do well to take note of a case heard in the Magistrate's Court yesterday, as showing that a baker's cart is a "shop," and that drivers of carts are "shop assistants," and must be given the weekly half-holiday with legal exactness of hours.

Dominion-post Early March 2009 The missing n.
It's amazing how much difference one little letter can make. Ask the staff at May's Bakery in Timaru who this week learnt that David Letterman, a United States television host, had picked up on an innocuous, but funny mistake in the bakery's adverts, simply brought about by a missing 'n'. People reading the ad, which ran in a Timaru Herald supplement in mid-January, could be forgiven for thinking there had been a drastic change in ingredients. It read: "May's Bakery. Home of the famous Mice pie." In print for all to see, the clipping found its way to the CBS programme Late Show with David Letterman, on March 2, in the small town news segment. Letterman's reaction summed it up: "Things are different in New Zealand."  General Manager Sue Lyons said it was perhaps the most attention a May's advert ever had and that she wouldn't mind sending Letterman a few pies for him to try. She said staff and customers at the bakery couldn't help but have a laugh at the faux pas after it appeared in print and they even played on it. "We had the bakers make some novelty mice out of meringue."

2010. May's Bakery 162 Stafford Street, Timaru  

Timaru Herald Jan. 26 2013 Century-old recipe changes hands
Wendy and Phillip Smith have sold Mays Bakery to Bernie Sugrue who takes over on Monday with plans to expand the iconic Timaru brand. He planned to investigate the original recipe and make sure they were sticking to it. "We won't be making mice pies though." May's Bakery was first established in 1914 by Scottish baker Alex & Ethel May in Pleasant Point. May's Bakery then shifted to High Street in Timaru in the late 1920s followed by a final move to its current location on Timaru's main street. The pies are made to a traditional Scottish recipe of a scalded dough, which gives it its unique flavour and look. Alex died in 2003. Mrs Smith is the granddaughter of Alex May, who came from Scotland and set up the business in 1914. Alex May's father was a baker in Scotland and Alex worked as fisherman in Timaru before starting the bakery in 1914. The couple travelled to his home in Peterhead and discovered similar tasting pies. It is a Scottish recipe. It's a scalded or boiled pastry that isn't flaky. It's also a mutton pie with secret herbs and spices and unlike most pies is hand-made. The food industry has changed dramatically with supermarkets, but slowly bakeries are starting to make a comeback as people go back to the traditional cakes and pies.  

Timaru Herald 8/9/2014 Timaru bakery enters new era
May's bakery took another step in its 100 year anniversary celebrations on Friday by opening its new factory in Washdyke. Owner Bernie Sugrue said it was satisfying to see the bakery take on its new, high-technology, mass production form in its centenary year. May's descendants have since sold their wares, which include the signature May's pie, from premises in Timaru's High St and Stafford St and Temuka's King St. Sugrue acquired the business last year from Wendy and Phillip Smith, and said he was proud of the completion of the $250,000 renovation on Hilton Highway. The new factory is expected to substantially boost the bakery's production of sweet and savoury baked goods. A shop attached to the factory is expected to open in November.

 May's no longer make bread. J.G. Trengove built their bread van.  

A new mill in the middle of New Zealand's grain-growing area and would provide big transportation and logistical benefits. New flour mill opened May 30 2013 by John Key, PM. The Farmers Mill, a mill is built to grow, is owned by Timaru Company Grainstor is located at 47 Meadows Rd, Washdyke. There are two other mills in the South Island and both are in Christchurch. 2015. Rising dough puts Murray and Margaret on rich list in 2014. In 2018 Murray still growing. see page 7.

IH 1086 tractor 

Flour Power, by Regan Gentry, 2008  

Flour Power is located in a pedestrian congregation point at the intersection of Colombo, High and Hereford Streets, Christchurch. When I first saw it I thought of wheat and not street lights. It is a massive wheat sheaf made of 13 metre tall galvanised steel lampposts and it survived the earthquakes. The wheat crop was the foundation of early economic development in Canterbury. Much local nostalgia is linked to wheat. The city was home to the now demolished Edmonds Factory along with fine traditions of baking and agriculture. The ‘stooked’ (stacked to dry) sheaves, was a scene which caught the eye of Regan Gentry who said "In Canterbury, fields of crops have given way to fields of houses. Rows of wheat have been replaced by rows of streetlights. Farm tractors have grown smaller and multiplies exponentially, growing sleeker and faster, modified to 'pull chicks' instead of ploughs." It does light up.

Photo taken April 27 2014 by OW 

 Sometimes you have to separate the wheat from the chaff!

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Flour milling in New Zealand : how today's industry evolved
Author: Dave McKinnon; Geoff Tempest; New Zealand Flour Millers Association.
Publisher: Christchurch, N.Z. New Zealand Flour Millers Association Research Trust, 2015.
Summary: "The book about where your daily bread comes from. The New Zealand flour milling industry has an extraordinary tumultuous history...with flourmilers struggling with insufficient quality in the wheat crop, and growers vigorously asserting their right to what they argued was a fair price their wheat. This anecdotal account ... reviews the twists and turns of developments in the industry from their beginnings in the late nineteenth century. It continues throughout the extraordinary 50-year period in the mid-twentieth century when governments wrested control to ensure Kiwi's bread remained affordable, in the process creating a bureaucratic monster. Interwoven is the parallel attempt by the academic and state research sectors to improve the quality of wheatgrowers' product..."--Back cover. This book preserves that history and presents flour milling as a thriving, vital and essential sector. The story focuses on the people who drove the industry – they were often mavericks and risk-takers as well as real characters.

Motto: For the Baker: Early to bed and early to rise.