Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

23 April 2010

Open 7 Days 30. Freemans Dairy, Milton

I wrote and illustrated ‘Open 7 Days’. It was published in 1991. It’s a series of freeze-frames of some historic New Zealand general and convenience stores as they were preserved in the last decade of the 20th century. Bit by bit, on this blog, I re-publish some of the entries from that book.

144 Union Street, Milton, Otago.
Proprietor: Bill Freeman

From a dreary world Bill Freeman’s dairy shines out like an artist’s palette! I couldn’t resist it, especially when I could see that so much trouble had been taken to cover up the old house next door (now used as a store room) and that one of the world’s classic motorbikes had, fortuitously, been parked outside.

The store (once two tiny stores – as evidenced by the two front doors) dates back to about 1930 and replaced another that had been there since the turn of the century. Bill Freeman runs it as a typical seven-day dairy, with a small garden centre selling flowers, shrubs and vegetable plants. (The faded sign on the rough wooden door had me imagining animated tomato plants coming and going like Chicago gangsters at a speakeasy!)
Milton may have been named after the poet. Whether that’s true or not, the name is appropriate, for since 1857 it has been a mill town on the Tokomairiro River. It has been famous for many years for wool spinning and scouring, although the oldest part of the mill complex started life grinding flour.

The town sprang to importance when Gabriel Read discovered gold at Tuapeka. Milton lay neatly placed between Dunedin and the diggings, a good spot to rest up, stock up and saddle up before taking on the heartless rocks of Central Otago.


No comments:

Post a Comment


Hits Counter


Loaded Web

Blog Directory for Albany, New Zealand


Blog This Here

Blog Flux

Commentary blogs
Blog Directory


  • <$BlogCommentAuthor$> // <$BlogCommentDateTime$>


By Don Donovan