Bruce Comfort
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I'm a retired engineer. I ride a 400cc Suzuki Burgman motorscooter and I live in Oamaru, South Island of New Zealand. I have two adult daughters. My interests (if you haven't worked it out) include New Zealand's heritage of engineering works, snapshot photography of the built environment and recording pastoral farming activities around here. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE NOTE THAT MANY PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS PANORAMIO SITE HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY ACCESSING HERITAGE BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES, AND ENGINEERING ARTIFACTS WHICH LIE ON PRIVATE LAND. PUBLICATION OF PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS SITE DOES NOT IMPLY ANY PUBLIC RIGHTS OF ACCESS. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT A FEW PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE NOT MINE, AND THAT MANY ARE TAKEN INDOORS AND ARE OF MACHINERY AND THAT THIS APPARENTLY CONTRADICTS THE TERMS OF USE OF THE PANORAMIO WEBSITE. I HAVE HAD THE SITE MODERATORS' APPROVAL FOR USING THE SITE THIS WAY AS ALL SUCH PHOTOS LINK IN SOME FASHION TO MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS OF PLACES IN NEW ZEALAND WHERE ARTIFACTS OF ENGINEERING OR PASTORAL OR INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE CAN STILL BE FOUND. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MY INTENTION IS NOT TO USURP THE RIGHTS OF THE HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHERS NOR OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS, AND CREDIT IS GIVEN WHERE I CAN. I have made an endeavour to contact copyright holders of material published on these pages and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, I have decided, in good faith, to proceed with publication. I would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of item. IF YOU GO TO THE PLACES WHERE MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE MODERATORS TO BE IN THE PHOTOS LAYER ON GOOGLE EARTH, MY HOPE IS THAT THE OTHER HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS (which will not have been accepted by the moderators of Google Earth but which appear on these pages) WILL STIMULATE YOU TO THINK ABOUT THE ENGINEERS, ENTREPRENEURS, INVESTORS, THE WORKERS AND OPERATORS AND ALL THE PEOPLE, NOW GONE, WHOSE LIVES WERE INEXTRICABLY TIED TO THESE PLACES AND THESE ENDEAVOURS. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS AND I WELCOME INPUT INTO THIS WORK -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bruce Comfort's conversations

Interesting...Greetings Eva

Blatant evidence of room-and-pillar quarrying for the limestone resource which goes quite unremarked in/on the Vanished World Heritage Trail interpretation board. Whether or not this bothers you comes down to your interpretation of doing something properly I guess. David Hutchinson (here)in Oamaru may or may not be the same David Hutchison who was associated with the Shag Point Coal mines and the lime kiln

in the hills behind Palmerston? Or they may be different men?

Fine detail Bruce,like.

Ciao Tom

This well designed, well made and elegantly conceived sheep dip is on land in the ownership of the Studholme family, a family of the earliest settlers of the Waimate area. A dip is filled with a dilute aqueous solution of chemicals making a liquor which wets the fleece and kills parasites in the wool and disease organisms and spores. The sheep are made to swim the length of the dip and ar, at a couple of points, pushed completely under the liquor by farm hands with wooden poles. - shows the process in graphic detail. The dip is said to date from the latter part of the 19thC and is mass concrete fully plastered on all surfaces except the standing area. It incorporates a hard standing area where just-dipped sheep could be kept to allow the expensive dip liquor to run out of their fleece and thus be direced back into the dip proper to be re-used, channels and sumps to facilitate that, a deflector at the exit end of the dip so that the "bow wave" of dip liquor created by sheep moving up the exit ramp and out of the pond would not spill out of the pond and overhangs all along the top of the walls forming the pond (dip) to discourage sheep from attempting to rear up as they tend to do and to also keep the liquor in place.

As of December 2011, this mill wheel has been dissembled and taken off-site for restoration.

The wheel pit has (at January 10th 2012) yet to be excavated to reveal to what extent that part of the wheel rim and spokes (possibly 1/5 of the circumference?)has deteriorated after being buried in the rubble filling the pit for a few decades.

The plans for the restoration of the wheel may be understood by the Trust undertaking the work, but they have not really been made public and there is apparently debate about the extent to which the wheel and site can be "touristified" whilst still satisfying The Historic Places Trust.


