Cards, cats, carts and cheeky children

Jamie, the neighbour's cat, often makes herself at home at Sharon Free's place before trotting...
Cubby provides firewall protection at Jenny Longstaff’s home in Northeast Valley, Dunedin. PHOTO: JENNY LONGSTAFF
Helpful cats and night-cart stories feature today. But before we get into that, I had a note from Lala Frazer, of Broad Bay, with some more details of the early 1950s postcards of Otago which we covered in the column last Friday.

You might recall these postcards were from the collection of a stationery shop owner who was in Musselburgh Rise in the early 1970s. The black-and-white photos were turned into postcards by virtue of a rubber stamp on the back and entitled ``Scenic New Zealand'', ``Photography by N.S. Seaward, Broad Bay, Dunedin''.

Lala says Neville Seaward lived in Oxley Cres (formerly called Ross Cres) on Ross Point up from Turnbulls Bay.

``He is most famous for his coloured scenes (colour added to black-and-white photos), but when we moved to Oxley Cres in 1980 he was producing Christmas cards.

``Pasting the picture on the card was done as piecework and gave pocket money to stay-at-home mothers. I have to admit that I proved not quick enough and accurate enough at placing the rather old-fashioned pictures in the centre of the card to benefit from this activity.

``Neville and his wife Gwen set off each winter and toured all the small rural dairies in both islands selling the cards.''

Later this week I'll share some more of the postcards that were sent to me.

Cats in charge

Sharon Free sends news of Jamie.

``Most mornings our neighbour's cat is waiting at the door to come in for a pat and to tussle with the newspaper.

``Our garden is her playground - for climbing trees, hiding in the bushes and playing with the watering system. On cold days she will curl up by the fire.

``The other day we found her curled up under the lemon tree, which is inside enjoying the sun. At the end of the day, she trots off home for tea. We enjoy Jamie's visits.''

Jenny Longstaff, of Northeast Valley, sent the other feline photo, of Cubby, we're running today.

``My cat keeps trying to supervise when I use my computer checking emails. That's no doubt because the dining-room table is the sunniest place in the house and she would prefer to have the table to herself.''

Cubby provides firewall protection at Jenny Longstaff's home in Northeast Valley, Dunedin. PHOTO:...
Jamie, the neighbour’s cat, often makes herself at home at Sharon Free’s place before trotting home again at the end of the day. PHOTO: SHARON FREE
Night cart continued ...

Evan Parry of Amberley, North Canterbury, emails to say Rhonda Robinson's recollection of the night cart and the ``night man'' stirred a similar memory.

``I was a Kaiapoi kid of the 1950s, and nearby Pines and Kairaki beach settlements also used the services of the night man and his cart.

``In the late 1950s, on an early morning return trip along the causeway that connected the town of Kaiapoi and the beach communities, the cart veered off the road and tipped upside-down in the adjacent swampy paddock.

``The following day the good ol' Canterbury nor'easterly wind carried the distinctive aroma of the cart's contents across Kaiapoi town.

``Older pupils, mostly boys, of Kaiapoi School were to be seen staggering about the playground in exaggerated fashion with hands held over noses & mouths, crying `poo, poo', until the teachers became so sick and tired of it, punishment with the strap was threatened.

``It took some three days and tons of lime before the mess was cleaned up and for the smell to subside.''

Tim Herrick, of Wanaka, also recalls night-cart antics in that same area (I wonder if Tim and Evan know each other?).

Tim says: ``A family owned a bath at Kairaki, on the north bank of the Waimakariri River mouth.

``In the early days, the night-cart man came during the night to empty the toilet can. The children thought it would be a bit of a lark to rig up a trip-wire to cause him to trip and spill his load.

``What they forgot was that he had to go through the tripwire before he could even pick up his load. There was no Plan B!''

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