Skip to main content

Martinborough in 1908 - the Mecca of merry and thirsty souls

Observer, 26 September 1908

Quaint, quiet little Martinborough has broken out again. Spring is coming, for the swallowers have come back to tell them so. Martinborough is the Mecca of merry and thirsty souls — the place where the roads are lined with dead marines.  


It will be here that they will carry prohibition in the year 9999. Every other place this side of Mars will have been prohibited by then. The Martinborough guzzlers have no sense of the fitness of things. When they get off on a wild jamboree, they lose count of time and place. The full tide of feeling, and circumstance, and beer — chiefly beer — carries them afar oft from reasoning things out. 
On a recent Saturday night, the Martinborough night watchman discovered a brace of drinkers in the Catholic Church. They had provided themselves with a reasonable store of liquor — something like four dozen of ale and a stock of whisky. The curious thing; is that now the fine weather has set in up there the Saturday night revellers run for shelter.

This writer happened in Martinborough back along in June, when it had rained for three weeks, and was still going strong. A large number of the male population of the town were drowning their sorrows in beer at that time — all the time — all day Sunday, too. But they didn't want to get in out of the wet. They just dropped around anywhere. You could see them lying in the hotel yards like leaves in an orchard in autumn. Church-goers had to take to the river — some called it a road— to leave the footpaths to the post-hilarious. Why this perversity of intoxicated conduct? And also why do they take to the churches for their outbursts?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Featherston Military Camp

B Company, 22nd reinforcements, on the Rimutaka Hill, 1917. The men are wearing toitoi on their hats. 00-38/16.digital

In January 1916 the biggest army training camp in New Zealand opened in Featherston. The camp occupied the land on both sides of the main road between Featherston and Tauherenikau. In 1916 the camp was the biggest settlement in the Wairarapa at a time when Masterton’s population was 5,500. It covered almost 30 hectares. Today there is only a memorial to the camp by State Highway 2.

Pahiatua Museum

The Pahiatua and Districts Museum Society has an old bay villa chock-full of interesting ephemera reflecting earlier years in Pahiatua and the Tararua District. Established as a museum in 1977, the villa was formerly the home of the local doctor and is largely in original condition, a wonderful glimpse of life in the early 20th century.

1942 Earthquake: Masterton's business area badly wrecked

Evening Post, 26 June 1942

"MILITARY TAKE OVER CONTROL

Masterton's main street was a sorry sight yesterday.

With huge piles of brick and masonry sprawling across the footpaths and roadway, shattered shop windows, and trailing high-tension lines, the condition of the mile-long thoroughfare was testimony to the intensity of the previous night's earthquake. In the residential areas householders suffered considerable damage to property, and it appears that Masterton took the main shock. Miraculously no casualties of any sort have been reported.