History unpreserved at Tokomaru Freezing Works
After visiting Waipiro Bay we were keen to go and see Tokomaru Bay further down the east coast as I had read about the ruins of the old freezing works there.
The Tokomaru Sheepfarmers’ Freezing Company Ltd opened the works in 1911 after a group of local farmers raised the money for its construction. Many of the bricks used in the buildings were made at a local brickworks.
A small locomotive was built to link the freezing works with the wharf where up to 400 ships a year arrived to collect frozen sheep carcasses.
Overlooking the Tokomaru Sheepfarmers’ Freezing Company Ltd works at Waima, Tokomaru Bay. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-000942-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://beta.natlib.govt.nz/records/22763394
In the early 1950s the freezing works closed.
The spectacular location of Tokomaru bay is still home to many but the population has shrunk from 5000 to less than 500.
It it hard to be nostalgic about this once great place.
This place where business, initiative and hard-work once existed is now covered in graffiti with broken drinks bottles and crushed cans scattered around.
There are flies swarming in the hedgerow where animal carcasses seem to have been dumped regularly for some time.
I found it a depressing place.
New Zealand is the youngest country in the world.
It has wonderful natural beauty and knows how to show it off stunningly.
There are understandably a relatively small number of historic buildings here but I cannot understand why somewhere like this could be allowed to fall into such a state.
I am all for preservation of buildings – in any manner or method that works – but I wonder if it would not have been better to just totally demolish the former freezing works.
This wreck is so heartbreaking, it has no soul or shadow of former life left in it.
We travelled a short distance to the other end of beautiful Tokomaru Bay and I will post tomorrow about our New Year Eve stay there on the beach.