The Farmers' Diary - South Canterbury, N.Z. region in 2015

Farmers often made a daily diary entry about the activities of the day and would refer back to them for reference and be able to review records of past seasons and see how they compare with the present one. Some entries were meager and spasmodic but concise and the handwriting written over a hundred years ago may have been easy to read by a contemporary but now days can be difficult to read and decipher and left a lot to be desired specially proper names. These farming diaries rarely mentioned a woman's name and were usually kept up by the farmer. Sometimes both husband and wife kept a diary; beautiful suede covered - a lady's diary. This encourages their children to keep a diary as teenagers. Very few farm diaries will be of any interest to anyone not connected to the family and who does not know the district. Few are in public archives. Some are held by the family on the station or farm and packed away in a cardboard box in the sleep out, attic or in a cupboard in laundry room but the majority have probably been discarded by a tidy housewife. Historians still go to the archives in the small service towns to read the explicit diaries about farm life kept by the station manager some with lists of farm hands, shearers, sheep tallies, visitors, weather, about the crop rotation if they were cropping farmers, what they planted where, what paddock and if there was a significant ratio of seed to fertilizer, seed used, crop obtained, price realised, and so on. A cow cocky might keep a note of what they did with the cows and which one went to the bull or if it was artificially inseminated, at what day and what month, labour employed, etc. A young farm hand might have kept a diary so when he has a place of his own could use it as a reference book. Farmers were set in their ways. They stuck to the same stock and station firm as their father and stuck to the same publisher for the diary. For Christmas a child might have given his father a Whitcomb and Toombs diary year after year, the cost of a diary being trifling and kept in the top draw in the sideboard or in the writing desk in the living room. Farmers sometimes kept a record of the rainfall in inches maybe in the back of the diary, and total monthly and yearly, the rain gauge being in the centre of the lawn. To keep a diary and rainfall is merely a matter of habit.     

As far as I am aware they kept all their diaries.

Sherwood Downs
1903 -  Aug. 28th 10" [snow]
1903 - Sept. 3rd: last night below 20 degrees [-6C] . 34th [night below 20F]
1919 - Dec. 18th Total shorn 480
1920 - April 25th. Aeroplane
1950 - Top dressing, the plane taking off from Glenshiel
1956 - March 10th. Popeye Lucus from Queenstown in his fixed wing plane dropped fencing material on the snowline boundary fence between Leslie Downs and Ribbonwood
1957 - Oct. 4th 2" snow
1958 - Dec 1st. Rabbit board arrived for their sixth inspection
1958 - Dec. 4th Bulldozer on Top Block. Earmarking calves. Steers 36. Heifers 58. Total 74.
1962 - December 15th. Dropping fencing material on the snowline boundary fence between Leslie Downs and Ribbonwood, this done by helicopter
1967 - May 3rd Rams crutching. Power off for 4 hours. Started up old Motor.
1967 - May 4th Finished crutching ewes lambs. Rams turned out.
1967 - Nov16th Thursday School out early. Snowing about 12 o'clock. Over 1 foot at 5 o'clock. 7.30 pm. 25 inches. Still snowing hard.
1967 - Nov 17th Friday SNOW On morning just over 3ft 11 inches. Light snow, raining all day, but started off heavy again.
1967 - Nov 18th Saturday plus 4½" overnight. Snowing lightly. Packed down hard to 31 inches.
1967 - Nov. 19th Sunday Bulldozers arrived. Two. One on the swamp. One on the paddock.
1967 - Nov. 20th  Tuesday Working with stock. Two men helping.
1967 - Nov. 22nd Wednesday. Still plenty of snow about. 3 extra men helped all day. Snow ploughing. Had hole dug for burying stock. 14 cows.
1967 - Nov. 23rd Thursday. Collected up dead sheep 21 ewes and a few lambs. North West wind. Water everywhere. About 10 inches of snow went away.
1967 - Nov. 25th Saturday. Clearing up branches. Last cow into hole. 15 cows dead, 28 sheep plus lambs? Wool fashion show in Fairlie.
1967 - Nov. 26th Sunday. Clearing up branches. Walker vet arrived to look at bull, broken back leg. Tapp (Henry Tapp from Timaru), Timblick (from Geraldine), Swann's (neighbours) all arrived.
1967 - Nov 27 Monday Odd jobs. Disaster meeting in Fairlie. Approach of North River Bridge washed out. Arthur Williams car with 6 in it crashed over the gap. Left car on Ashwick side. Home 12.30 am. North River Bridge approach washed out ¼ hour before arriving at Bridge.
1967 - Nov. 29. Wednesday. To Waimate for Bull.
1967 - Nov. 30. North River Bridge reopened. Carting shingle for track down to shed. Sat Hen.
1973 Aug. 5th Sunday. Started to SNOW
1973 Aug. 6th 4 feet snow. No power. No telephone
1973 - Aug. 7th. Isolated. CR. Couldn't see the fence posts. 3 feet deep at back door. Everything so quite. Blinding glare. Still no power.
1973 - Aug. 9th. CR. Bright and sunny. An Army Iroquois helicopter arrived at 10:30 with extra men, these machines being fitted with holding nets. Eleven small bales of hay
fed out to pockets of cattle at a time on Fox's Peak and the neighbouring properties.
1973 Aug. 9th Thursday. H.B. First dozer. Bulldozer arrived from Bob Swann with about 20 men to get ewes out.
1973 Aug. 10th Friday. Catchment Board Dozer clearing Swedes and turnips.
1973 Aug. 11th Saturday Bruce Hayman from Tasman Downs with 4 wheel tractor and snow plough. Son up in helicopter looking for cattle.
1973 Aug. 12th Sunday. Hamilton and Cartwright dozer on swedes. Power on.
1973 Aug. 13th Monday. Rodger Maham from Geraldine dozing. Helicopter dropping hay to cattle.
1973 Aug. 15th Wednesday. Hoggets to feed at Orton, T.A. Middleton. 489 lambs.
1973 Aug. 16th Thursday. Shearing dead sheep etc.
1973 Aug 26th Sunday Sheep Work. Timblick from Geraldine arrived. A trip up the Clayton road.

Dad kept pocket diaries during WWII and continued keeping an annual diary on the farm. He got one annually for Christmas. OB, April 2015

Star, 25 May 1895, Page 2 THE OLD FARM
The dear old farm! Its every rod
Is fraught with memories sweet to me;
Each spot recalls some bygone hour
Of joyous childhood, gay and free.
Here Nature seems to speak herself,
In hill, and stream and sunny field.
In them I find companionship
The crowded city cannot yield.
But let the farmer know his worth,
Lofty and bold his mien should be,
His will full strong, and clear his mind,
His duty and opinions free.
Thus careful thought and industry
Work wonders with the fertile sod,
His labours high approval win
From man, from conscience and from God,
Annie Taylor, in Farm Journal

Where were the diaries in 2015?

