Barge saved

Scotts Ferry barge started in 1850 saved by com­mu­nity

Manawatu Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By MERANIA KARAURIA

They came from through­out the Ran­gi­tikei on Satur­day to cel­e­brate an­other mile­stone in the his­tory of the Scotts Ferry barge.

This was a sec­ond re­fur­bish­ment of the barge named af­ter early pi­o­neers Anne and Thomas Scott who in 1850 es­tab­lished a trad­ing post and ac­com­mo­da­tion at Pare­wanui west of Bulls. Scott also took on the duty of fer­ry­man.

Bulls Mu­seum chair­man and restora­tion project leader Kevin Ellery wel­comed a large crowd that in­cluded 102-year-old Jack Coe who now lives in Mar­ton.

In 2017 the Bulls Mu­seum raised funds for the ferry barge with a lot of the ma­te­ri­als do­nated.

The Scotts Ferry com­mu­nity do­nated their time to work on the barge led by Ellery and builder Al­lan Giles, with the restora­tion com­pleted in July.

In keep­ing with the his­tor­i­cal theme, mayor Andy Wat­son and Ran­gi­tikei MP Ian McKelvie wear­ing top hats, ar­rived in vin­tage cars, and Linda Third ar­rived on horse­back to de­liver the mail.

When asked by Ellery how long the mail took to get through, she re­sponded “80 years”.

Her­itage New Zealand's David Watt spoke how the early pi­o­neers trav­elled up from Welling­ton along the coast and set­tled in the Ran­gi­tikei and Whanganui dis­tricts.

“They rode horses and walked, they were hardy peo­ple.”

Watt also men­tioned that Scotts Ferry was a sig­nif­i­cant land­mark in the area as was Flock House and the memo­rial to Bess.

The barge had served the Ran­gi­tikei district un­til 1908 when the Feather­stons at Parikino on the Whanganui River pur­chased the barge to ferry cat­tle across the river.

In 1975 the barge was de­com­mis­sioned un­til it was sal­vaged in 1989 from the banks of the Whanganui River near Pakaitore/Moutoa Gar­dens. The late Norm Hub­bard of Whanganui and Frank Nitschke were in­stru­men­tal in the 1990 restora­tion of the barge.

Bulls Mu­seum chair­man Kevin Ellery at the Satur­day open­ing of the Scotts Ferry barge at Pare­wanui.

PHO­TOS / BEVAN CON­LEY

Horse­woman Linda Third de­liv­ers the mail to Kevin Ellery.

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