Sunday, May 26, 2024

Cottage Model: Rediscovering Heritage

A scale model of a heritage listed cottage has waited quietly at Totara Hospice for the right buyer to appear. On show locally during the 175 celebrations the model was discovered by a local benefactor who purchased the model to donate to the Howick Historical Village.

Built by Teresa Allsop, a talented model maker and Buckland’s Beach resident, it took her three years to construct. She carefully and lovingly created a detailed and accurate depiction of the early farm cottage which is a delight to view with many imaginative wonders in each room.

The intricate model contains much to intrigue as it shows life before electricity, plumbing or indeed any devices. Charmingly, and with a thoughtful nod to those onlookers who might need a bit of help, Teresa wired the cottage so the ‘candles’ glow and all the nooks and crannies are visible.

The model is of the Smales Farm dairy manager’s cottage – which is still located on its original site on the corner of Chapel and Smales Road albeit behind a fence. The cottage started life as part of the Rev Gideon Smales’ farm known as Hampton Park and was built in 1894 for Ambury and English & Co. It is one of the last remaining historic buildings still in the East Tamaki area. For many years the small three-roomed cottage delighted passing drivers as the lines of washing blowing in the breeze hung from the veranda.

The dairy farm and creamery were located next door and the corner became well known as ‘cream can corner’ where nearby farmers would bring their milk in large cans on horse drawn drays (wagons). The milk was separated into cream and skim milk – cream for butter making, the skim milk returned to the farm for feeding to pigs or cattle.

The intricate model contains much to intrigue as it shows life before electricity, plumbing or indeed any devices.

The cottage stands on land which had subsequently been purchased by well-known farmer Archie Somerville in 1976 and recently onsold from the Estate to (the Picolo) a Child Care Centre.

At Howick Historical Village, the model is located in the main entrance and sits opposite Trevor Bassett’s intricate model of the Minerva, the barque on which most of Howick’s Fencible families sailed on from England, Ireland and Scotland to settle here in 1847. Both works of art in their own right — together the barque and cottage illustrate life in Victorian Aotearoa-New Zealand.

The Historical Society acknowledge the generosity of the maker Teresa Allsop, Totara Hospice, and the benefactor in enabling a slice of local heritage to be displayed at the Howick Historical Village to enchant and charm all who view it.

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