The Christchurch City Library has the Killinchy Farm diary online. 1897 - 1916.

The Geraldine Museum has only two diaries. Indexed by farmer. There is no demand for the diaries and the collection is not growing. The Macdonald (Orari Estate) 1858-63 their oldest diary, written in a real diary book, varied as to days per page, no drawings and the handwriting is quite difficult to read. The Wooding diaries 1938 -1955 (4 books).

The Temuka Museum does not have any farmer’s diaries at all.

The Fairlie Heritage Museum has:
Clayton Station (Hamilton) diaries – 38 in all.
Talbot diaries – 8 (covering dates between 1901 and 1915)
There are also 7 diaries and one Rabbiter’s Expenses book from Stan Ennis who worked for the Rabbit Board.
Jack Hutt 27 farm diaries in total for the period 1951 to 1979, but 1956 and 1978 are missing. Jack and Enid Hutt lived on a farm up Morris Rd, Sherwood Downs’s, Fairlie and sold the property at auction 30th Nov. 1979. Diaries donated Sept. 2019.

1971 11 Sept. Jack Hutt wrote Halfcast till about 8.30 am then rain for a while. A disastrous hurricane 100 - 150 MILE gale Wrecked the trees. Turned truck over in hay - barn, but ewes and lambs not too bad. House fill of silt from Ian Ross's paddock. Geo came over this PM  [meaning Georgre Jones came over]

South Canterbury Museum, Timaru.  April 2015.
Have diaries from Aviemore Station, Blue Cliffs Station, Grampian Hills Station, Haldon Station, Loudon - Sutherlands, Otaio Station (1868 -1917) (have been transcribed up to 1903 in 2019, ongoing), Raincliff Station, and The Waterfalls - Opihi. None of the diaries are currently on display, although quotes have and continue to be extracted and used for specific exhibit purposes. Additionally they have had a team (of two) transcribing the extensive Otaio Station Diaries for several years now (since 2008) – a slow process – which will make them far more accessible into the future. They also researched the people and places mentioned in the diary, collecting contemporary newspaper stories, and assembling additional research.  A summary of their collection of diaries up to 2015.
    They also have the book: Chudleigh, E R: Diary of E R Chudleigh 1862-1921 (2003 reprint). His diary is a frank account of early pioneering life in his search for a farm from Hokianga to Bluff. Despite Chudleigh's extensive roaming around New Zealand, it was at Mt Peel he felt at home Chapters two to ten provide coverage of farming work (mustering, droving etc.) for Mt Peel Station, before he moved on to establish a run on the Chathams. Emily and Tom Acland, Bully Hayes and Samuel Butler are mentioned.
    Two Raincliff Pioneers
by Reynolds, David G. 284 pages, published 2006. Largely comprised of a transcript of the letter book of Arthur Hope covering September 1883 to March 1897 and reproductions of the diary of Edward Gould from August 1866 to March 1893, set in context by background information collated by the authors. The author’s introduction notes that the two men may have never known one another. Gould, Edward James 1836-1893, Waterfalls Farm - Opihi, Seadown, Richmond Run, Three Springs Station.

The Waimate Historical Society and Museum archives have 79 diaries.  In 2015 undertaking a project to digitise and place their WWI collections online. Between 2005 to 2015 the museum has not had any new farm diaries donated to them. Any donations would be assessed based on their collection policy and what they have already. There is occasional demand for access to the diaries. Generally only serious researchers as a lot of time is involved. Peter Holland used more than 50 farm & station diaries available to him including the Finlay farm diary transcript at the Waimate museum and the Raincliff diaries at the South Canterbury and William Shirres' letter book, Aviemore Station, Waitaki Valley, letter dated 21 July 1884, Hocken Collections to write his 2013 published bookHome in the Howling Wilderness: Settlers and the Environment in Southern New Zealand. The Waimate Museum collection as of May 2015:
- Three original farm diaries from John Finlay of Makikihi covering the years 1879, 1880, 1881. Light brown navy tape spine "Australian Rough diary" and a 'Letts's Australasian rough diary' cream cover with white tissue. The 1881 diary has been transcribed, 92 typewritten pages.
- Dempsey Farm Diaries range from 1925 to 1997. 75 farm diaries from the Dempsey farm, January to December yearly diaries, the first four created by J. Dempsey and the rest created by Miss Isobel Dempsey. Isobel Marie Dempsey born 1922  is buried in Waimate, died 6 June 2008, aged 81.
- A large but incomplete run of ledgers relating to Te Waimate Station, they were maintained by the Manchester and Goldsmith company.
- Kate Sheath's diaries, Albury (typed transcript) the hand written original is in the South Canterbury Museum.
- a use found for old farm diaries - turned into scrapbooks.

Waitaki District Archive shares the Athenaeum building with the North Otago Museum in Thames Street, Oamaru
In March 2015 the archive held about 200 farm diaries. They are indexed by their database by farmer and farm. The oldest dates from 1864. The collection is growing, it is located in Oamaru. There is occasional demand to access the diaries. The diaries do include sheep stations, primarily Kauru Hill station. All their farm diaries are from North Otago.

Clayton Station diaries from 1877-1918 give the reader an idea of the owner's lifestyle, the Hamilton era, have been partly transcribed and the transcription can be found in Connie Rayne's book Sherwood Downs and Beyond starting from page 131. The entries include records of storms, shearing, tailing, tennis parties, visitors, house alternations, crops, Christmas etc.. In the back of one of the diaries in one case there were explicit descriptions and detailed drawings of 21 different varieties of gooseberries. One diary had details of the rose gardens and named every rose, with its colour and variety recorded; the same procedure was documented for the fruit trees. Another feature of the diary entries were each time their horses were taken to a blacksmith's shop, a drawing of a horseshoe would be included in that day's entry. The many photos of Clayton were taken by Dundas Hamilton and it was often recorded in the Clayton diaries that he was in his bedroom developing photographs taken during the that day.  His brother George I. Hamilton sold Clayton in 1919.

