Looking Back #2

Something that has been on our “to do” list for a while now is a visit to Ferrymead Heritage Park, home to a model Edwardian township, wonderfully restored vintage vehicles, and several heritage societies. In light of Farm Girl’s recent historical questioning, we figured the time was ripe so we loaded up the Homestead Mobile for the ten minute jaunt and hit the road.

Ferrymead, named for the ferry that transported colonists, footsore from hefting their belongings over the Bridle Path from Port Lyttelton after four or so months at sea, across the Heathcote River for another 10 km plus footslog to their new life. Apparently the ferry was situated in a meadow.

Back in the dim dark past when the older Homesteaders were youngsters, compulsory school visits to the then stark, windswept collection of tumbledown buildings, rusty machinery and ricketty clubhouses had one redeeming feature: a trip on one of the wonderfully restored steam trains or trams. How things have changed.

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Through this modest entrance…

…you wander directly into the main street of the fictitious Kiwi Edwardian township of Moorhouse.


Ferrymead streets

Moorhouse, like any worthy township of the time, has a post office, church,


school, general store, tea room, railway station,


blacksmith, baker, picture house,



printers, theatre – it even has a Free Masons Lodge and Coronation Park – but by far the Homestead’s favourite part were the cottages.  Unfortunately for our blog, we were so enamoured with spotting the similarities and differences between life then and now that our photo taking (haphazard at best) shamefully dwindled.


Farm Girl was fascinated by the outside plumbing,


a little concerned by the police cell, complete with prisoner,


and enjoyed her steam train ride as much as the older Homesteaders had in their youth

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because some things are just timeless.

8 thoughts on “Looking Back #2

    • We thought of you when we rode on the train and steam tram, Unfortunately the two photographs we took of them were not wonderful – oddly the same gentleman managed to feature in boh of them. I suspect his delight at their workings meant he featured in a lot of folks photos of the day 🙂

  1. What a wonderful day trip!! I love these places, hands on history. It makes one humble and enjoy present day conceniences even more! I enjoyed day trips like that just as much as the Walker Boys. Have a great weekend, Johanna

  2. So interesting to compare Ferrymead Heritage Park with Morwhellam Quay from The Edwardian Farm series – the differences that stem from one place having been settle for centuries, and the other just a few decades. We have several recreated settlements here too, though none nearby – and most don’t recreate the Edwardian period. The Edwardian period doesn’t seem so old to me, but I suppose it must to FG and her generation – it was a century ago, after all.

    • You’re so right! In our township the majority of the structures are weatherboard rather than stone, the displays contain things I well remember from my youth (in my grandparents home, I hasten to add) and some kitchen items in particular we still use here on the Homestead (having sourced them second hand or whatever). In truth, take away our double glazing, insulation, electric stove and washing machine and things are very similar. I think that’s what I liked so much about it – life just moves a little too fast for me.

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