Arthur puts new life into scrap

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

ARTHUR Wade be­lieves that ev­ery re­tired man needs a hobby – and his is en­gi­neer­ing. The 81-year-old spends his spare time work­ing away on ‘‘any­thing made out of metal’’, designing aero­planes, trucks, cranes, gar­den flow­ers, car­toon char­ac­ters, yachts and what­ever else he thinks up.

Since re­tir­ing four years ago his hobby has out­grown his work shed and his garage has be­come a dis­play room.

‘‘I can turn just about any­thing scrap into some­thing,’’ he said as he pointed out an old lamp stand which he made into a crane.

‘‘I al­ways had an inkling for en­gi­neer­ing and did lots of re­pairs and main­te­nance in my job so this has been my hobby ever since I re­tired.

‘‘I en­joy the work and cre­at­ing things which are all from mem­ory or pho­to­graphs from var­i­ous things. I don’t go by any plans.’’

Mr Wade has lived in Mata­mata for 50 years and has been mar­ried to his wife Daph for 17 of those af­ter they met at a Good Com­pan­ion Dance in Hamil­ton.

He was a sharemilker in Wardville be­fore he started a road and drain­ing con­tract­ing busi­ness in Mata­mata, A G Wade Ltd. Part of that job in­cluded the re­moval of trees from var­i­ous prop­er­ties so in­stead of dis­pos­ing of the ma­te­ri­als, he started sell­ing it and soon be­came known as the fire­wood mer­chant in Mata­mata.

Each year he sold fire­wood to fam­i­lies both lo­cally and around the North Is­land, send­ing some as far away as Gis­borne.

‘‘This fit­ted in with my con­tract­ing work, be­cause I would be out on farms and be cut­ting down trees so I would take the wood back to my yard and sell it.

‘‘I would be the only per­son in Mata­mata left by the end of win­ter with wood still to buy be­cause I al­ways stocked up.’’

His son Kevin Wade now owns and op­er­ates the busi­ness.

Mr Wade has re­cently had a pace­maker put in to mon­i­tor his heart rate which meant he could not longer use an elec­tric welder but he was able to change to a gas weld­ing plant.

‘‘Most other peo­ple pro­duce things out of plas­tic or wood but I do all mine with metal,’’ he said.

‘‘I haven’t heard of any­one else in New Zealand who is do­ing this.’’

He is look­ing to start sell­ing off a few pieces so he has room to make more.

‘‘And there won’t be enough room in a cof­fin to fit all my things, so I will have to sell a few,’’ Mr Wade laughed.

Metal cre­ations: Arthur Wade with a he­li­copter he has de­signed com­pletely out

A va­ri­ety of trucks are among his col­lec­tions.

of metal.

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