Knottingley Park, Waimate, N.Z. - The Park

Waihao Back Road, Waimate
33.5ha tree park  

North Otago Times, 8 October 1910, Page 1
On the invitation of Mr Francis (Mayor) and the Mayoress, thirty ladies and gentlemen met in Knottingley Park in the afternoon of Thursday to inaugurate the completion of the 'work' of the water supply to the Park. After inspection of the recently enlarged garden, the newly fenced area for aquatic birds, and the pheasant, covert, the party assembled at a well selected arbored site, where tea, cake and refreshments were dispensed to the guests, seats etc, being conveniently placed. Mr Jas. Symon was engaged as caterer for the occasion.

Mr Francis gave a short historic account of the Park from its institution in 1874, under Government appointed trustees-Messrs M. Studholme J. Manchester, L. Price, G. Buckley, and J. Opie. After a few years the Park, consisting of 196 acres, was handed over to the Waimate Borough Council as a Knottlngley Park Domain Board. Eighty one acres were fenced in, and planted according to well considered plans, for the greater part with California and Australian trees, with a few acres of oak, these works being started in 1878. The remaining 88 acres of the reserve were leased to small holders, the rents from whom paid the park-keeper's and the few works the Board was able to, carry out. In 1900 windmill pump was erected at a cost of £51 the water supply from which was uncertain and insufficient. In the present year by agreement with, the Borough Council, a water supply was laid on to the Park at a cost of £l50, the opening of which was made the occasion of the present meeting and picnic. On behalf of the Mayoress and himself Mr Francis welcomed all the visitors, and in honor of Mr J. Manchester's long and early connection with the institution and starting of the Park, he had the pleasure of asking Mrs J. Manchester to now open the water works so recently provided. Mrs J. Manchester then used the lever as arranged, and the, water from Waimate Creek Glen immediately commenced flowing through the fountain into the water pond, the beautiful spray having seen formed by Mr Hodges, plumber.

Photos taken in December 2014 by Jude E.

1854: Native Reserve formed, 169 acres
1874: Waimate Park Reserve formed
1874: Knottingley Park Domain Board (named after Knottingley in Yorkshire, the home of John Studholme's wife) In 1862, Mr. Studholme married Lucy Ellen Sykes, daughter of the late Mr. William Moorhouse, of Knottingley House, Yorkshire, J.P. for the West Riding, and sister of the late Mr. W. Sefton Moorhouse (1825-1881), Superintendent of Canterbury, and had three sons and two daughters.
1879: 8,400 trees collected by Michael Studholme
1890: Park opened
1905: Zoo opened
1922: Swings, see-saw placed.
1933: Ornamental Gateway was built
1972-75 Wickets established
1975: Cricket Clubrooms opened
1990: Cricket pavilion extensions

1993: Friends of Knottingley Park established to help the Waimate District Council maintain and enhance the park's environmental landscape and botanical features. They have monthly working bees, remove fallen branches, weed garden plots, plant trees and daffodils, have made picnic tables, stiles, kissing gates, rebuilt a wooden bridge, put in a barbeque, stonewall entrance, help upgrade the toilet facilities, built a stone bridge and rebuilt the fountain. Each year they plant at least 20 species of trees to reflect the concept of establishing an arboretum in Knottingley Park.  Map of park. aerial map Whites aerial map 15 Mar 1969

2012: Trackway. Waimate Rotary promoted through donation of the estate of Mr Burcher. 20013-2014: Formed with assistance from Waimate Trackway, Waimate Rotary and Friends of Knottingley Park.
2015: Knottingley Park includes a collection of specimen trees and is seeking recognition as an arboretum. 

1906: Built
1910: Water connected
Late 1900's: Rebuilt by Ron Hutt
2000: Waimate Ladies Probus donate statue at top

Caretaker's House
1894: House built. Plan prepared by Mr A. Walker. George Neal, first caretaker
1980s House demolished 

Oamaru Mail,  26 September 1894, Page 4
Waimate Domain Board. —A meeting of this Board was held on Monday, Mr W. Coltman presiding. The Overseer reported that the cottage would be finished in a week, and the Chairman was instructed to draw a cheque for it on its completion. Eighteen applications were received for the position of caretaker to the Park, at a salary of £45 per annum, with free home and use of paddocks, and George Neal was the successful applicant.

Bushman's Hut
1864: Built.
Donated in 1929
In 2020 Friends of Knottingley Park created the plaque outside the Pioneer Hut telling the history of the hut.

