Marlborough Photographs from 1920
Aniseed Village Camp late 1930s

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Record 18/29
Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc
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Collection Marlborough Province - down the decades from early days
Description A black and white photograph showing the South Island Main Trunk [S.I.M.T.] railway line camp north of Kaikoura known as Aniseed Village. All the houses are two-bedroomed and there are many of them.

A scan of this photograph will be used in the Changing European History Gallery 3 display in commemoration of the Marlborough Provincial 150th anniversary on 1 November 2009.
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Caption December 2009:
Aniseed Village north of Kaikoura. This railway construction village existed from the late 1930s into the World War 2 years. On a sloping terrace, partly sheltered from southerlies by the bushed bluff at the rear, it was a cold site in winter time.

The road at the left is the access road to the camp. Aniseed Village had a high population, the prefabricated cottages housing complete families. Most had three rooms - a bedroom at either end with the kitchen in the middle. Many had their own washhouse, others shared with the neighbours next door. Mrs MacDonald ran a small store on the
roadside by the beach.

CLOSING THE GAP IN THE PICTON-CHRISTCHURCH RAILWAY
Work on the Picton end of the main trunk railway line to Christchurch began in 1872. Rivers, and
ranges, in the way soon slowed progress. Work also began northwards from Christchurch and found problems at that end too.

In 1930, the Depression halted all work leaving a gap of 128 km, along the rugged Kaikoura Coast.

By 1936, the Labour Government re-opened construction, from both ends, to close the gap.

An ever-extending line of public works camps sprang up from both ends.

Whole families arrived to live in prefabricated cottages. Each camp had a school, and a hall.
Visiting butchers, bakers and grocers arrived weekly from Kaikoura, or Cheviot.
The Aniseed camp and Valley of the Moon camp shared a school.

One, or two, townships supported a small general Store. Single men's camps were more spartan, often being sited on the damp foreshore.

Each man had his own hut, and fireplace, and ate at the camp cookhouse.

Some of the camps which 'came and went', were at Blue Slip, Shades, Clarence Bridge, Aniseed, the Valley of the Moon, Puketa and Oaro. Construction continued from 1936, until the line opened, in 1945.
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A copy of this photograph was used in exhibit 37 - Post Offices of Marlborough - October to November 2012, with this label:
Aniseed Village Railway Camp. Post Office opened 1937, closed 1941.
Year Range from 1936
Year range to 1946
Object ID 2009.067.0069
Object Name Photograph
People MacDonald, Mrs.
Place Kaikoura/Aniseed
Title Aniseed Village Camp late 1930s
When using this image please quote "Image courtesy of Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc"

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Last modified on: January 19, 2015