Record Title: Clayton Station
Diaries of Clayton Station / by Hugh Hamilton
Display Dates: 1885, 1895
Quantity: 2 volume(s) (162, 264 pages)
Physical Description: Typescript (27 cm; red cloth, green cloth)
History: Clayton Station is situated in South Canterbury. It was bought by Hugh Hamilton, a New South Wales squatter, in Jun 1881, and was held by the Hamilton family until 1919 when Hugh's son George sold it. Early owners had been unlucky in running Clayton. However the Hamilton's, with their background of experience and money, were able to turn it into a success
Scope and Contents: The diaries describe the day-to-day events on the station and the work of the men. They do not include much information about domestic or social life
Hamilton, Hugh H S (Rev), fl 1840s-1895 (Contributor)
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Sheep dipping at Clayton Station, Canterbury. Vance, William, 1899-1981 :Photographs. Ref: 1/2-002358-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Mt. Peel Station. Acland Family Papers - A collaborative exhibition featuring the Acland family of South Canterbury, as seen through the archives of the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury and Archives, Christchurch, N.Z.

Record Title: Acland, John Barton Arundel, 1823-1904
Display Dates: 1823-1857
Quantity: 1 microfilm reel(s) (ca 180 pages) : Positive microfilm
Scope and Contents : Extracts from Acland's original diaries, from a journal written by him from his diary as opportunity offered and sent to his family to England; from letters to his father and sister, from letters from his partner D G Tripp and various other documents, compiled by H T Acland. Describes interest of Acland and Tripp in the Canterbury settlement, their journey to New Zealand on the "Royal Stuart" 1854-1855, their travels in Canterbury, Acland's "cadetship" at Malvern Hills Station (owned by H J Tancred), their exploration of the Rangitata area and the establishment of Mount Peel Station 1856-1857.
General Notes: Donor/vendor - Lent for copying by Sir John Acland, Mount Peel, Peel Forest, South Canterbury
Relationship Complexity - See also Micro-MS-Coll-20-2059 (Devon Record Office. Acland papers, 1840-1902)
Originals location: Sir John Acland, Mount Peel, Peel Forest, South Canterbury
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Mount Peel Station
Record of events occurring on Mount Peel Station
Display Dates : 1856-1861
Quantity : 1 volume(s) (121 leaves)
Physical Description : Typescript (26 cm; maroon linen)
Extracts from J B A Acland's diary, 26 Apr 1856-19 Jan 1857, and from C G Tripp's station diary, 20 Jan 1857-12 Feb 1861, detailing work done on the station and the people they saw
Names : Mount Peel Station (Subject)
Acland, John Barton Arundel, 1823-1904 (Creator)
Tripp, Charles George, 1826-1897 (Contributor)
Institution : Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington 

The Raincliff Station diary from April 1868 to October 1871 has been published in The Raincliff Story by E.J. Parr & D.G. Reynolds in 2000. The original diary is at the South Canterbury Museum and a transcription is at the ATL, in Wellington. It is preferred to the Raincliff Story instead of the original and an explanation is given when something is not clear. Written in a hard cover exercise book which is now in the South Canterbury Museum. It was filed to the last page so was probably continued in another book -whereabouts unknown. It was written by William Bebbington the station manager from March 1868 to the end of 1874 and he never used a full stop or comma in the entire diary and capitals were used erratically -Gardiner-Gardener -gardener were confusing but there was a man named Gardiner who worked on Raincliff and must have been the gardener! The next manager was Robert Mackay who started late December 1874. Harriet Brassell remarried in 1878 to Robert Campbell from Carew.
William Bebbington b. in 1838 married Harriett Jane Brasell (1849-1938) at St. Mary's Timaru 31 July 1867 by the Rev. Geo. Foster. WM was a manager at this time. Ref. Church register. They had six children. Children:
Frank Bebbington 1868-1946. Birth registered at Geraldine. Married Minnie PATRICK in 1893. Buried at Ashburton. Sons were Reginald Alfred and Francis Allan Bebbington of Winchmore.
Harry Bebbington 1869-1951
William Bebbington 1870-1903
Annie Bebbington 1872
Emma Bebbington 1874-1954 m. William Martin in 1895.
Fanny Bebbington 1875

Record Title : Bebbington, William, fl 1868-1871
Raincliff Station diary / transcribed by E J Parr
Display Dates : Apr 1868-Oct 1871, 1990
Quantity : 1 volume(s) Typescript
Names : Raincliff Station (Subject)
Parr, E J, fl 1990 (Contributor)
Bebbington, William, fl 1868-1871 (Creator)
General Notes : Donor/vendor - Donated by Mr P Howe, Director, South Canterbury Museum, Timaru, Nov 1990
Institution : Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

The day to day history of Waitangi Station is recorded in a complete set of diaries (1887 - 2007) held by the Sutton family at the station.   

Many diaries remain in private hands.

1854The Canterbury Museum in Christchurch holds a number of farm and station diaries from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including a few South Canterbury diaries. In most cases the database will have both the writer’s name and the location being written about. The listing that the earliest dates from the 1852, although this may example may include details of shipboard life for that year, rather than farming. We do not generally actively purchase this kind of material for the collection, unless it has an especial significance to Canterbury. However, we do receive donated material regularly, so the collection grows passively and therefore slowly. We have researchers in March -April 2015 regularly accessing our manuscript material and in fact a researcher from the University of Canterbury is researching women’s lives through farm and station diaries at present.

ALSTON, Isabella
Diary of daily life on farm in Canterbury as a child/young adult.
Primary Prod Date 18 Jul 1876-24 Oct 1876

BOTTLE, Henry (Harry) Garmstonarry
Diary on board 'Himalaya' to Lyttelton 11 January 1879 - 15 April 1879; letters to family in England regarding life in Mataura, Waimate, Oamaru as a farm labourer 1879 - 1884.
Primary Prod Date 1879-1884

CARR, David
Diary on board 'Lancashire Witch' to Lyttelton 27 June 1863 - 14 October 1863, and farm accounts for 1871.
Primary Prod Date 1863-1871

CUNNINGHAM, Mary nee Avery (1814-1907)
Diary while at Fernside Station, Canterbury.
Primary Prod Date 26 Jul 1861-24 May 1865

CURRY, Edward (1821-1902)
Diary while at Mt Torlesse Station, Canterbury.
Primary Prod Date 1861-1864
Primary Prod Date 11 Sep 1856-18 Apr 1857

Held at: Canterbury Museum. Dates covered: 1881 - 1922
Extent: 36 volumes
Description: Farm diaries kept by Maurice O'Connor 1889-1922 (1919 not included), 33 volumes; cashbook 1885-1888; diary W J Binney 1921; letterbook Three Springs Station 1881

Diary of station owned by L and S Walker, and C McPherson.
Primary Prod Date 1868-1875

HAY, M M and R A
Family history research on Hay family including transcripts of diaries by Harry Morris Hay 1882-1883, Rose Hay 1882 (including on 'Canterbury' to Port Chalmers), Charlotte Phillips 1883-1885 and transcript farm diary of John Lochhead of Leeston 1875-1876.
Primary Prod Date 1875-1885

HAYTER, Francis (?-1891) (collection)
Farm diaries 1880-1883, 1889-1890 on Highfield Station, Canterbury X4096 1880 1890 2 reels ...

