Hayes event a howl

Lula the labradoodle joins in with Dunedin's Valley Bluegrass at an operating day at Hayes...
Lula the labradoodle joins in with Dunedin's Valley Bluegrass at an operating day at Hayes Engineering Works, in Oturehua, on Sunday. Lula's owner Carola Dunbar (left) is a member of the band. Band member Dave Coleclough is obscured and Sean Donald is at right. PHOTO: PAM JONES
Lula the labradoodle took centre stage at much of a Hayes Engineering Works operating day at the weekend.

The musical hound - the mascot of Dunedin's Valley Bluegrass band - joined in with some of the band's songs when it played at the first of two operating/open days at the engineering works in Oturehua on Sunday. A second operating day was held yesterday.

Lula's owner, Carola Dunbar, is a member of the band. Lula was mostly quiet during the band's performance, but provided accompanying refrains when other dogs at the event joined in.

Hayes property manager Becky Reid said the music brought a ``festive'' atmosphere to the event, which was one of four operating weekends being held at Hayes this year.

Other arts also featured at the open day, which served as a soft opening for this year's Arts on the Rail Trail.

Six artists, including three who will display art at venues along the rail trail for the next two months for the event, were selling artworks at Hayes on Sunday, including Alexandra photographer Annemarie Hope-Cross.

The day showcased the genius of Ernest Hayes, who came from England with his wife Hannah in 1882 and settled in the Oturehua district, Ms Reid said.

The farmer and flour miller became famous for the farm tools he invented, produced and sold at his Oturehua property, which is now part of the Heritage New Zealand network.

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