This very small sheep dip (both narrow and short)is in the Devil's Bridge area of Ardgowan and may have been erected in the late 1800s as part of the Ardgowan Estate pastoral run. It is partly carved from native rock (limestone) and partly made from poured mass concrete - and hard to photograph to show that! Possibly a nice survivor of the very early days of sheep farming in North Otago

NOTE: IN COMMON WITH MOST PHOTOGRAPHED OBJECTS ON THESE WEB PAGES, THIS STRUCTURE LIES ON PRIVATE LAND AND NO RIGHTS OF ACCESS TO THE SITE OR LOCATION ARE IMPLIED IN THE PUBLICATION OF THESE IMAGES. This accurately and very clearly rendered date medallion declares that this grain store was erected by the The New Zealand and Australian Land Company.

Built possibly 1904 this three bedroom cottage was home for my father Fred, mother Esme and my sister Jenny until I left to go "flatting" at University. With the salty air and windblown sand, the best sort of garden was made from concrete, and my father was quickly onto that. The obvious attraction was the closeness of the harbour where all the kids I grew up with, swam and snorkeled for Paua, Crayfish, Butterfish (Greenbone) and Terakihi. There was a really good Pipi bed nearby and there was a family of Chinese who came to the area to catch Paddle Crabs. We thought they were crazy (who ate Paddle Crabs??) and we told them so in unalloyed racist terms and jumped off the wharf near their nets to disturb their fishing. Apparently the old Chinese guy used to tell his kids (girls with Pudding Basin haircuts) to ignore us as "we are much better than they are" I can vouch for this, as one of these girls became my wife nearly 14 years later. Cruel. Cruel Fate - I am never allowed to forget this!

A note to one of the WHB riggers resulted in the following reply;

"There is a slight probability that I did serve that rope. But I finished working in the Harbour Board around 1961 0r 62 and as these ropes were regularly checked and replaced and I don't know when the hydraulics were taken out of service, it seems highly unlikely that I did this one.

The wharf sheds were provided with such rams which lifted and lowered 8 ropes with hooks on them. They were used to move cargo off trailers for storage and then onto trucks. You can see them today in the renovated sheds 11 and 13.( Wellington wharf sheds were numbered such that even numbered sheds were South of Queens Wharf and those with odd numbering were North of Queens Wharf). Most of our maintenance on these was to replace the lighting ropes. We had to ride the hooks, perch on supporting wires, and replace the lifting ropes..a difficult job.

The riggers loft in the Harbour Board was above the stores building and next to the Boiler-Makers Shop, near the then "Hikitia"'s berth. It was a long room and we had a special set of hooks which we tensioned the wires.There was a handy-billy on one end to get the tension and three-quarters along the length we lashed another tensioning rope, which really made the wire rope VERY taught!

We didn't worm the rope, but smeared it with mutton fat or lanolin, I'm not really sure what...we parcelled it with sacking which was about100mm wide. Whilst I was there I did about 6 of these ropes. It was fun serving with Stockholm-tarred Marline rope.

The rope was set at the heigh of my arm pit, so I rested on the rope whilst serving it. This was the maximum height I could handle without lifting my feet off the ground. I know most books show that serving mallet have spools on them, but in reality because of the thickness of the Marline, you can get very little rope on the spool. The Marline came in hanks and we use these. Once you got the rhythm it was great going with this massive hank spiralling like a helicopter rotor.

Another point: That addage: "Worm and parcel with the lay...turn and serve the other way". I always found that if you did this, then whilst you were trying to serve, the parcelling gathered up and you would always have to stop and the adjust the parcelling.

I discussed this with John Barber in the UK(He was the Port of London's last Wire rope splicer). He agreed with me, and like me did not follow that adage! He always parcelled and served against the lay!"

Hope this helps

Built in 1954 and marked with a cast-in-place date medallion to affirm that, this lovely integrated cast concrete water tank and animal drinking trough was built by the farmer/landowner as a "project" - however the complexity of the form work needed for this job would do any competent civil engineer proud. It was apparently cast in one piece making it even more remarkable.


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