HOLDSWORTH, Robert Bingley (?-1923) (collection)
Diary as a farm worker on Haldon Station, Albury area for G Dennistoun 1 volume
Primary Prod Date 18 Mar 1877-18 Jan 1878

JOHNSTON, William (1809-1894)
Diary on board 'Mystery' to Lyttelton 1858; accounts of farm at Yaldhurst.
Primary Prod Date 01 Dec 1858-Jul 1860

MANNERING, Theophilus Samuel (1836-1910)
Reminiscences of life in New Zealand, Birch Hill Station, Fernside and Greta Vale written 1905; diary of voyage on board 'Sydney' to Australia 31 July 1852-16 November 1852.
Primary Prod Date 1852-1905

MACDONALD, Angus (1822-1890)
Farm diary.
Primary Prod Date Circa 19th Century

MELHURISH. Papers of J. Melhuish. Shipboard diary 1872. Family tree.
Reminiscences - " A Farm of the Seventies", and "What it turned out to be." Deed of Indenture 1864. Letter from John Melhuish to his family 1899. papers/document

RHODES, Airini Elizabeth (later Woodhouse)
Page from diary on Blue Cliffs Station, South Canterbury.
Primary Prod Date 05 Jul 1914

ROBINSON, Campbell
Diary while working for Arthur M Johnson on his fish farm in Opawa, Christchurch, Auckland and Timaru August 1886-May 1887, October 1890-February 1891.
Primary Prod Date 1886-1891

SHAW, Charles Reginald, 1829-1906 (collection)
till 1877. He later farmed at Totara Valley until 1898. The diary has daily entries and gives ... diaries are also held in Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.  MS-Papers-3803. Copy held at MS-1934
Shaw came to NZ in 1853. He was a surveyor living in Timaru. Shaw's diary covers the period 10 Dec. 1866 to 5 August 1872. The brief daily entries describe the land he surveyed (the number of acres and the owner), and his activities around his home (gardening, maintenance of the house and furniture, and paying for household purchases). He also records information relating to the health and recreation of his wife and children.
Held at: Canterbury Museum. Format if not original: photocopy
Extent: 1 Vol.
Shaw was born in Cheshire, England in 1829 and spent some time on the Australian goldfields before coming to New Zealand in 1857. He was appointed Surveyor for the Canterbury Provincial Government and carried out surveys on Banks Peninsula. In 1861 Shaw moved to Timaru where he was District Surveyor till 1877. He later farmed at Totara Valley until 1898. The diary has daily entries and gives details of the sections he surveyed as well as comments on social affairs, family matters etc. Further diaries are also held in Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.
Diary Dates covered: 1866 - 1872

SHEATH, Catherine (Kate) later Thomson (1844-?)
Diary at Aston Station and Hunter Hills, Canterbury.
Primary Prod Date 1862-1868

STODDART, Mark Pringle (1819-1885)
Diary including station diary (Australia) 7 December 1848 - 29 November 1850; accounts ca 1846-1848; diary in Canterbury 24 August 1858 - 14 March 1859.
Primary Prod Date 1848-1859

STUBBS,  Francis Worcester (1835-1920)
Station diary for The Levels 1862-1867, 1868: outward letter book 1912-16; notes on early Timaru 1850-1860's,

TESCHEMAKER, Frederick William, 1834-1878

TORLESSE, Priscilla (1824-1896)
Diary on board 'Egmont' to Lyttelton and at Fernside Station, Canterbury, with illustrations.

TRIPP, Charles George (1826-1897)
Diary of Mt Peel Station, Canterbury.
Primary Prod Date 26 Apr 1856-12 Feb 1861
diary/copy. Diary of Charles George Tripp, Mt Peel Station diary 1856-61. (original). Typescript copy - Mt Peel diary including opening period written by J.B. Acland.

New Zealand Rough Diary
A diary/account book for the running of the Station and keeping of accounts kept by J W H Tripp of Orari Gorge Station.
Primary Prod Date 1896

Book Lett's Australasian Diary and Almanac for 1881
One diary, dark green embossed cover, with book mark ribbon attached. Marbled end papers. Entries on farm management from 1853 to 1904. Ten pages of information in front. Ink and pencil entries.

rough diary or scribbling diary - a diary in which a hurried handwriting is permitted

Hocken Collections, Dunedin - For farm diaries – have many of these – try a ‘record type’ search for Diary – Farm. Agricultural Guide
- Clogstoun, Elsie Helen: Diary, Nov 1880 - July 1881, MS-0978. Elsie Clogstoun was born on 21 June 1864. Her father was Edward Lewis Clogstoun of Four Peaks Station, near Geraldine, South Canterbury. Elsie married Robert Crossmam in London in 1891. The diary, titled "Clutterbuck volume V" begins on 13 November with the family holiday at Riccarton, Christchurch. Elsie, who was sixteen at the time, addresses her comments to "Clutt" her diary, she writes of her daily activities and the weather in Riccarton and at home. She also gives an account of a holiday at the properties of South Canterbury runholders Acland and Tripp. The last entry is for 7 July 1881. The diary contains several pen and ink drawings of young women and a photograph of Elsie.
- James Preston's diaries, personal and business papers, Waitaki Valley and Mackenzie Country: Hocken Collection, MS-1271 and MS 1272. This large collection of private papers was used by a descendant for a book about the Preston family: F.L. Preston, A Family of Woolgathers, John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1978.
- John Gunn's diaries, Hook, MS-1070
- Diary of F.W. Chapman from Fairlie across Two Thumbs Range, 1934-35, MS-1164-2/015/01
- Mackay, R. : Diary, 1885, Misc-MS-0913. This diary describes the journey of R. Mackay from his run 'Raincliff' in South Canterbury to Tasmania to purchase Merino stud ewes.
- Travel diary for 'Holiday, Geraldine' (1949) Reference No: MS-1230/106

 Visit the archives if you can - they have a wealth of info at their fingertips.

The Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington has a growing collection and can be searched online.
Transcripts Walter M Moore diary online Textual file - Microsoft Word

Record Title : Moore, Walter Montagu, 1851-1929
Journal / transcribed and indexed by Marsha Donaldson (electronic transcription of MS-1665)
Display Dates : 31 Oct 1873-8 Feb 1876 (transcribed 2007)
Collection Record: Donaldson, Marsha Penelope, 1945- : Research papers and transcripts (MS-Group-1944)
Quantity: 1 Electronic document(s)
Account of voyage to Canterbury on Crusader with his brothers Francis and Henry, 1873-1874, and return voyage to England a year later on the Merope. Describes his stay in Christchurch, trips to Governor's Bay and Akaroa, to Hokitika via Arthur's Pass, trip to visit numerous sheep stations in South Canterbury, social events, cricket matches, balls, Professor Bickerton's lectures, Transit of Venus Expedition (lead by Major Palmer, R.E., chief astronomer), Canterbury runholders and settlers including Lysaght family, Thomas Potts (Ohinetahi), etc. Trip to North Island via Wellington, thermal region, Tauranga, Auckland, and return to Christchurch before leaving for England on the Merope in Jan 1875. Includes brief account of Walter's return voyage to New Zealand, Oct 1875-8 Feb 1876 on the Crusader.
Accompanying Material - Newspaper report of 1873-1874 voyage of Crusader, & 1874 voyage of the
Merope (Transit of Venus expedition on board) (from Lyttelton Times); biographical notes & 1861 census for Moore family; biographical entry for Thomas Potts (NZ dictionary of biography / Scholefield)
Copy Availability: Hardcopy of this transcription is available at MS-Papers-8722
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Diary of Ranger Philip Boswell, Mt Cook National Park
Whitcombe's New Zealand rough diary from 1961, kept by Ranger Philip (Boz) Boswell at Mt Cook National Park. Provides a brief overview of weather conditions, duties, and other occurances. The diary's connection to the Lister family is unclear. 1 volume. Ref: MSX-9131
Part of: Lister family : Papers relating to Harry Lister
Format: Personal records Diaries, Manuscript

Butler, Samuel 1835-1902
Display Dates : 1861-1864, n d
Quantity : 1 folder(s) (6 leaves)
Physical Description : Typescript (27 cm, grey pamphlet case)
Scope and Contents : Letters to Acland and Tripp, mainly concerning sheep and sheep farming at Forest Creek and Mesopotamia. Included is letter dated 4 May 1912 from Henry Festing Jones (1851-1928)
Names : Butler, Samuel, 1835-1902 (Creator)
Tripp, Charles George, 1826-1897 (Contributor)
Acland, John Barton Arundel, 1823-1904 (Contributor)
Record Types: Personal records Correspondence
Originals Location: In possession of Sir Hugh Acland, Christchurch
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Evans, Robert Joseph, 1917-1984
Farm diaries
Display Dates: 1938-1942, 1944-1954
Quantity: 17 volumes
Physical Description : Holograph and printed matter (various sizes)
History: Evans worked on Haldon Station, near Fairlie, in 1938-1939; Wanaka Station, Pembroke, 1939-1940; Timaru Creek Station, Hawea Flat, 1941; and by 1944 was a shepherd on a station in the Hakataramea Valley, near Kurow, South Canterbury. The diary for 1954 was kept by Mrs Rubina Evans, Evans's mother, who had lived in Oamaru. Evans also made entries in this diary. Evans's wife referred to in the diaries, was Norma Mae Evans.
Scope and Contents: Evans recorded details about work and life on the farms and always noted the weather. He also recorded hints, recipes, equipment costs, lists of sheep killed, dogs owned and other farming-related matters.
Finding Aids: Back file has list of publications by Norma May Evans, much of which are based on the Evans diaries
Evans, Norma Mae, 1924- (Subject)
Record Types: Personal records Diaries
Donor/vendor - Donated by Mrs N M Evans, Rotorua, 1978
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Programme 183 - The man who planted gorse by Bruce Campbell
Interviewer(s): Jim Henderson, presenter
Recording date(s): 07 May 1967
Number of Interviews/events : 1 events  Access contact - see oral history librarian
Quantity: 1 5'' reel(s) 1 sound tape reel (ca. 14 min.), analog, 7½ ips, stereo ; 5 Duration : 14 minutes
Alan Bruce who owns a farm above the mouth of the Opihi Gorge, South Canterbury, relates how he has been tearing into a pretty rough block or two of gorse. He talks about the man, Edward James Gould, who planted that gorse carefully on his fence banks more than 100 years ago, but the gorse didn't stay there. His terse diary entries convey the stark realities of sickness, and death, in these pioneer surroundings.
Collection record: Open Country Sound Recordings
Name: Gould, Edward James, 1836-1893 
Collection name: Henderson, James Herbert, 1918-2005 (as the interviewer)
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Hayter, Francis, 1843-1891
Logbooks and farm diaries
Display Dates: 1857-1863, 1871-1873, 1880-1882, 1888-1890
Quantity: 4 microfilm reel(s)
Logbooks of various naval voyages including HMS Basilisk's cruise of the Western Pacific and Papua, 1871-1873 and farm diaries kept at Highfield and Rollesby Stations.
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Hurst, Christopher John, 1835-1918
Diary on board the
Display Dates: 30 Jun-10 Oct 1880
Quantity: 1 folder(s) (4 leaves)
Physical Description : Typed transcript (photocopy)
History: Christopher and Mary Hurst came to New Zealand on board the
Waitangi in 1880 along with their seven children. On arrival they lived in Broom Cottage (Christchurch) and later established a farm near Waimate called `Brooklands'. They had seven more children in NZ.
Hurst describes his voyage from London to Lyttelton on the `Waitangi' covering the period 30 Jun 1880 to 10 Oct 1880, the last entry being written at Broom Cottage in Christchurch. The entries detail weather, the ship's progress, fellow passengers and ship life.
Record Types: Personal records Diaries
Shipboard accounts
Donor/vendor - Donated by W Hamilton, Gore, 1992
Accompanying Material - Accompanied by an excerpt from the family history giving details of the Hursts trip to New Zealand and a family tree.
Provenance: Donor is Hurst's granddaughter
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Middleton, Thomas, d 1900
Correspondence from Benmore Station
Display Dates: 1873-1874
Reference Number: MS-1637
Quantity: 1 volume(s) (107 pages)
Physical Description: Typescript (27 cm; green linen)
Signature incorrectly transcribed as J Middleton
Record Types: Personal records Correspondence
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Benmore Station diaries
Display Dates: 1865, 1867, 1870, 1871
Quantity: 1 microfilm reel(s) positive
Scope and Contents: Daily record of work on Otago station, kept by manager. Lists of farm hands, shearers, sheep tallies, etc.
Names: Benmore Station, Clayton Station
Record Types: Administrative records
Donor/vendor - Copied May & Oct 1957, Feb 1958, from originals lent through Mr W Vance, Timaru
Originals Location: Copies lent through W Vance, Timaru, 1957-1958
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Potts, Geoffrey
Display Dates: 1 Jan-31 Dec 1877, 1876
Quantity: 1 volume(s) (53 pages) Typescript (27 cm; grey linen)
Scope and Contents : Daily entries of activities on South Canterbury sheep farm, with extra notes for 1876 and 1877
Names: Potts, Geoffrey, fl 1876-1879 (Creator)
Four Peaks Station (South Canterbury, N.Z.) (Subject)
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington [April 2015 - diary could not be found by the ATL staff, still looking]

