Arthur puts new life into scrap
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.