2 weeks ago

Fitzgerald's Town

enjoyed a variety of

enjoyed a variety of amusements including a panorama of the Russo-Turkish war and as usual the police had little to do except enjoy the occasion by “flirting with the female portion of the rural population”. Despite a general optimism there were misgivings when the show of 1878 attracted only a few entries, as was the case also for the Ellesmere show, and it was decided to discuss amalgamation with the Ellesmere Agricultural and Pastoral Association, a view supported by the New Zealand Country Journal 1 January 1879. In November 1878 29 the Ellesmere Association discussed the matter following an approach from Lincoln and resolved to raise the matter of amalgamation with members after both organisations had met to formulate a basis for union. A Lincoln delegation of three was unable to attend the proposed meeting and so the matter lapsed. At their AGM 30 in March 1879 the Ellesmere Association resolved that “the Ellesmere exhibition for the year 1879, be held, as heretofore, on the Leeston show ground, and that as the show is open to all comers, the special attention of the Lincoln Association be invited to seek open competition”. There appeared to have been no desire to amalgamate and this was obvious when one Ellesmere member commented, with some truth, that Ellesmere interests were not necessarily identical with those of their Lincoln neighbours. There were no further efforts by the Lincoln Association to pursue the matter regarding co-operation or amalgamation with Ellesmere. There are several reasons for the end of this era of activity in Lincoln. First, the opening of the railway and the continued improvement of roads encouraged local farmers to focus on Christchurch as the logical centre for sales and shows. The hope that the show would flourish because of the railway was misplaced and in fact resulted in the opposite outcome. Second, Lincoln Agricultural College was already established and farmers probably saw this as the future source of information on farming practice as suggested by Mr Peryman only a few years earlier. Third, by 1877 the Provincial system had been dismantled and some functions of the Road Boards had been taken over by the recently established Selwyn County Council. All these changes doubtless had their impact on the district and must have encouraged a wider outlook than that engendered by the previous system of administration. 52

17. H. E. Peryman’s threshing mill Ploughing Competitions Ploughing matches were a feature of English rural life in the mid 19th century, and the Lyttelton Times 31 commented that they were sometimes organised to help a fellow ploughman who was unable to cope with his work. In these events competitors were expected to finish their allocated work, a rule that was never broken, so that work continued until the last furrow was turned. This may have been the tradition brought to the colony by the early English settlers, but here the purpose of ploughing competitions was to maintain or to raise standards, to test and to encourage the use of new implements, and to provide an opportunity for the rural community to socialise. The first ploughing match to take place in Canterbury was on Boag’s farm near Fendalltown (Fendalton) in 1854 and other matches followed, including one near Lake Ellesmere in 1859, one at Woodend in 1861, and one at Templeton in 1865. The first match 32 to be held in the Lincoln and 53

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