Shaw, Charles Reginald, 1829-1906
Personal records Diaries
Display Dates : 1887, 1891-1893, 1904-1905
Quantity : 5 volume(s)
Physical Description : Holographs (26cm, various bindings)
Scope and Contents : Full entries for 1891-1892 covering farming activities, primarily cropping. Interests include service on school committees and Levels Road Board. Sterndale Station (Totara Valley)
Donor/vendor - Donated by Mrs Bertha Ray 1971
Provenance: The journals passed into the hands of Charles Shaw's second daughter, Bertha Shaw, and were placed in the Turnbull Library by her son, Mr K J Ray, at her request
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Westmacott, Herbert Horatio Spencer, 1885-1960
Display Dates : 1885-1917
Use/Reproduction : No copying without permission of owner of original documents
Quantity : 4 microfilm reel(s) (21 volumes) Positive microfilm
Detailed memoirs cover childhood and youth in South Canterbury, the family's move to the King Country ca 1913, military service in World War I, including Gallipoli campaign
Names : Westmacott, Herbert Horatio Spencer, 1885-1960 (Creator)
 (Subjects)Waikakahi Station, Waitaki Boys' High School , Christchurch Boys' High School, Otago Mounted Rifles, Studholme Mounted Rifles, Waitaki Mounted Rifles, Rangitoto Station, World War, 1914-1918 - Campaigns - Turkey - Gallipoli Peninsula  - France
Record Types : Personal records Reminiscences
General Notes : Donor/vendor - Copied from originals
Originals Location : Mrs Erica Westmacott, Rangitoto, Otorohanga
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Wright family
Display Dates : 1859-1912
Quantity : 1 folder(s) (27 pieces) Mss (photocopies)
Scope and Contents : Letters written mainly from John Wright to his sister Eleanor Broom in England, describing farming conditions in Canterbury and giving information about relatives and friends
Wright, John, fl 1863-1894 (Contributor)
Broom, Eleanor fl 1863 (Contributor)
Originals Location: Mr & Mrs Allan
Talbot, Opuha, Pleasant Point, South Canterbury
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

The Teschemaker Diaries

FW Teschemaker came out in the "ship "Royal Stuart" landed in Lyttelton in 1855, and in 1859 settled in the Mackenzie Country at Haldon Station, which he and his brother first stocked and farmed. They sold Haldon in 1868, and settled on the estate at the Otaio, in connection with which he was so well known. Mr Teschemaker had a seat in the Provincial Council of Canterbury for some years, and in 1875 was elected member of the House of Representatives for Gladstone, in the place of Mr G. B. Parker.

All three are buried at the Timaru Cemetery.
Frederick William Teschemaker died at Wellington Nov. 21st 1878, aged 45 years from typhoid. Interment, Timaru Cemetery Saturday, 23 Nov. 1878
His mother Henrietta Teschemaker died at Otaio Station, March 29th 1882 aged 81 years.
Thomas John Teschemaker, Otaio, born Devonshire, August 2nd 1840. Died at Christchurch, June 22nd 1919.

Contributor: Canterbury Museum
Teschemaker was born in 1834, the son of F.T. Teschemaker of Devon. He came to New Zealand in 1855 with his brother, Tom, and they took up Haldon Station in the Mackenzie country. Haldon Station was sold in 1868 and the brothers bought Otaio Station. Teschemaker was a member of the Canterbury Provincial Council for Waitangi from 1874-1876. He was elected to Parliament for Gladstone in 1875. He died in 1878.
The diary tells of their journey to Dunedin in 1857, where they spent four months. The brothers travelled quite a considerable distance reaching within 60 miles of Bluff. The remainder of the diary, from July 1857 to November 1858, is made up of short entries about Haldon Station. The log-book is a daily account of the farm work carried out on Haldon Station, 1862-1876.
Transcripts of diary available in Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.
Diary and log-book of Haldon Station
Dates covered: 1857 - 1876
Format if not original: Photocopy of diary

Document Name and Dates Covered Alexander Turnbull Library Canterbury Museum South Canterbury Museum
FW Teschemaker diary
10/3/1857 to 9/11/1858
Transcript Transcript
FW Teschemaker diary
18/7/1861 to 26/11/1862

Haldon Station log book   Original +

FW Teschemaker diary
22/11/1867 to 18/7/1868
Haldon Station log book
1867 – 1876
  Photocopy of original

There is a gap from 10/11/1858 to 17/7/1861 between the first and second documents. The diary extracts in William Vance’s High Endeavour 2nd edition include entries within this gap. Pages 244-256, in the appendix, "Extracts from Teschemaker's Haldon Station Diary" 1857, 1858, 1859 to May 7th [ missing]  start at Oct. 6th 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, of William Vance’s High Endeavour are the published version of O. A. Gillespie’s manuscript notes, which comprise ATL’s MS-2142.

Teschemaker brothers named their run "Haldon" after the Haldon Hills which is situated behind Exmouth, Devon, where the Teschemaker's had lived before coming out to NZ, wrote Evelyn Hosken in "Life on a Five Pound Note." page 90

Lewis, Ellen, fl 1899-1907

Display Dates: 1907? . Ellen was writing in an old 1905 diary so changed the days of the week. Ellen was probably 33 when she kept this diary. Married at age 26. Born 1874. Only had two sons.
Quantity: 1 volume(s) (44 pages)
Physical Description: Holograph (26 cm; navy spine, brown boards)
History: Ellen Greenall married David Elliot Lewis in Pleasant Valley Anglican Church in 1900. They lived on the Te Mara estate near Geraldine.
Scope and Contents : Brief details of family, family and domestic matters
Record Types : Personal records Diaries
Institution: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. A couple of the pages below.
Presented to the ATL by Mr M.J. Lewis 14.7.1978/ Morgan donated the diary to the ATL.
1901 Lewis Morgan Joseph John [later farmer at Winchester]
1904 Lewis Thomas Grennall [sic], later famer at Hilton.
Lewis, David Elliott 69 Years died 5 Aug 1937 - Temuka Cemetery, farmer Hilton. Probate online.  He signed his to be father in law's, John Greenall, probate in 1897, three years before he married.
Lewis, Ellen 64 Years buried 23 May 1938 - Temuka Cemetery   

Timaru Herald, 8 January 1904, Page 2
Mr R. Y. Ferguson, land, and estate agent, Ashburton, reports sold, on account of Mr. D. E. Lewis, Geraldine, his farm at Pleasant Valley, containing 351 acres, to Messrs Hill, Bros., at a satisfactory price.

