Great tales on display for Thames 150th
‘‘We were at pains to bring the early history, highlight some of the juicy bits.’’
Gritty and often ‘‘juicy’’ stories of Thames are now being told at Thames Museum.
The Museum is marking the town’s 150th celebrations with several exhibitions.
The history of both A&G Price and Judd Foundry are on display, along with a large exhibition documenting the history of Thames from before the goldfields were discovered 150 years ago.
Museum president Morgan Lewis, archaeologist Tom Barker and Rosalie Steward put the Thames history exhibition together over the past year.
Steward said the exhibition explored the unique bicultural relationships in Thames, dating back before the discovery of the goldfields. Many unknown stories of local Maori and early Thames settlers are told in the exhibition, which includes an eight-minute video that summarises what’s on display.
‘‘We all agreed that it was really important to highlight that history didn’t just start on the first of August 1867,’’ she said.
‘‘We were at pains to both bring the early history, highlight some of the juicy bits about how it all happened and get the specifics of the proclamation.’’
There’s a summary of how the goldfield was opened, the negotiations and the first bonanza. The museum was also planning a re-enactment of the lynch mob at Kuranui Bay, she said.
‘‘That was never printed in the paper, the lynch mob, but it came through because it was so shocking.’’
Also at the museum, Allan Judd has put together an exhibition about Judd Foundry, established in Thames in 1869 by his great, great grandfather, Charles Judd.
An accomplished iron founder, he saw an opportunity in Thames to make stamper batteries for the goldfields and log hauling machinery for the Kauri logging industry. He also designed, manufactured and constructed light houses at East Cape, Kahurangi Point, Cape Campbell and Cape Brett.
‘‘There was nothing Charles liked more than making a big casting than going and making a bigger one,’’ Allan said.
The business closed in 1982 after 129 years.
The Pollen St museum is open from 10am to 4pm daily.