Knottingley Park users:
Cricket players. Cricket was established in the Waimate District in 1882. The first recorded match held on the ground came in 1902 when South Canterbury played North Otago.
Pony club
Horse Society
School cross country
Kennel Clubs
Dog exercise. Dogs are prohibited on the cricket grounds and the children's playground.
Family picnic
Vintage Cars
Motorhome Association
Camping Ground: Kitchen and camp facilities upgraded 1993 and 2010.
Many others. Informal area of the park is leased out for sheep grazing. If grass height exceeds 20cm increase stock levels and/or mowing to control fire risk.

A suggestion for the Council and the Friends of Knottingley Park and the Waimate Trackway Group. Can you imagine having three or more boulders that size, a boulder park, for kids to play on? Kids love to climb. Will help to develop both physical and mental skills. Coordination, strengthening and flexibility while promoting focus and other positive attributes to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cricket in CHCH.

A Time Will Come   (1915)
by Arnold Wall, (1869–1966) was a New Zealand poet. b. in Ceylon in 1869.

A time will come, a time will come,
(Though the world will never be quite the same),
When the people sit in the summer sun,
Watching, watching the beautiful game.

A time will come, a time will come,
With fifteen stars in a green heaven,
Two to be batting, two to judge,
And round about them the fair Eleven.

A time will come, a time will come,
When the people sit with a peaceful heart,
Watching the beautiful, beautiful game,
That is battle and service and sport and art.

A time will come, a time will come,
When the crowds will gaze on the game and the green,
Soberly watching the beautiful game,
Orderly, decent, calm, serene.

The easy figures go out and in,
The click of the bat sounds clear and well,
And over the studying, critical crowds
Cricket will cast her witching spell.

Yet a time will come, a time will come,
Come to us all as we watch, and seem
To be heart and soul in the beautiful game,
When we shall remember and wistfully dream—

2014 photos by J.E.

When I am Out

When I am out, my scorer,
Write no sad noughts for me!
And if I score a fourer,
Oh, write not down a three!
And it I fail to get one.
Thus, if I score, remember,
And if I don't forget.

You need not see the umpire
Who signals a leg-bye,
But score it to the batsman-
That happy batsman, I
Then, when the season's over
And tips the scorers net.
'Haply I remember,
And haply may forget.

by Miss Christina Rossetti

 That tall tree [9] is a Sequoiadendron gigantean / Giant sequoia or Giant redwood.

Two minutes' rest till the next man goes in!
The tired arms lie with every sinew slack
On the mown grass. Unbent the supple back,
And elbows apt to make the leather spin
Up the slow bat and round the unwary shin,
In knavish hands a most unkindly knack;
But no guile shelters under this boy's black
Crisp hair, frank eyes, and honest English skin.
Two minutes only. Conscious of a name,
The new man plants his weapon with profound
Long-practised skill that no mere trick may scare.
Not loth, the rested lad resumes the game:
The flung ball takes one madding tortuous bound,
And the mid-stump three somersaults in air.
- Edward Lefory -
Press, 11 October 1913, Page 8

Waimate Cricket Club and grounds and Ode to a Yorker by E.B.V. Christian

Thou was not meant to play, infernal ball
The batsman's bat plays over thee -too late.
Made centuries are sweet, but those unmade
More frequent, therefore, batsman, dream -dream on.
Of innings such as never mortal played,
Faultless, superb, beyond comparison.
Beneath those dreamland trees thou grow'st not cold
As in the shade of this pavilion
Recording thy too mournful epitaph,
Faded the sunlight; I can dream no more.
That sad unending walk to the a pavilion.

The weather is perfect for the cricket. Rollers press the pitch to make it level.

If the wild bowler thinks he bowls,
Or if the batsman, thinks he's bowled,
They know not, poor misguided souls,
They too shall perish unconsoled.
I am the batsman and the bat,
I am the bowler and the ball,
The Umpire, the pavilion cat,
The roller, pitch, and stumps, and all.

Andrew Lang - Press, 29 August 1925, Page 13

There is room at the top, but there are shade and rest at the bottom.

Otago Witness 27 December 1894, Page 45
Dear Dot,— It is a long time since I last wrote to you. This time I will tell you how I spent the Prince of Wales's birthday. We all went to Nottingly Park. Nottingly Park is a large and pretty park, with large, tall trees - oaks, ashs, elms, poplars, firs, and many other pretty trees which I do not know the names of. There are nice seats in the park for people to sit. on. There were a good many people at the park. My brother Willie found a blackbird's nest among the flax bushes, and it had four eggs in it. They were very pretty eggs, but he did not, take them. We had lunch about 12 o'clock, and then took a walk round the park. There is a caretaker's cottage in the park, which is not far from the place where people boil the water to make their tea. About 3 o'clock we went to the Waimate Cemetery, and spent about an hour looking at the tombstones. Our school has been examined, and I passed into the Fourth Standard. We are to have five weeks' holiday. We all intend to go to the sea beach for a picnic on Christmas Day. My mother read your letter to the little folks about the kindergartens. Your's truly, Maggie Patterson (aged 10½ years). 