Timaru Herald, 7 September 1915, Page 6
The Hilton and Kakahu sewing guild will meet at Mrs D. E. Lewis's residence on Thursday at 2 p.m. Ladies interested in Red Cross work are invited.

Timaru Herald, 2 December 1916, Page 8
GREENALL.— On November 30th, at her daughter's residence, Mrs D. E. Lewis, 15 Harper Street, Timaru, Ann Gibson, widow of the late John Greenall, Pleasant Valley, Geraldine; aged 71 years. At rest.

Temuka Leader 27 March 1900 Page 3
very pretty wedding was celebrated in the Pleasant Valley Church on Thursday. The contracting parties were Mr D. E. Lewis, of Blannant Farm, near Winchester, and Miss Nellie Greenall, eldest daughter of the late Mr Thomas Greenall, of Pleasant Valley. The bridesmaids were Miss Annie Greenall (sister of the bride) and Miss E. Lewis (sister of the bridegroom.) Mr W. J. Lewis was best man. The ceremony took place in the Pleasant Valley Church at 3 p.m. and the Rev. Staples Hamilton, vicar of Geraldine, was the officiating clergyman. Both the bride and bridegroom belong to families long resident In the district, and in consequence the church was crowded —in fact, all the people could not get inside. The wedding breakfast was held at the residence of the bride’s people, and about a hundred guests sat down to an excellent repast. The health of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by the Rev. Staples Hamilton (Chairman), and Mr R.Y. Ferguson proposed the health of the bridesmaids. The wedding cake, which was a very fine one, was made by Mr J. Riordan, of Geraldine. Mr and Mrs D. E. Lewis left amid showers of rice and old boots to catch the evening train at Orari for Timaru en route to Dunedin. In the evening a dance was held in the Pleasant Valley School, where the large assembly of people enjoyed themselves thoroughly till the early hours of Friday morning. Dancing, music, and songs were part of the evening’s proceedings. Songs were contributed by Mrs R. Y. Ferguson Misses Gregan and Brophy, Messrs Gale, T. Quaid, AY. J. Lewis, and J. Lewis ; add Mr G. Greenall gave a recitation. The wedding presents were very numerous, and included some most handsome articles. Mr D. E. Lewis, the bridegroom, is well-known in athletic circles in youth Canterbury. He was a well-known long distance runner, and Waihi first fifteen forward. He has been handicapper for the sports’ bodies in South Canterbury for some years.

Women on farms kept diaries, too.

Diary published by Charles J. Lewis, Advertisement Contractor, Timaru. Printed by W.H. Foden & Co., Stafford St, Timaru. Approx. 94 firms advertised in the diary.

You can read between the lines.

Saturday 5 January 1907 Went to Winchester. Telegram. Brought linoleum for dining room, 3 blouses
Sun 6 Round crops and Rape crop fair. Rape good.
Cut Morgan's hair. Fine day. At home all day.
Monday 7 Bridgie MacMillen washing and I helping her. Harvesting. Cutting oats. Russell & Gerald in the paddock.
Tuesday 8 Went to Geraldine in the afternoon terrible hot. Dave had Morgan & Thomas away in the yards. Mother & Baby & Bridgie home all day. Bridgie ironing all day.
Wednesday  9 Mrs Vernell came with her baby.
Dave went to Geraldine sold some fat cows at 1¼, old ones. B. MacMillen went to the Retreat in Timaru until Monday.
Thursday 10th Very hot. Praying for rain. At home all day.
Friday 11th Harry MacMillen, Russell & Gerald were crutching lambs all day. Very Hot. At home all day.
Saturday 12 Busy all day. Mother & Morgan went to Geraldine. Grace has just been & 2 weeks away and is going to be 3. Dave went to Timaru and brought home some tomatoes & a bell for the front door. He insured the house to day. Gerald went to Ch. Ch for his holidays.
Thursday 17. Dull day looks like rain. Dave went to Winchester for the Company for the dinner? ....
Friday 18. Very dull cold day. Dave went to Geraldine. Thomas Warne up to Waihimamma to see Miss Halls. Had an accident just as we got to the river, broke a  ____. Took the horse out and had her up and walked to Johnsons with the horse. Miss Johnsons _____ it up helped one of the horses up.
Saturday 19. Grace came home today. I met her at the station. Dave went into Geraldine. Russell cutting the wheat & the threashing machine in the  ___ paddock.
January Sunday 20. Very hot day at home all day.
Thursday 23 Between house work and dress making I had a lovely time preserving pears in the middle of all.
Thursday 24 Hot day. The children lovely to day. Morgan difficult. Got a wacking and was sent to bed.

February 1907
Monday 25 Washing, preserving pears & peaches and baking today. Mr & Mrs. Griffiths & L. Lewis came to spend the evening. Befor leaving for their home tomorrow.
Tuesday 26 Great excitement Morgan started school today. Mrs Cochlan drove round with her children and took Morgan. Went to see Mrs Virell. Joe & M. Girerin and Miss Godsell was in to spend the evening
Wednesday 27 Grace & Thomas & baby & I drove to Geraldine. Did not get home till about half past five. Morgan was home from school and Sisie and Mary Cochlan were playing with him. We made a stew for tea.
Thursday 28. Mending & darning & baking a bit. H. Lewis came over in time for tea. Mother sent a case of lovely tomatoes from Ch. Gerald brought them from station. 

holograph - a book or document handwritten by its author; original manuscript. 

Girls weren't the only ones who wrote diaries.

Who published these farm diary?
Letts of London who have been in business since 1812. 'Letts No 38 Australasian Rough Diary' which has pink blotting between the pages.
'New Zealand Rough Diary No.4, 1892' with week shown at each opening, with pink blotting between the pages. 1932
Whitcombe and Tombs later Whitcoulls. NZ Rough Diary No. 1. 1916 - war diaries
Collins. First published by William Collins in New Zealand in 1881 

Collins produces a farmer's diary that goes from June to June.

Whitcoulls Farmers Diary 1976 with 2 days per page. Jan -Dec. Most farmers keep some sort of diary; some may have been forced into it due to the increasing requirement to record things. We have had to do this for CMP (now ANZCO) for nearly 20 years.

