Author(s): Angus Gordon
The Gordon family have a historic woolshed, which was built in 1886. It has been turned into a museum to the sheep industry and has an auditorium, where shearing and dog shows are held for tourists. The idea came to Angus Gordon, one of the owners, to delve deeper into the greater Hawkes Bay area, which has been such a famous sheep farming area for over 160 years. This book is a photographic journey through the valleys and plains and along the dramatic coastline that was the original lifeline of the district. The original settlers were able to purchase large blocks of land because of the undeveloped nature of the country. Many of them became sheep barons, and then as they became wealthier, they began to build large and usually very beautiful woolsheds to shear the increasing numbers of sheep they were acquiring as they developed the land. The sheds were built of timber then, as native timber was still in plentiful supply, and they were very well built. Some had shingle roofs, and the floorboards were always tongue-and-groove Matai or Rimu.
Many of these sheds have now disappeared, replaced by modern, rather soulless corrugated-iron sheds, but as the author already knew, there are an awful lot of still very well-maintained historic sheds. This book is a tribute to the farmers who have clung on to their land so tenaciously over the years of diminishing returns and diminished size but have still maintained these sheds, which are now treasures of Hawkes Bay that not many people are aware of.