Knottingley Park 1910.

Knottingley Park, Waimate 1908,  Photo by Cox. NL Thomas, Bookseller, Waimate

Timaru Herald,
30 May 1900, Page 2
A meeting of the Knottingly Park Domain Board, Waimate, was held on Monday. Present — The Mayor and Councillors. Park-keeper Neale reported that Mr Wills had commenced the work of erection of windmill pump in the park. The trees cut down as thinnings had been sold for 30s. The shrubs which had been ordered for planting were expected at Waimate next month. Accounts for £4 6s 10 were passed for payment.

Oamaru Mail, 4 March 1901, Page 4
At a meeting of the Knottingly Park Domain Board, the Mayor (Dr Barclay) and all the trustees were present. Mr Philip reported having prepared specifications of repairs to the park-keeper's house. A site for erection of a fountain was selected opposite entrance gate. The Committee recommended protective work on creek near park fence and the cleaning away of gorse and broom.

Timaru Herald, 25 February 1903, Page 3
After close of the borough business the Council sat as the Knottingley Park Domain Board. The park-keeper's report was read, showing the moneys received by him for the sale of firewood, and recommending that the larger trees when cut down be sawn into boards by Mr Hardwick's sawmill. Mr J. Cameron spoke highly in favour of the timber sawn from the park trees. Mr Nicol reported on behalf of the park works committee on drainage work needed, and submitted estimates of the cost of the I work as prepared by Mr Bremner, the engineer to the County Council. The report was adopted, and the committee were authorised to have the work as recommended carried out. Accounts amounting to £4 13s 9d were passed for payment.

Timaru Herald, 27 June 1907, Page 6
The monthly meeting of the Waimate County Council was held yesterday, all the members being present, Mr P. Studholme, chairman, presiding. The engineer, Mr C. E. Bremner, submitted his monthly report, dealing with the progress of works in each riding. The formation and metalling of Knottingley Park road were completed. The opening up of this road would considerably shorten the means of communication between Waimate and the Park, and help to popularise the Park with the public. Estimates were given for metalling applied for by Mr J. H. Mitchell.

Timaru Herald, 14 January 1909, Page 4
At a special meeting of the Waimate Domain Board on Tuesday evening the appointment of a caretaker for Knottingley Park was proceeded with, qualifications of the four candidates 'left in' being considered in committee. It was unanimously decided to appoint Mr E. Ottley, of Waimate. The successful applicant has been gardener at "Centrewood" for ten years. The Board spent a considerable time and displayed not a little enthusiasm, over the question of the improvement of Knottingley Park. The appointment of a highly recommended, hardworking gardening enthusiasm to the curatorship gave zest to the proceedings. 

Timaru Herald, 27 March 1913, Page 3
The caretaker of Knottingley Park (G. Neal), asked for a week's holiday, and the request was granted. It was decided to leave the selling of the firewood cut in the Park to the chairman of the Park Committee to make best arrangements. Some further discussion took place on the desirability, in fact the necessity, of having a better water supply to the Park. The cost of a borough supply had been found to be too heavy for the Board, and the Acclimatisation a Society are to be written to asking if t it would be prepared to assist.

Timaru Herald, 15 October 1914, Page 3
The Knottingley Domain Board has decided to lay down the native plantation in good grass. The Board accepted Mr Sanders's resignation as park chairman,

George Neal died 29 October 1914 aged 72. Buried in the Anglican area in the Waimate Cemetery.

Waimate  Town map

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Hawera & Normanby Star, 21 February 1907, Page 3
What do we plant when we plant the tree
We plant the ship, which will cross the sea
We plant the mast to carry the sails,
We plant the planks to withstand the gales —
The keel, the keelson, and beam and knee;
We plant the ship when we plant the tree.

What do we plant when we plant the tree?
We plant the houses for you and me,
We plant the rafters, the shingles, the floors,
We plant the studding, the lath, the doors,
The beams and siding, all parts that be.
We plant the house when we plant the tree.

What do we plant when we plant the tree?
A thousand things that we daily see;
We plant the spire that out-towers the crag,
We plant the staff of our country's flag,
We plant the shade from the hot sun free ;
We plant all these when we plant the tree.

by Henry Abbey 1900