Some still do use the Jan. - Dec. one, it is really a matter of choice. A mid-year diary makes sense for a NZ farmer. It finishes at the end of the season, so you have all that seasons work in one place - a June balance does reinforce the rationale of a mid year.
With the advance of the tech world there will be farmers recording things electronically. For cropping farms extensile record keeping has been required for many years and a diary such as these would not be suitable...too small for a start.

Collins 2013-14
A52F-Mid-diary [size is A5 with 2 days per page]
Mid-year 13 month farming diary
1 June 2013 - 30 June 2014
Contains a large front section of farming information includes are monthly livestock summary, monthly planners, tax guides, rainfall record and charts. $11.95. Hard book cover, with a ribbon marker.

Farmers are pretty good at keeping diaries - now electronic of course on big farms.

Famers liked to keep to the same publisher for decades. The Dempsey farm diaries at Waimate cover 78 years -1925-1997:

blue with gold embossed design of animals 'Collins farming diary'
yellow green binding picture of tractor on front with gold writing and a lighter binding
green 'handy diary'
Collins royal diary
fawn mottled blue binding 'handy diary'
fawn mottled green binding 'Whitcombe's NZ diary
red 'Collins diary'
green 'Whitcombe's NZ farmers diary' with picture of tractor blue binding
green 'Collins' cathedral diary'
fawn red binding 'handy diary'
fawn black with binding 'farmers diary' picture of tractor wheel
blue 'Whitcombe' farmers diary' picture of tractor wheel fawn black with binding
green with country scene in black 'Whitcombe's
green 'Whitcombe's farmers diary' with country scene in black
orange with brown binding 'Whitcombe's farmers diary'
blue top with tan and brown strips on bottom of 'Whitcoull's farmers diary'
blue top with tan and dark strips on bottom of 'Pacific farmers diary' blue
brown with gold embossed emblem of cow sheep pig 'Collins'
green with picture of tractor ploughing 'Pacific farmer diary'
white with red on front 'Pacific farmer diary'
binding and back of black with picture on front harvesting 'date line farmer diary'
green with scene picture on front 'date line farmer diary'
brown with gold embossed design of animals 'Collins diary'
green with gold embossed design of animals 'Collins farming diary'
blue with gold embossed design of animals 'Collins farming diary'
blue top with dark and tan stripes bottom of farming diary' 'Collins
bluetop with dark and tan stripes bottom of 'Pacific'
fawn mottled green binding 'Whitcombe's NZ diary'   

Dad kept his diary to record the weather; shearing, dipping, crutching dates etc.; milk yield, cow numbers, seed sowing dates, harvesting yields, dates rams and bull were put to ewes and cows, to name a few…he wrote in it every night. MT

Press, 2 August 1928, Page 6 Washdyke
The present name had its origin in the fact, that the Rhodes Brothers, at Levels, used the creek at the place where the township is now situated for a sheep wash. An extract from a diary kept by Mr G. Rhodes dated November 9th, 1867, reads "Commenced fitting up the 'wash dike'," and on November 24th the following, entry occurs "fitted up the wash dike," and on the following day the entry read: "Commenced washing sheep, 900 wethers."

Press, 2 July 1895, Page 6
I append the final remarks as contained in my diary:— "April 15th, 1895.Closing a fine season. Want of water was against fishermen in the upper streams, but good sport was always obtainable at the confluence of the Hae-te-mona, Kakahu and Waihi. The Rangitata, always an unreliable river, was not fished to any extent by visitors at Winchester, but when the condition of the river was favourable some very fine fish were secured." Thos. Langdon. Winchester


George Hawkes Whitcombe (1854-1917), a former teacher joined a small books and stationery business, later taking over their agency. In 1882 he partnered with George Tombs who ran a sizeable quality printing firm in Christchurch. Whitcombe & Tombs became a public company in 1883 and a well-known printing, publishing, and stationary firm. The print trade flourished and they expanded to diaries and exercise books. Whitcoulls remains a household name in NZ. Published many books: Men of Mark in New Zealand, The Early Canterbury Runs, Jubilee History of South Canterbury, Gladys Goodall's postcards. Mr G.H. Whitcombe, was born in Brittany, France, his father Thomas Douglas Whitcombe, B.A., K.S.G., of Plonguenast, France, saw service in India with the Royal Field Artillery. George spoke fluent French. He and his brother Charles and Mr. Robert Lee, of Belvoir, Lower Hutt, came out from London in the wooden barque Memento, 464 tons register, of Montrose, Captain W. Lyall, arriving at Nelson on 25 March 1864, after 91 days from St. Katherine's Dock to Nelson harbour. Only five passengers, all men, two chief cabin and three second cabin passengers. Passengers Messrs. C. D. Whitcombe, W. E. Whitcombe, Rod, Dee [sic: Lee], and Porter. Two of these men returned to the old country, on being Swiss, but the Whitcombe's stuck to the colony with no regrets. George and Mr Lee played chess and in other ways whiled away the time of many monotonous days in a passage in which land was glimpsed twice. George's obituary says he arrived by sailing ship to Auckland at 16 years and joined his brother Charles in New Plymouth. Lee could have been mistaken. In 1971, Whitcombe & Tombs merged with the printers, Coulls Somerville Wilkie Ltd. and was renamed, Whitcoulls.

Press, 19 September 1889, Page 6 COLONIAL DIARIES.
The near approach of the close of the year is signalised by the publication of the very numerous series, of colonially-manufactured diaries issued by Messrs Whitcombe and Tombs. The firm now issues sixty-four different, styles, of diaries. The information on various subjects which precedes the diary proper has been condensed and brought in to more readable form. Amongst other specialties may be noted the rates of postage to any part of the world, tabulated, so that they can be seen at a glance; the Customs Tariff, corrected up to the 4th July, and containing the latest decisions of the Commissioner, is also included. The features, two days on a page; in three sizes; three days on a page in different styles of bindings. The novelty, however, on which Mr Whitcombe laid the greatest stress, is the Farmers Account Book and Diary. This, in addition to the usual information contained in the ordinary diaries, has also information specially compiled for the use of farmers and a farm and garden calendar. The accounts include labor account and produce account, cash book, summary of wages, profit and loss account, showing the balance for the year, general view of cultivations, wheat crop account, stock account, daily and produce account, miscellaneous produce account, and register of cattle and sheep. As will be seen, the diary and accounts are of the most complete character, and they are so arranged as to be easily kept. This will prove to be of great use to the farmers, enabling them to keep proper accounts, so as to be able at a glance to see the position of all departments of their farm. The various series of diaries are well printed and bound, and generally are very creditable specimens of local industry.  

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George Dash, of Waimate created 46 scrapbooks. Most of his scrapbooks are actually old farming journals with each page covered over with Dash’s new material, newspaper clippings.