Loburn Family History

On Sunday, I awoke to a windy south wester coming through Ferndale where I was staying.
After breakfast, I drove back through Rangiora and revisited the graves.
From there I traveled over the Ashley bridge heading North into Loburn. I stayed on the min road and passed Leigh Camp where I had stayed while attending Kirkwood Intermediate. From there I revisited the Grandma and Granddad Saxton’s Orchard on the corner of Barwell’s Road and the main road. The place seemed to have evidence of sheep the only life I saw was a HUGE dog so I did not drive up the drive. There were a few fruit trees left as the only evidence of our ancestors. Following the main road I counted 6 orchards left out of 56 from Gerald Ward’s Book: A Bit of Godzone-Fruitgrowing in Loburn Canterbury, New Zealand 1914-1945. They cleared the plot and planted the tress. Documentation showed that they owned the land from 10/05/1921 until 02/12/1953. Then Uncle Her and Uncle Les took it over from 13/09/1957. Then Uncle Herb on his own until 10/11/1964. Documentation also has Granddad as a part of this but it is not clear.
Talking about feeling nostalgic and emotional, I felt happy and incredibly sad at the same time. Following the road north, I guestimated where Great uncle Lesley’s orchard was, plot number 31 owned from the 10/10/146 until sold 13/03/1949 and then Grandma and Granddad Reynolds orchard plot number 29 from 24/05/1921 until 22/12/1943 when he sold it to Elsie Jane Watson. This one still had fruit trees BUT they were being pulled out this week because of age and disease. Talk about timely. I asked permission from the current owner and then walked around the old flowering fruit trees and thought about granddad in his world war 2 uniform pushing Dobby the plough horse around the gorse filled paddock clearing and then planting these same trees.
The main road is now mostly clear of tress and has cows, sheep and lots of horses grazing the land where the orchards were. I took a photo of the gorse hedges to show where Grandma and granddad Saxton camped under until the farmer burned them out. This is a story I heard from dad but am unsure if the boys were with them. My question is why were they there in the first place because they were supposed to have money from selling the pub in England.
Coming back I drove out to Oxford and had lunch at Jo Seagers restaurant and was delighted to see that they had whitebait on the menu so had whitebait patty in fresh bread sandwich. DELICIOUS. I thought about Granddad who caught so much in the early days and used it as garden fertilizer.
I then came back into Christchurch and visited with my boy’s grandmother where I also met up with their great aunty. Then headed out for Redcliffs to meet up with a dear friend and one of my goddaughters. I was hopelessly lost when I found myself in South Brighton looking over the estuary to Redcliffs so had to back track and try again. Finally I was at their place for the night. We caught up and as usual it feels like I have never been away from them. We just pick up where we left off. We had a lovely meal of fresh pan fried flounder, rice and green salad. This was accompanied by a bottle of beautiful red wine. I then helped my Goddaughter prepare for her upcoming trip to Antarctica by creating a blog and a wiki.

3 thoughts on “Loburn Family History

  1. I really enjoyed this story as I live in Loburn on an old orchard and have read about your grandparents in A bit of godzone by Gerald Ward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for stopping by and dropping me a comment.
      My grandfather Fred Reynolds is on the front cover, walking with Dobby his orchard plough horse. I damaged my copy of A bit of godzone by Gerald Ward, so if you can direct me to where I can purchase another, I would be most grateful. All the best.


      • Hi Sonya
        I,m not sure where you could get a copy as I had mine photo copied from a lady who walk into our property once who had lived here as a very young child she was now into her 80,s.
        Thankyou replying toy email.
        Kind regards
        Lisa Smit


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