From the collection of the South Canterbury Museum
Bruce’s Oatmeal Factory, 1888
On 5 October 1888 the Timaru Herald reported on a severe north-westerly that knocked down several large trees, tore roofing iron off churches, businesses and homes and caused spectacular damage to Bruce’s Oatmeal Company’s mill.
The building, only recently closed, was found to be insufficiently braced and the reporter of the time believed little more than the weather boards had prevented total collapse!
Amazingly, while the wind still blew several men (and it seems the reporter) entered the building and attempted to brace and re-right the building by securing it with ropes, and then chains, around the adjacent brick chimney (just visible).
The building was successfully winched back into shape, strengthened and the railway line cleared. The building stood until it was lost to fire in 1904.
South Canterbury Museum, 4840
View PDF of Timaru Herald article, part 1
View PDF of Timaru Herald article, part 2
Part of the Cantage Records and Archives Week 2010 exhibition